Wouldn’t Respecting the Unborn Improve the Status of Women?

(c) 2012, Davd

Feminists complained loudly and C.B.C. reported their complaints as normal reasonable reaction, when MP Rona Ambrose, Minister responsible for the “Status of Women” portfolio, voted in favour of a private member’s bill to form a committee to review the legal definition of human life (which presently states that a foetus becomes a human being only when it fully leaves its mother’s body)

Such Feminists are doing much more harm to the moral and philosophical status of women, by forcing selfish lies1 into the legal system; and Ambrose, by voting to reconsider the legal definition of human life, is raising that same moral and philosophical status of women, or at least, working-to.

Consider “Four Foetal Facts”: Four statements so obviously true that anyone trying to deny them looks very foolish:

*   A foetus is alive.
*   A foetus is animal life rather than plant, fungus, bacteria, etc.
*   Zoologically, a foetus belongs to the human species.
*   A foetus is genetically and anatomically distinct from its mother.

Ergo, a foetus is a distinct human life. Even in utero. And it is very easy indeed to go on to what was obviously true to Christians for centuries, that “a foetus is a human being.” The only quibble against that corollary is sociological, not medical: A foetus has not yet developed a human social personality (which same can be said of a newborn baby.)

So what do you call a distinct living member of the human species, if not a human being? In his novel 1984, George Orwell called them unpersons. People who fell out-of-favour with the ruling [clique], or who offended against its most anxious demands, were not only transported or executed out of the population, they were also expunged from the historical records. Winston Smith, the chief protagonist of 1984, worked in a bureaucratic section that did the expunging.

In his novel Mandingo, Kyle Onstott called them niggers. His story is set in the Southern U.S.A. during the time of African slavery; and slave-owners eased their already [crippled] consciences by deeming “niggers” to belong to a different species from the human. Onstott not only caricatures the deliberately bad, self-serving reasoning of the slaveholders, he chooses as his African hero a Mandingo, which people he identifies in his preface as a Hamitic [and therefore Caucasian rather than “Negroid”] sub-race. Human-enough biologically, “niggers” were excluded from sociological humankind at that time and place. More specifically, Mandingo [today often spelled Mandinka] were of the same race, if not the same average skin tone, as the slave-owners who contrasted them with “humans”.2

Canadian law, if the CBC Radio News report was accurate, calls them non-persons, distinct from unpersons in not yet having had a social existence; distinct from racial outcasts in having half their genes from the women in whose uteri they depend for survival until they are ready to be born.

Feminists, or at least, too many Feminists, perform mental contortions to exclude foetuses from humankind.

The Christian tradition knows better. Consider the story of the unborn John-the-Baptist leaping for joy in his mother’s womb, when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visits [Luke 1: 39-45]. That is the action of a person, not a parasitical blob—and John’s mother Elizabeth so understands it when it happens.

A fair-minded Christian observer would call the unborn whose humanity is denied, victims of evil. Men who sire, and are denied the opportunity to father, might also be victims of the same evil.

In standing for truth against evil, Minister Ambrose is better serving the status of women, than those who insist on self-serving falsehoods.


1. An academic qualification is in order: I use the word “lies” based on the obviousness of the four foetal facts. It is very difficult to reconcile these evident facts with the notion that highly intelligent Feminists could fail to know they are facts and that they are relevant. Anyone who knows them, and their importance, and denies or dances-around the conclusion that a foetus is indeed a human being, is thus and thereby lying.

2. What Adolf Hitler and his Nazis did to the social identification of Jews was more complicated, and went beyond attempting to exclude them from humanity, to what the psychoanalytically-minded might call projection of evil onto its victims. I haven’t noticed Feminists accusing foeti of evil.

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About Davd

Davd (PhD, 1966) has been a professor, a single father keeping a small commercial herb garden so as to have flexible time for his sons, and editor of _Ecoforestry_. He is a practicing Christian, and in particular an advocate of ecoforestry, self-sufficiency horticulture, and men of all faiths living together "in peace and brotherhood" for the fellowship, the efficiency, and the goodwill that sharing work so often brings.
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