Back in March, 2023, I said Trump election lies will not save unborn babies. I argued that the Trump MAGA cult seduces pro life advocates by offering an illusion of support for unborn babies, when in fact, the Trump MAGA cult only hurts pro life credibility because millions of pro lifers offer millions of excuses for Trumps unacceptable behavior.
Pro life Trump supporters argue that Trump is not using them to gain power; they’re using Trump to make policy. Whether or not Trump is a crook or a wannabe tyrant is irrelevant. Since life is sacred but most Americans want abortion, the pro life minority must use radical measures to save unborn babies, even if that means looking the other way when a wannabe tyrant violates the law and common decency. Besides, the press exaggerates Trump’s flaws because the system is out to get him because Trump challenges the system.
Down deep, pro lifers know Trump is a liar and his behavior is unacceptable, but they embrace his MAGA cult anyway because they don’t see any other way to offer all unborn babies a chance to grow up.
But what if there were a better way?
Instead of forcing the pro life minority’s will on the pro choice majority, what if we could protect unborn babies without buying into criminal behavior and wacky conspiracy theories that not even the people still spewing them believe? What if we defended a pro-life agenda with well-formed arguments and maybe some empathy? What if we focused on changing minds to build a pro life majority? Almost thirty years ago, my wife used well-formed arguments and empathy to change my mind. Why not try it on a large scale? Because when minorities impose their will against the majority, the long term outcome often turns into a disaster.
So, what are the arguments?
The classic pro choice argument says unborn babies are body parts and mothers should make decisions about their own bodies without government interference. It’s basic human rights. Nobody should impose medical decisions on women. After all, we don’t impose vasectomies on men.
The pro life argument – the one I favor – says unborn babies are the most vulnerable human beings of all and deserve the same protection as any other human life. Women hold a sacred obligation to carry new human beings inside their bodies and a special responsibility to protect them. Here comes the even-more controversial part. This applies no matter how they were conceived.
But, wait a minute. What about rapes, or incest, or other pregnancies from undesirable circumstances? And what kind of perverted society grants parental rights to a rapist? How is forcing the mother to endure a full pregnancy under these circumstances and maybe even fight a rapist for parental rights fair?
Of course it’s not fair. This is a woman’s worst nightmare.
But killing an unborn baby is an even worse solution than the problem. The situation is not the baby’s fault. Babies have no input around the circumstances leading to their conception. Why should an innocent baby die because somebody violated their mother?
Instead of using abortions to sweep ugly situations under a rug, how about serving unpleasant consequences to perpetrators and offering empathy and support for victims through a difficult period? The choice should not be whether or not to kill the baby, but whether or not to offer the baby for adoption. And we should never grant any parental right to a rapist.
And then we have cases with tradeoffs between a mother’s life and her baby’s. Those decisions should be up to the mother, consulting with family and medical professionals as appropriate for her unique circumstances. Of course government should stay out of these situations.
Pro choice advocates argue – persuasively – that many pro lifers are really pro birth, not pro life. We want to force women into carrying unwanted babies to term, but then we abandon them after birth. Pro choice advocates have a point. If we care about life, as we claim, then we should offer ongoing support for children in need.
I heard a repulsive pro-choice argument a few years ago. The argument asserts that the question about whether unborn babies are body parts or independent people is moot. Since pregnant women provide an environment for babies to develop, free of charge, these women therefore retain the exclusive right to terminate that arrangement any time they want, for any reason they want.
This argument is even more horrifying than the radical arguments on the other side who really do want to manage women’s bodies. Pro life advocates should have a field day with it. Beat it by appealing to common decency.
But if Trump cult members get their way and impose their will on the majority of pro choice Americans, we will never engage in the dialog, and, sooner or later, the majority will topple the minority, and all those compromises to save unborn babies will be for nothing.
Or we’ll end up in a dystopian civil war nightmare.
So, for my pro-life friends, let’s stop embracing lies and start using persuasion with facts. We can win support with good dialog. Forget MAGA. Make facts great again.