The Cognitive Dissonance of Abortion Rights

abortion-debate

My Featured Blogger this week is Vernon Miles Kerr of the same-named blog site. Vernon and I don’t agree on everything (for one thing, I am a Jesus follower and Vernon is agnostic). But for some time now we’ve followed one another’s blogs because we appreciate each other’s reasoning. Vernon is a student of logic and rhetoric (as well as drama, poetry and fiction) who has studied under some notable teachers, including S.I. Hayakawa and Manfred Wolf.

I chose to reblog this particular post because of the way in which Vernon thoughtfully and persuasively counters the notion that virtually all arguments against abortion are either religious or misogynistic (anti-women).

It was, in fact, an atheist woman who first convinced me that my pro-choice views on abortion were wrong.

Read, think, and consider.

Vernon Miles Kerr


The Cognitive Dissonance of Abortion “Rights”

© 2019 Vernon Miles Kerr, vernonmileskerr.com

There are three intellectual fictions, which must be accepted in order avoid cognitive dissonance in supporting the concept of a “right” to abort one’s own fetus, on demand, and without the mother’s own life being endangered by a full-term pregnancy. The first fiction is that an unborn child is part of a woman’s body and therefore is in her complete purview and control.  The second fiction is that a fetus’s protections under society’s homicide laws can be decided by arbitrary agreements on when a fertilized egg becomes a human being.  And the third fiction is that the laws, which do indeed protect an unborn fetus from negligent or criminal homicide, should not apply when a Medical Doctor kills the fetus. We will examine each of those fictions in order.

Fiction 1.  The Fetus’s Right to Life is within…

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About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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34 Responses to The Cognitive Dissonance of Abortion Rights

  1. I am so honored. My birthday is several months past and Christmas is several months in the future, but what a wonderful gift I awoke to this morning. Thank you so much. VMK

    Liked by 4 people

    • TEP336 says:

      Sir, that is a very well considered post. I’ve written on the topic in the past, but I typically use a multidisciplinary approach, including Embryology, philosophy, ethics, and the Bible. I take great pains to show where all of those areas are in agreement. My question for you is, at which point do you incorporate biblical arguments when dealing with the unchurched? I ask because I’ve used the topic to work around to a Gospel presentation in the past.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. pkadams says:

    In my experience, the same people who fight to prevent outlawing abortion, fight to force vaccinations and compulsory schooling, among other restrictions on life. That is a contradiction. Do we have the right to our bodies or not? A few of my conservative friends want legal abortions because they want to allow others to have personal freedom, not because they would ever have an abortion. But to me that is not allowing freedom, that is allowing a crime. There is no logical or moral reason, at least in developed countries, to kill a baby at any point from conception to after delivery. The excuse about danger to the mother has been shown to be baseless. I could almost see it as a mercy killing in a truly poverty stricken situation if there was no hope or resources. Starving to death seems worse. I don’t know. What do you think?

    Like

    • TEP336 says:

      If I might, regardless of circumstance, we do not have the right to take another life except in cases where it’s justified by law. If I were to kill a man in the process of preventing him from killing another person, that would be tragic but morally acceptable. However, if I were to kill a man because he looked at me funny, that would be murder.

      The same place I gain that standard is the one that dictates that mercy killing is still murder, which would be the Bible. According to the Bible, we cannot commit murder. Not only that, but it says that only God can determine when it is our time to die, and we don’t have the right to usurp His authority.

      We don’t have the right to end the lives of children born in third world countries because they’re hungry. In so doing, we would be showing the same lack of faith that girls here in the U.S. show when they undergo abortion procedures because they can’t take care of the baby.

      Either we remain consistent with Scripture, no matter the earthly cost, or we don’t. There is no middle of the road. Jesus made that crystal clear throughout His time on earth, and beyond.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thank you for your reply. I think even man’s law would agree with everything you say since it is based largely on Judaeo-Christian values — at least for the time-being. Most of the “felonies” in man’s law come from the 10 Commandment prohibitions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TEP336 says:

        Very true. It’s one of the things I tell people when they argue about legislating morality. It’s a shame that so many are so willing to abandon the historical heritage of this country.

        Liked by 2 people

      • pkadams says:

        I suppose you are correct based on thou shalt not kill . Truly we who are rich must do a better job helping third world countries so babies and mothers can live .

        Liked by 2 people

      • TEP336 says:

        I agree, but to a point. I ascribe to the give a man a fish vs teach a man to fish philosophy. Go on YouTube and check out a group who call themselves the Urban Farming Guys. They’ve seen tremendous results in both Kansas City and India. Here is the first in a series of videos in which they show people what they have done, and how they did it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TEP336 says:

        Oops…I forgot that links don’t seem to show up in these comments. The name of the video is “Farmin’ in the Hood”.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pkadams says:

        Teaching to fish requires access to water and not being killed by gangs . The main problem in third world countries is corruption in their governments and resulting lack of infrastructure. But I agree that missionary and charities are doing things to help on the local scale .

        Like

      • TEP336 says:

        Government is never going to be a viable solution for anyone. Consider Venezuela, a country with a year-round growing season, an abundance of resources, the world’s second-largest proven oil reserves, and people are starving and dying. Why? They placed too much trust in their government. There is no reason why people in that country should go without food or water. Yet, there they are.

        Liked by 2 people

      • pkadams says:

        Of course their government leaders are usually not Christian and that is the real issue , third world false religions .

        Like

      • TEP336 says:

        Agreed on the religious portion. In that part of the world, religious leaders who speak up end up murdered. We need to do more in that arena, not with regards to the government, which is the natural enemy of liberty.

        Like

    • Thank you for your comment. I know the hypothetical case of an abortion for medical necessity is very remote, but it has happened. I handled that hypothesis in the very beginning of the piece, as a “given” just to bat it down before skeptics even raised it. 🙂 Ideally, even in that remote instance of a claimed life-threatening medical-emergency, the case should be heard and decided by a panel of doctors, not just one. If the mother’s life is truly jeopardized by a full-term pregnancy and truly comes down to a choice between her life and that of the fetus (again, very very remote) her life should take precedence, for the sake of her spouse and any other older children. IMHO.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent!!! Thank you for re-blogging! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  4. laronda65 says:

    It is such a relief to read an argument that isn’t fueled by emotion AND stays on topic. We don’t have nearly enough of it today. And so much of our media (social or otherwise) depends on suspension of disbelief. It’s this sort of logic and argument is, I think, exactly what a word like ‘pernicious’ was created for. I can see why Mitch likes you! About abortion, though…I’ve long thought that abortion is most often used as birth control, which is inappropriate. But I recently had a thought which settled things for me. Why do most women want an abortion? Because they don’t want their lives changed by a child (this currently undeveloped fertilized egg). They don’t want to be responsible for another person who will require their time, attention, and money. However, that can change. Perhaps they will desperately want to bring into the world the next fertilized. And if that one is miscarried, they will be sad because they already know what they want to name it. So the argument that women don’t see this fertilized egg as nothing more than “a swallowed marble” or any other foreign object that doesn’t belong in their body and must be removed is a lie. They know and we know that it is, in fact, a person.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment. I should have made it more clear that the attitude that the fetus is just a “thing,” and an unwanted part of the person’s body, like a callus, is not widespread, but I have definitely heard this argued by women who hold the more extreme view vis-a-vis Rowe v. Wade. The marble analogy is definitely accurate for them but not all or even most women. I agree that part of the aftereffects of having an abortion is unexpected grief and remorse for having gone through it. I feel extremely sorry and empathize with women who have experienced that. If someone has a “you had it coming” attitude toward such women they are just plain cruel. Thanks again for your point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • laronda65 says:

        Actually, when I was in my senior year of high school, a female classmate said she believed getting an abortion was like getting your hair cut. That was in 1983! And I know this mindset is likely a small percentage. I also suspect this mindset helps women make abortion more palatable, for which my heart goes out to them. I know a woman who’d had two abortions earlier in her life. She didn’t talk about remorse, but I knew she truly treasured the two children she had later in life.

        Like

      • @laronda65 Your observation about the psychological need to “de-humanize” the fetus is an insightful one. The military uses this rationalization to desensitize soldiers to enable them to kill the enemy. In WWI the enemy were inhuman “Gerrys,” in WWII they were “Krauts” and in Viet Nam the enemy were “Gooks.” (Animals, Monsters, not people.)

        Like

  5. Ann Coleman says:

    I have friends who feel very strongly about both sides of this issue. And when I was young, I held very different views from what I do now, so that helps me understand those who disagree with me. I come down on the pro-life side now, but I long for the day that no woman can become pregnant without wanting to, which makes the whole argument null and void. Meanwhile, I think the most important thing is for both sides to really listen to each other and to have an open an honest dialogue about this very difficult and complicated topic. Attacking the “enemy” who believe differently doesn’t move us forward or save lives, I think. Thank you for continuing this important conversation! We need it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. denise421win says:

    Is there anyone who is alive now who would want to be aborted? Life is sacred, we all need to have a heart and exercise self control

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Ann, nicely put. I was interested in your comment, “I long for the day that no woman can become pregnant without wanting to.” This may open up a can-of-worms, but I’m interested in what Mitch’s readers think about the “morning-after” pill. This goes to that old quandary about when a fertilized zygote becomes a human being, worthy of the protection of the state. Is a zygote, only hours old, a person (both morally and legally?) If this pill were widely available and used, would it unfairly put the sole responsibility for an unwanted pregnancy on the woman?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. i always encounter people who default to the “rape argument”. I have a friend who is the product of both rape & incest. He always asks those people “Who are you to say my existence is invalid?” My own answer to the rape argument is that rape is a crime that is so terrible that we in a free country commonly discus the validity of executing a child in punishment for his father’s crime.

    Liked by 1 person

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