Unborn vs. Mother. That’s the title of Ms. Elizabeth Angsioco’s latest opinion piece. Given that the RH bill makes no mention of protecting the unborn, and in fact when talking about “post-abortion complications” totally ignores the existence of the aborted, it is rather interesting that Ms. Angsioco views these bills as pitting unborn vs. mother.
It is an issue raised by those who choose to take the perspective that protecting one incontrovertibly means apathy towards the other. For pro-lifers everywhere, nothing could be farther from the truth. For us who defend life, mother and child are always equally important and worthy of protection. That this notion of unborn vs. mother even enters the discussion is a clear indication of just how far the pro-choice agenda has taken us. We are now debating whether an unborn child is human or not. Even Fr. Bernas tells us that our constitution provides for EQUAL protection of both the life of the mother and the life of the unborn FROM CONCEPTION. Since when, in the history of the Philippines, have we as Filipinos ever doubted the reality of human life in the womb? If the unborn isn’t human, what is it? And if the unborn doesn’t have rights, how does any one of us have rights?
What is terrifying about this line of thinking is that it echoes the cacophonous voices of those who fight for a woman’s right to murder her own child. Time and time again, those who oppose the Reproductive Health Bill have insisted that the contraceptive mentality which the bill promotes will eventually, sooner than later, lead to abortion. RH Bill proponents have loudly dismissed such claims as unfounded and hysterical. Now in the senate, three bills being proposed, if passed, will confirm what we Filipinos — both those who clamor for the passage of the RH bill and those who are unflinchingly opposed to it — have been saying that we want. Lives will be saved. Those who insist that the RH bill is for the protection of LIFE, that they are actually “pro-life” when they demand that this bill be passed, should be celebrating the fact that there are men in our senate who will stand resolutely to defend the rights of our most helpless and innocent citizens — those who are yet to be born. And yet what do we get in its stead? One of the leading proponents of the RH bill, DSWP National Chairman Elizabeth Angsioco, writes:
First, all these bills speak of the unborn as a CHILD. I take issue with this because the Constitution does not call the unborn a child. If the framers meant to equate the former with the latter, they would have done that. An unborn can be anything from an egg, a zygote, to a fetus about to be born.
A child is someone who is born into this world, a complete human person like you and me.
A child is a citizen, and therefore, has human rights.
Calling the unborn a child to me is going beyond what the Constitution provides.
Angsioco’s meaning is crystal clear. The unborn deserves no protection as it is “something” less than human.
And she is not alone in her stance. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago says the newly proposed bills are “on a head-on collision” with the RH Bill. Reporter Rina Jimenez-David dismisses it as an attempt to derail passage of the RH Bill. Another RH supporter calls these bills “dangerous”. Where does Angsioco and her fellow campaigners get their shockingly un-Filipino convictions? We don’t know. But we do know this. Such language is typical of the pro-abortion movement.
“We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus and start worrying about children.” – Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General of the US, pro-abortion advocate
In Victoria, abortion rights activists have been battling a tiny but powerful right wing that kept abortion in the Crimes Act for 50 years. All those years, abortion was a hot potato that no government would touch. But by 2007, the decades of unstoppable pro-choice campaigning had created so much heat that the Brumby government couldn’t keep the lid on it any longer. In October 2008, amid rightwing hysterics, Parliament finally decriminalised abortion. Women can now access abortion on demand up to 24 weeks. The fight for full abortion rights is certainly not finished, but we’ve shifted the ground in its favor.
So in 2008, we celebrated a significant, hard-won victory — a breakthrough that we knew would impact other parts of the country. The right wing was aware of this, too. It’s no coincidence that the Queensland prosecution happened six months later. It’s no coincidence that New South Wales is now reviewing its laws that deal with the loss of a foetus, which is being referred to in the media as “the death of an unborn baby.” And it’s no coincidence that the Right to Life is holding its international conference here. – Debbie Brennan (Radical Women) in a speech at the National Abortion Rights Rally, Sydney, Australia, May 2010
This brings to light a second major flaw in the argument—it completely ignores the serious infringement on women’s human rights if safe, legal abortion were to be taken away. If anti-abortionists could stop the legal “genocide” of abortion, what would be left? A double “genocide”!—the genocide of countless women undergoing unsafe, illegal abortions, accompanied by only a small decline in actual abortion rates. Most “unwanted babies” would go right on being aborted, and there’s nothing that Cunningham or any other anti-abortion advocate could do about it. Abortion is a universal practice, occurring in every society and throughout history, regardless of laws. Therefore, the anti-abortion side’s naive opposition to it may be a far stronger indication of misogyny than of a concern for “unborn babies.” And abortion being illegal doesn’t just kill women, it also negates their moral autonomy, cripples their economic independence, criminalizes them for their biology, and generally turns them into all-around second-class citizens. – “No Virginia, Abortion is NOT Genocide”, Joyce Arthur, Abortion Access & Information (AAI), Australia
– photo from Women’s Abortion Action Campaign Rally, September 2010, Sydney, Australia
NARAL Pro-Choice America (formerly known as National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws / National Abortion Rights Action League / National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) opposes legal restrictions on abortion, and works to expand access to abortion. Getting the most pro-abortion president in the history of the US elected into office counts as its biggest victory, and they oppose all personhood measures that may threaten the right to abort.
Pro-abortion blog RH Reality Check asks: Can There Be Justice for Pregnant Women if the Unborn Have “Human Rights?”, and warns: Philippines Pushes “Protection of the Unborn Child” Bill to Stop Families From Using Contraceptives.
You might have noticed that one of the loudest groups supporting the RH bill are atheists and agnostics. Not surprisingly, this inability, failure, or refusal to recognize the unborn as human is common among them as well. Is it cognitive dissonance that causes this? Intellectual dishonesty? Or is it a spiritual or moral blindness?
“One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living.” – Ayn Rand, Atheist
More from the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights:
Judge Was Right to Declare “Partial-Birth” Abortion Ban Unconstitutional
Abortion Rights are Pro-Life
Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion Would Be a Blow to Women’s Rights
Audio of Dr. Martin Haskell performing a partial-birth abortion:
Partial-birth abortion is one of the most abhorrent, gruesome, heinous “medical” procedures known to man. And yet these people defend access to it as a human right. Images and procedure described here. Pro-RH supporters, this is the company you keep. Wake up.
When we reduce the unborn to subhuman status, when we question the very essence of personhood, we violate the rights of all, because life is the fundamental right upon which all other rights are based. Does this question of personhood, in years past taken for granted by all, now to be determined by those who look at life as burden, instead of blessing? Were we not all “unborn” before we were born? Were we any less human in our mother’s womb? If this is about protecting women, does that not include “unborn women”?
In our country, murdering a pregnant woman counts as two crimes: murder of the woman, and murder of the unborn (abortion). Do we as a people recognize the unborn as human at all times, or do we only accord the unborn that distinction when the crime has already been committed?