Depending on people’s backgrounds, some like to challenge the pro-life position on scientific grounds, others on philosophical grounds. A particular point of intersection of the two perspectives – and one that comes up often – is the topic of consciousness. The term carries with it a lot of interesting intellectual tradition. However, most either only consider a narrow portion of it, or make use of it simply to serve pre-established purposes.
There’s been much debate recently concerning politicians who claim to be pro-life but yet promise, hand-on-heart, that they will not do anything about the abortion issue whatsoever should those ex-utero voters they are appealing to decide to propel them to power. I am not making sweeping accusations of hypocrisy here. Many of these politicians are actually sincere in their pro-life beliefs: They have voted for motions and legislation when the opportunities arose, they are willing (to some degree or another) to articulate their pro-life position, and they genuinely sympathize with the pro-life cause. But in spite of all of this, whenever they begin to tread the path towards power, they suddenly begin to assure everyone that they are only personally pro-life, but that they would never do anything so insane or unthinkable as to actually broach this issue politically.
There are moments in the lives of men and women that, in retrospect, shift the course of human history in ways too enormous and too wonderful to even imagine at the time. In those moments, often against their will, their hearts are set ablaze for something much bigger than themselves. One of those moments was in the year 1785, when a twenty-five-year old aspiring English clergyman named Thomas Clarkson decided to enter an essay competition. He chose the topic of the slave trade—not, as he said, because he had strong feelings on the matter, but for the purpose of “obtaining literary honour.”
I try to stay logged out of Twitter most of the time, due to my tendency to become almost immediately entangled in various unproductive debates. Last week, the abortion activist Twitter troll Fern Hill popped up almost immediately, firing off tweets with her characteristic charm and snail-paced wit.
What motivated you to join the pro-life movement? What continues to motivate you?
What motivates me is the fact that approximately 275 pre-born children are killed every day. The fact that every person that takes a pamphlet is exposed to what abortion actually is continues to motivate me.
It has been a particularly warm day. The humid heat seemed to have seized my ability to stay on schedule so supper was late. After my children are finally tucked into bed, a mountain of dishes meets me in the kitchen. I resist the urge to turn off the lights and go to bed and instead turn on the tap. While suds form in the sink, I submerge the first pan into the water.