Ryan Lau | @agorisms
On Wednesday, the abortion debate took a spin in a new direction. After talks of overturning Roe v. Wade, this new proposal made every pro-lifer’s head spin. In case you missed it, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently voiced support for a bill that would allow women to receive abortions up to the moment before birth. Ultimately, the bill failed.
What’s the catch? Well, the moment before birth, abortion is not remotely possible, as the mother is already dilating. So, Northam proposed a purely terrible solution: birth the babies and kill them after. Specifically, he stated the following:
“So in this particular example if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
If this wasn’t clear already, the “discussion” at hand pertains to whether or not to kill a live, birthed, innocent child.
I happen to fall on the side that believes a fetus is a human being from conception. The fetus, with genetically unique DNA, meets the biological requirements of life. I also believe that, given the fact that a fetus can feel pain early on, it checks an additional, philosophical box. But the semantics of when exactly life begins during pregnancy is relatively unimportant for this discussion. Similarly, the legal positions of pro-life and pro-choice matter little. I happen not to really agree with either, but the discussion at hand is one of morals. This bill shows a clear lack of them.
Ralph Northam, Father of Jonas?
Regardless of one’s beliefs about the fetus, we can all agree on one thing; once a mother gives birth to a baby, that child is very much alive. Suddenly, all of these questions go out the window, and we can recognize the sanctity of life. After all, who didn’t grow up reading The Giver? The antagonistic society is guilty of heartlessly killing babies after birth for not being desirable. Though without bad intentions, we can recognize that these actions were morally wrong. The novel was supposed to serve as a warning, not an instruction manual.
However, it appears that Ralph Northam and other legislators supporting this action missed the message. When a child is alive, there is no place, no room for discussion of killing it. You can slap a nice label on it, wrap it in a bow, and give a grand smile. But no masking job can hide the nature of murder. This is no longer a discussion of abortion: it’s a matter of infanticide.
Intent vs Result
Of course, I am in no way suggesting that Ralph Northam is a proud supporter of murder. In fact, he claimed quite the opposite on Twitter recently.
I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting.
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) January 31, 2019
But the Virginia governor is missing the key difference between intent and result. Though the intent of an action is important, it certainly does not excuse a predictably poor result. In this case, the results are the loss of a child’s life. When this is a guaranteed future, can any intention truly justify such an act? I am inclined to believe that this is not the case, that life is sacred beyond all else.
In the face of these ideas, what can the average person do to safeguard lives? Most importantly, the answer lies in spreading awareness and knowledge in a peaceful, comforting way. The matter at hand really shouldn’t be all that controversial; thus, it should be a simple task to show others the consequences. Regardless of your beliefs on abortion, it is time to unite around common respect and love for infants. In doing so, renounce post-birth terminations for the heartless ending of a human life that they are.