Opinion: The moral compatibility between abortion and slavery haunts Democrats

by Peter Heck · Apr 12th, 2021 10:26 am
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Last Updated Apr 23rd, 2021 at 6:31 pm

In authoring a bill to criminalize the act of abortion in every case but killing a child in utero to save the life of her mother – an always morally perplexing exception given that removing the child from the womb and at least attempting to save both lives would seem the more ethically defensible position for a pro-life advocate – Oklahoma State Representative Jim Olsen (R) angered several members of the American political party solely dedicated to perpetuating the legality of fetal homicide.

The Democrat minority in the Sooner State blasted Olsen not just for the bill itself, but for comparing the fight against legal abortion to the fight against legal slavery in previous centuries.

Democrat State Representative Ajay Pittman, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and one of the youngest elected officials in the state, blasted Olsen for his insensitivity to the racial issues associated with slavery. Her party has since called for Olsen to be censured and forced to apologize.

I'm sorry, am I missing something?

I appreciate that moral incongruities are not pleasant to live with, but anyone who pretends to oppose the evil of slavery while defending the evil of abortion is inviting that discomfort on themselves. Demanding someone else be censured for the crime of pointing out the ethical inconsistencies you have chosen to embrace is the worst form of cry-baby politics.

The reason Olsen chose the slavery analogy is because the similarities between the two human rights abuses are chilling. These realities undoubtedly make for public anxiety and embarrassment among those who are so fluent in the language of woke and so quick to appeal to the amorphous "right side of history" in their rhetoric.

But 170 years ago – as now – a large contingent of our population believed it was acceptable to deprive some of their fellow men of their most basic natural rights simply due to their station. This popular contingent too considered themselves to be "pro-choice," maintaining that it was a constitutionally protected privilege of some to wield the taskmaster's whip over inferior countrymen. Don't like slavery? Don't own one.

To justify the immorality, the slave-owning south relied on a tragic Supreme Court ruling in Dred Scott v. Sanford that declared slaves to be rightful property of their owners, not viable human beings entitled to protection under the law. As a result, countless Americans suffered brutal and inhuman treatment, even losing their lives.

Today, politicians like Ms. Pittman largely embrace and reflect the slave-owners' ideology. Their indignation at that observation doesn't change reality. The choice to wield the plantation masters' whip has given way to the choice to operate the abortionists' chainsaw forceps. Don't like abortion? Don't have one.

To justify the immorality, those who affirm this horrific position rely on a tragically flawed Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that declared small humans in the womb to be the property of their mothers, not viable human beings entitled to protection under the law. As a result, millions of Americans have been, and continue to be, brutally and inhumanly dismembered.

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Now, I will certainly agree with Rep. Pittman that the parallels, while astonishing, are admittedly imperfect. But not in a way that offers her position any quarter.

  • Though some slaves suffered brutal and vicious treatment, the deaths of the enslaved does not even begin to approach the number of children who have been executed through abortion.
  • While slaves were deplorably denied their inalienable right to freedom, the aborted have been denied their even more fundamental right to life.
  • While our culture eventually found the moral courage to end the dreadful practice of slavery, the monstrous evil of abortion continues largely unabated.

What State Rep. Olsen is guilty of doing is saying that ours, as previous generations, should find the strength and courage necessary to illuminate the gap between our culture's obsession with convenience and self-gratification and the eternal truths espoused in our Declaration of Independence.

We must do our part in making this a more perfect union by demanding a society that doesn't deny, but rather celebrates the unalienable rights of all men – convenient or not.

That's precisely how legal slavery came to an end in the West, and the same conclusion must be written for its equally heinous offspring, legal feticide.

Believing in the universality of human rights wasn't worthy of censure either in the 1850s or today, no matter how emboldened the voices of oppression may appear.


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