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Jonah Explains WHY He’s Pro-Life

It seems to me that more of this kind of article from Jonah Goldberg is what is needed from those of us who are pro-life. Jonah does not get on a high horse and give us a lecture. He explains his thinking on the matter, admits (and in the end, even embraces) his doubts, and--in general--gives us a very clear and very human accounting of his position. Without working at being persuasive, he persuades. What I like most about it is that his points are fresh and down-to-earth. It is time for a fresh and down-to-earth discussion about abortion. The reason so many people shut their ears when the subject of abortion comes up is because the rhetoric is so over-heated on both sides. There are so many who claim to know more than they know and they are so venomous about it. Regular folks rightly cringe (and if it’s talk radio, they change the dial) when the subject comes up. But I suspect they might have a different reaction to Jonah’s piece.

Another thing to keep in mind is that--with the exception of the partial birth debate--the leading arguments were formulated and crystallized in the 70s and 80s (and perhaps on into the early 90s). Of course, that doesn’t make the salient points any less correct--but it does mean that they are unfamiliar to a large segment of the voting public. Now is a good time to re-cast them and Jonah sets what I think is exactly the right tone.

Discussions - 13 Comments

If Jonah Goldberg's "erring on the side of caution" persuades some readers at least to consider the pro-life position, then he will have done some good. But this is not rocket science. When women become pregnant, mother and father have long since declared, "We're going to have a baby." They don't say, "There's a clump of cells in mother's womb which, if it is born (or close to it), is going to be a baby." There is no doubt in their minds about the character of what is growing inside. From the moment of conception, the new life is marked out as human because its DNA allows for no other possibility.

If there is reason for objecting to a partial birth abortion, an incredibly horrific procedure, there is no less reason for objecting to any other earlier in the pregnancy. Every abortion is an act of violence that ends in the death of the growing child. That is why the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform exists. If you go to their web site http://www.abortionno.org/about_us.html, you will see the graphic proof.

I think what we need is a new era of intellectually aggressive apologetics. Which seems an oxymoron. Nonetheless, "aggressive apologetics" is exactly what's called for.

There have been many aggressive apologetics in regards to being pro-life.

The problem is that they are normally shouted down as being too religious and narrow-minded.

But we can't stop saying what is true in this, can we? Even if what we are saying in conversation is as simple as what Richard Reeb says right there in #2. That is something that needs to be said all the time, every chance we get.

How about persistent apologetics? Aggressiveness brings on the shouting. Persistent reference to the humanity of the unborn doesn't get people shouting. At least it doesn't in my experience.

Not just pro-life apologetics. Conservative apologetics. Sovereignty apologetics. Fiscally sane apologetics. Conservative apologetics. The pro-life argument exists within a wider Conservative universe. It doesn't exist apart from, but within, as part of. And it ceases to have meaning away from that universe, as so many "Catholic Democrats" have demonstrated. How many "Catholic Democrats" have maintained a genuine pro-life stance in the Senate, or in the leadership of the Democrat party. Not many. And don't go naming former Governor Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. That guy was a fraud's fraud; the guy made a big show about his pro-life bona fides, than when he had the chance to put his money where his mouth was by naming a true pro-life replacement to the seat vacated by the death of Senator John Heinz, what does he do.............. what does he do????????????? I'll tell ya' what he does, he folds fast and names a Harris Wofford as his replacement.

And how did Wofford vote when the Supreme Court nominees came forward, how did he vote on Circuit Court nominees????????????// We all know the answer, he voted straight party line.

Casey is one of the greatest frauds of modern times, and his kid is a regular chip off the ole' fraudulent block.

Taking a gander over that last post, I realize I was too charitable to the Caseys.

Suppose it was a case of self-control getting the better of me.

And for a more recent example, check out the positions of Ken Salazar of Colorado, and of course, Casey Jr. son of Casey Sr.

Richard Reeb, here and at Claremont, always a persuasive, clear, and simple rendering of moral truths.

"When women become pregnant, mother and father have long since declared, "We're going to have a baby."

What a silly assertion. I won't even begin to list the various ways in which this is often not the case at all. When they say that the right-wing creates its own reality, they aren't kidding, are they?

Oh Sara,


I'm sure Mr. Reeb meant that people literally say specifically, 100 percent of the time, "We're having a baby," and not at all making the point that when a person gets pregnant, she knows that there is a human being growing inside of the womb, rather than a living organism the humanity of which shall be recognized possibly at a later date.


With all of your talk about madeup, fictional alternate realities, perhaps you should consider whether or not basic conversation in the english language is truly that difficult to understand.

Sara, What then do they say? Please list the ways its often not the case at all. When my sister said she was expecting it didn't occur to me that maybe she was going to have a poodle, a giant pearl, or a loaf of bread. Are you suggesting that something other than a baby might be inside? I was never very good with biology.

Sara, granted a lot of unmarried people say, "Oh crap, we used protection! How can we be having a baby?!" They know the outcome of their sexual act will lead, after nine long months of stress and agony, to . . . yes, you guessed it . . . a baby! That is sort of what happens when you get pregnant, whether you are joyful or frightened, or both.

The key to broadening the general antipathy of Americans to the horrors of abortion is to forge the links that connect that act of violence against a life least capable of defending itself with the denial of the duty of protection and the presumption of the dignity of human life in general. If ever there were a social practice designed to undermine a general respect for human and all other forms of life, it is the habitualized act of self-destruction represented in the act of killing one's own offspring as a right under law. It is the primary ground of the coarsening of society, the brutalization of men, and the denigration of women. The bedrock foundation of America is its recognition of the divine origin of life itself. Deny that, and all of the evils despised by liberal and conservative alike are empowered.

I think my views mirror Jonah's on this issue. RU-486 and abortions preformed in the first few weeks are just too reasonable to exclude...partial birth abortions are too unresonable to include. The problem is really unprepaired men and women...so pragmatically you might say abortion in the first trimester is ok. Abortion in the third trimester is not ok, abortion in the second trimester is ok unless someone steps foward and volunteers to adopt the child. If someone volunteers to adopt the child this justifies inconveniencing the woman for another 3-6 months on the grounds that it has a right to life contingent upon someone being willing to accept that responsibility.

Really if you think about Right to life you will realize that it is somewhat hollow without a recognition of responsibility for life. The question should be when does responsibility for life begin? Before she was evicted...I lived next door to a single mother of 3 who started at 16 and just recently earned her GED...she was trying but I am not sure she was ever really responsibile for life...nor am I sure that whatever right to life the babies had wasn't infringed upon...some nights she would show up drunk with her mother who was grandmother to 3 kids at the ripe age of 35...her 14 year old brother would babysit... once I heard a knock at my door, he had came over with a baby in toe...begging me to buy him beer... he asked with a straight face mared only by a rogueish grin...unbelievable? Hardly...The interesting thing to me is that you have all these poor undereducated white/hispanic and black folk having babies, while the highly educated career conscious liberals and conservatives philosophically debate espistemic and metaphysical minutia...politics/philosophy and career have replaced sex among the educated who seem to wonder so much about the reponsibility towards life that they think one cannot possibly bring a child into a world with war and global warming and alienation and modernization and $50,000 a year college tuition bills unless one has solved everything...meanwhile the lower middle class(Oklahoma standards) has said: screw it...literally.

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