If You’re Not Really Sure

baby footprint on belly

Imagine a building we are about to demolish.

And just before we blow it up we get word that there could still be somebody inside the building.

Would we blow it up anyway? Or would we check this out further and wait until we were 100% sure that nobody was inside before we blew up the building?

Of course we would. We don’t want to harm anyone.

But then what if the owner of the building came out and said, “This is my building and I have a right to tear it down. I don’t care if anyone else is inside. Blow it up, now!”?

Would we blow it up? Or would we insist to the owner, “Yes, we recognize that this is your building and you have the right to do what you want with it. But it appears there might be somebody inside of it and we need to get them out and make sure they are safe before we blow up the building. We can’t take the risk of killing an innocent person just because you want to blow up your building right now. You’ll just have to wait.”

I would hope we would make the owner wait. After all, we recognize that the chance that we could be killing an innocent human life is the more important issue here.

I don’t think I know anyone that would disagree with this example. But for some reason there are many people that don’t apply the same reasoning to when the human life happens to be inside of a mother’s womb.

When you ask them when human life begins…they say, “I don’t know for sure.” So what they are saying is that they are not sure if the life growing inside of a pregnant woman is a human being and has a right to live. Despite the fact that science and reason tell us that it is indeed a new, unique human life, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt – they don’t know.

So if you don’t know, then wouldn’t one always err on the side of caution when dealing with human life? If there is a chance that there is human life inside should you not do everything you can to protect it? Should you not wait until you are 100% sure about it before you kill this life? Or do you just kill it anyway – quick…before it can speak for itself?

You don’t know for sure?

So you allow this life to be destroyed anyway? Just blow it up – regardless of whether or not an innocent human life may be killed as a result? Or stand and do nothing while innocent human life could be getting destroyed?

You don’t know for sure!?

I don’t understand this thinking – or lack there of.

Every single shred of evidence and reason tells us that this life inside the womb of a mother is a human being. We should protect this innocent human life. Why would anyone advocate taking this life away? And especially if you’re not 100% sure!?

If you’re not really sure yet, please get sure. And in the meantime, please stop supporting the killing of unborn babies.

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Joe Jordan December 8, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Great analogy Matt. Similar to shooting into the bush when you’re not sure if that noise is a deer or maybe another hunter. The logic makes perfect sense unless you’ve let your mind and your perspectives be warped by either the money involved, the power to be gained or simply the desire to drag others into your own sin. Saying it’s “above my pay grade” or “I’m not willing to push my morality on others” is simply ludicrous without some ulterior motive.

Nice photo BTW. It’s been one of my favorites for a long time.
Keep spreading the word!

Andrea Fernandez December 8, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Thank you Matthew for your defense of the unborn children, the precious saints waiting for their opportunity to grace this period in time!:)

Your analogy reminds me of a modern day story of King Solomon I once read:

A patient complained to her physician of her recent unexpected pregnancy, for she already was a mother to her two year old son: “To have two children so young is beyond all I can handle.”

After patiently listening, the physician actually recommended she give him her two year son, for the death of her toddler would allow her to rest throughout her pregnancy, without the inconvenience of tending to his needs.

The woman in horror objected to such an “inhumane” notion.

The physician’s immediate response was “It does not matter the death of which child, as long as you, the mother, have rest.”

The patient shocked of his cold-hearted response then sat motionless in realization of the almost murderous actions she, herself, was willing to undergo.

God bless each of you on this great day of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception!:)

“God will do great things in you provided that you believe much more in his power than in your weakness”–Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

Matthew Warner December 8, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Another great analogy there, Joe, with shooting into the bush! And thanks for the great story, Andrea – very touching. Thank you both for sharing.

It’s amazing that there are people that think Obama’s comment about the abortion issue and it being “above his pay grade” was soooooo brilliant. But it is just as you said, Joe. It is absolutely ludicrous. It is also cowardly.

What if Abraham Lincoln had said the same thing about determining if a black person was really “fully” human. “Oh, I’m sorry abolitionists…that’s just above my paygrade.” He would have gone down in history as a coward and a racist. Instead he decided to be a real leader and stand up for injustice. He didn’t hide behind his paygrade.

Joe Jordan December 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm

Someday when the current Obama-smitten media mavens have left the scene and much more critical historians write the final commentary, he will be seen for what he really is – an amoral opportunist with a colossal ego and a Messiah complex who sold his soul to Planned Parenthood in order to win the highest office in the land. The good news is that our country survived 8 years of Bill Clinton and we’ll survive this as well.

Phil December 8, 2008 at 11:34 pm

“An amoral opportunist with a colossal ego and a Messiah complex”

Sounds a lot like someone else we know! Most likely well over 100,000 innocent civilians dead (hard to get an exact number, some put it at 50,000 others at 1,000,000). Let’s spread democracy! Maybe we should ask those 100,000 (or is it 1,000,000) dead, innocent civilians what they think of democracy.

Matt, wonderful piece today. Great analogy. Hard to disagree with you, ‘cept if a woman is beaten and raped by her Dad. Otherwise, I agree fully.

Jack du Toit December 9, 2008 at 3:15 am

I am of course, adamantly against abortion. (Here comes the Jack talking) HOWEVER, I do see grounds for a legitimate debate on where human life begins. Clearly if the unborn child is a human life, then its murder. We already have a crime for that. If you in any way acknowledge that its human, you MUST be against abortion.

If, however, you see no grounds for calling the unborn child life, then there may be grounds for debate. I’m certainly not saying I see it this way. I could never see an unborn child as anything but human, simply because of the potentiality of life. I’m simply saying that if one did not consider it a human life, there would then be grounds for disagreement. I can’t present an argument for it, but I’m sure someone can.

Matthew Warner December 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I wouldn’t be so sure, Jack. I would love to hear that argument. But I don’t believe a good one exists – actually. And since there isn’t a good argument for why this growing, unique human life should not be considered a human…they resort to other distractions like insisting on some other right to privacy or “choice” without recognizing that their right to “privacy” ends somewhere before it takes the life of another human being.

And Phil, thank you for your comments. But let me ask you a question then. So you believe this unborn human’s right to live is dependent upon who the mother and father is and the circumstance by which it was conceived? Not by the simple fact that it is human?

So just because a human came into existence because of a rape it means that that human has no right to live? Does that apply only to unborn babies? Or does that also apply to humans after they are born as well?

Joe Jordan December 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm

I challenge anyone to name a single person in the history of mankind that had one iota of a choice into which family, country or period of history he was born. The circumstances of our existence are completely out of our control and known only to God. It’s His plan when, how and to whom we were conceived – not our own. In this light, to say that someone else’s life is not worth saving, no matter at what stage, can’t help but diminish my own. “There but for the grace of God am I” couldn’t be more true.

Phil December 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Matt, great point(s).

My belief is that it is an evil thing to kill an unborn child, irrespective of stage. Conception is life as far as I am concerned. Many would disagree, however. But that is just my personal opinion.

But I also worry about GOV telling us what we can and can’t do with our own bodies. We have discussed this before and although you think it’s a moot arguement, a GOV that tells you that you CAN NOT ABORT is a GOV that is one step away from telling you that you MUST ABORT. Theoretically it’s the same application of power in owning an individuals personal decision. May never happen but it could also be pandora’s box!

Most abortions seem to be out of convenience or as a result of a lack of proper judgement in the first place. Well, I’m sorry but life is full of hard lessons and NO woman should be entitled to kill an unborn child because it will create an inconvenience to her lifestyle. If her intent was to engage in sexual activity then that was her will and intent is 9/10’s of the law. That is clear to me.

But I am somewhat torn on certain situations. A woman who is raped by her Father, or raped by anyone for that matter – should she have to go through life with a constant daily reminder of this awful act? Rape is a terrible thing that truth be told you and I can not even begin to understand as we will most likely never be victims. We will certainly never bear children as a result. You may very well disagree, but in my mind is it more immoral to make a woman bear a rape child then to abort it.

There are also certain instances where the health of the Mother may be in question. While some woman would CHOOSE to give their lives in exchange for their unborn child, others may not. Should a woman be forced to have a child that may kill her in the process?

In these situations there really is no right answer in my opinion. Both outcomes stink. Rape leading to childbirth is as bad as an abortion. A mother being forced move forward with a pregnancy who dies as a result of complications previously known is as bad as aborting earlier. You see I really do support pro-life. But in certain situations I think as human beings in a free country we reserve the right to protect ourselves first, as selfish as that may be. BUT only in certain situations – and as we judge murder by different degrees of intent we should also judge permissable abortions by degrees of intent.

Here is an interesting analogy (I’m sure you will pick it apart lol). If someone holds a gun to your head and makes you kill someone else, are you committing that murder? You would probably be exonerated because your intent was not to kill, your will was forced.

Why can’t we apply the same rules to rape that leads to conception? A woman who is raped against her will and chooses to abort should be allowed the freedom to do so in my opinion. It was not her intent to engage in sexual activity and she should therefore be exempt from certain laws, just as one would be in my murder example.

Would you be accepted by Jesus if you pulled the trigger on someone with a gun being held to your head? If so, shouldn’t a woman who aborts as a result of someone else’s intent be accepted as well? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts! Cheers all!

Matthew Warner December 10, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Phil, thanks for sharing. If we all had the same compassion as you do then we wouldn’t have these types of problems.

But I must disagree on principle. I’m not sure how you can say that ending the life of ANY human being is somehow justified simply because it would be a very awful thing to have to be reminded of a terrible event. We can not justify this further violence against a totally innocent and third-party (the baby) by pointing to past violence.

And in regard to the health of the mother – a similar principle applies. How can we justify killing an innocent human being because somebody has deemed there is some chance that somebody else might be harmed if we don’t?

If we are going to be consistent then the human life in the womb is a human life in the womb. And therefore this life has a right to live. We can’t just give it rights when it is easy to do so and not when it is difficult. We don’t GIVE these rights at all, in fact. A person has them simply by their being human.

And your example with the GOV is off too, I believe. A government that tells us we can not abort is NOT a step away from telling us WE MUST ABORT.

Is a government that says we CAN’T MURDER one step away from a government that says we MUST MURDER? It’s the exact same thing if we are going to be consistent.

And your analogy with the gun is off too. In your example the abortion does not occur under gun point – only the conception. If the abortion also occurred under gun point then you could make the analogy. But only the conception occurs under gun point. The abortion occurs by an unforced choice which that person would be culpable for.

And when you start talking about “being accepted by Jesus” – that’s an entirely different question all together. All people are “accepted” by Jesus and should be loved by all. Here we are talking about a sinful act, that by it’s very nature, is a rejection of God – Jesus.

If anyone, regardless of what past events have gotten them to the current situation, willfully and intentionally ends the life of another innocent human being – it is wrong.

Thanks for the great conversation!

Michelle Wallin December 16, 2008 at 12:15 pm

In regards to the controversy that has arisen in the response to this blog i want to say two things.
At the Lock-in-for-Life, Matt Gill said one thing that cannot be denied as truth – that there is no accidental pregnancy – each life was created on purpose and for a purpose. Also, there is no unplanned pregnancy – bc God’s plan is perfect.

As far as killing a child that was conceived due to rape, why exact our anger and revenge on the child, when they are completely innocent of any offense??? (further violence as Matt W said) Even their life is not an accident, but instead, a blessing. we are all hurt by different things in life, but that is why God offers redemption and healing. that Child’s life is a miracle and is the one good result of that rape.

I think that just as we trust God in our purposeful sexual acts to conceive or postpone pregnancy without contraception, we can trust that He will protect the life of a mother and child in danger if that is His will. i think we should also take into account that many of the bad things that happen during pregnancies don’t happen randomly, they are often consequences of previous actions- (side effects of contraception/abortion/stds). one thing is for SURE – God will turn the bad into good. we just have to trust and obey His will. we’d miss out on so many miracles if we took everything into our own hands.

Manda May 1, 2009 at 6:09 am

while i think abortion is a horrible thing I am firmly pro-choice. as long as the woman is not using abortion as birth control.

to compare a woman’s body to a building a man may own is just not relevant.. for lack of a better word
for this collection of cells a woman has to go through 9 months of hell just to give away the end result or have a life time of resenting this child she has had forced upon her.

Becoming pregnant is simply not an option for some women. they cannot affort the expenses it will bring. Fot some women who may have been raped, the pregnancy is constant reminder of what they have suffered and can severly damage them mentally. it is not a matter of punishing a child for the father’s sins so much as saving the mother from reliving it everyday.

Young women face social rejection, being made to feel ashamed of themselves all the time by society and by parents and people who feel they have the right to judge. some get kicked out of home.

I’m not saying this well. but i’m basically trying to say you cannot judge a woman’s actions until you have ‘walked in her shoes’

An abortion is often the hardest choice a woman ever has to make. but sometimes it is necessary.

Men cannot possibly hope to understand I’m sorry

Catholic debating pro-life April 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Fine, compare a woman’s body to a building a woman may own.

Let me ask you this: You say men can’t hope to understand. Then how are there woman pro-lifers?

I defy anybody who says becoming pregant is “not an option”. ANY type of life is better than no life at all. You’re denying soemobdy else life because your position is difficult. While I sympathize, I also point out that adoption IS an option.

So, the pregnancy is a constant reminder of rape. So, if somebody reminds you of something bad that happened to you in the past, you kill them? That makes no sense.

You may get kicked out of the home. That’s horrible and I sympathize but at the same time you’re alive. You’re willing to KILL to get back “into the home”? How does this make sense?

I sympathize completely with the mother’s plight, but murder is NEVER an option. Making your life easier is no excuse to kill.

WriterWriter July 6, 2010 at 10:44 am

the problem is and always will be with the foundational argument.

Women in the late 50s, 60s and 70s fought for the right to legal, safe BIRTH CONTROL – meaning prevention methods – by which to prevent unplanned pregnancies. They also fought for a corresponding right to control their own bodies.

NOW, however, they don’t.

If women ACTUALLY acted on their right to control their bodies and their right to conception PREVENTION methods, and if they REQUIRED their men to also comply, the number of annual abortions would decrease by some 90%.

Women, however, do NOT do this. Access to abortion is so easy and quick that it has fostered an “I can always just abort” attitude and has GREATLY circumvented women actually honouring their fought-for right to PRE-conception, legal birth control.

Abortion is NOT birth control. A women who becomes pregnant when she doesn’t mean to is NOT in control of her body.

A women who IS in control does EVERYTHING she must to prevent conception. She uses the correct form of conception prevention herself AND she REQUIRES that her partners ALSO honour her body by using condoms at all times.

Women lie to themselves. They can’t have it both ways: either it’s their body and their right to control it – and they DO – or we’re back in the dark ages when women didn’t because they could not.

Unintentional pregnancy in North America is an AFFRONT to the women who fought long and hard for women’s reproductive rights to be entrenched in both the US and the Canadian constitutions and Bill of Rights.

For the record, I am female. I have three children, one conceived because I took no action and became pregnant. I considered abortion for an afternoon and then decided that I had more guts than that. My daughter is 26 now and having her utterly changed my life for the better.

Women have to step up to the plate full of rights that they have secured for themselves. Unintentional pregnancy is evidence -as it was in my case – that a women did NOT control her body – and her partner’s access to her body.

Women MUST stop lying to themselves about unintentional pregnancies. THEY must take full advantage of the FREEDOMS we have in North America – free education; in many cases, free birth control; the freedom to require our male partners to honour our bodies. Women must be committed to before-the-fact prevention.

Abortion is not prevention. It the termination of life of a human.

Humans cannot conceive anything other than human. ALL of us start out as 2 cells; a human is a human is a human. The “it doesn’t feel pain” argument or the “it has no soul” argument – those are stupid and are nothing more than attempts to minimize the REALITY of what an abortion does: it kills a human being who, left for 35 weeks, will be the killer’s son or daughter.

Bottom line: IF you don’t want to CONCEIVE a child then do everything in your power to make sure you don’t. Once you’ve conceived, you are pregnant with a human being. Abortion kills that human, no matter what words you use to convince yourself otherwise.

Abortion is proof that a woman has abdicated her RIGHT to control her body and her RESPONSIBILITY to do exactly that.

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