Abortion, slavery and ‘the baby in the bottle’ — why choosing life is the only choice

An important article on the war over abortion was published a couple of days ago by Tyler O’Neil at PJmedia.com.

As O’Neil makes clear in his title — “Arguments for Abortion Mimic the Arguments for Slavery Before the Civil War” — there is precedent for the dehumanizing aspect of so-called “abortion rights.”

Both the arguments for slavery in the 1800s and the arguments for abortion rely on a central claim: that a human being is less than human. The dehumanization of black people relied on pseudoscientific claims that they were inferior. The dehumanization of unborn babies relies on claims that they are “just a clump of cells” or part of a woman’s body. In both cases, a growing movement of moral clarity demands that the dehumanized be granted a fundamental right long denied them: freedom and life. …

Yet the dehumanization is not the only connection between the pro-slavery arguments in 1800s America and the pro-abortion arguments today. In fact, the two movements also championed a form of “choice” that focused on the will of the master and mother over the fundamental rights of the slave and unborn. They also moved away from claims that slavery and abortion are necessary evils to claims that they are a positive good.

Indeed, it is difficult to even fathom the darkness that would allow people to celebrate abortion, but it is happening on a regular basis now. Women are told to “Shout Your Abortion.” The language of abortion is also a mine field of Orwellian doublespeak: Killing your baby is seen as somehow furthering “reproductive rights.” Making a unilateral decision to snuff out a life without due process is called choice if a mother does it, but murder if anyone else does it.


O’Neil also references the important argument made by Justice Thomas in a recent Supreme Court dissent that took note of the preponderance of Black babies that are aborted:

… this dehumanization also has ugly racial roots. As Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out last month, the abortion movement has its roots in the eugenics movement. Margaret Sanger called for more babies for the fit and fewer for the “unfit.” Governments sterilized people who were deemed unworthy to have children, and many eugenics advocates were openly racist. Indeed, just last year billboards promoted abortion specifically for black women or in black communities — most likely not with racist intentions, but with the effect of discouraging the birth of black babies.

The pre-Civil War U.S. policy was to allow states to choose whether or not to allow the barbaric practice of slavery. It was an argument about choice, not about right and wrong. Remarkably, if Roe v. Wade is struck down, that is the frightening territory we will be entering. Unless, the high court embarks on a truly courageous path, the “choice” over whether to allow abortion will return to the states just as 19th century law allowed new states to choose whether to allow slavery or not. This is a sure formula for Civil War as the monopolistic companies like Amazon and Google may refuse to do business with anti-abortion states, and pro-life forces may well begin guerrilla actions “behind enemy lines” to promote rebellion against pro-abortion governments.

The war is already underway, as O’Neil makes clear, but not with bullets:


The moral scourge of abortion, like the moral scourge of slavery, weighs on America’s conscience. As pro-slavery advocates argued for Popular Sovereignty, so pro-abortion advocates argue for “reproductive freedom.” As pro-slavery advocates dehumanized black people, so pro-abortion advocates dehumanize the unborn. As pro-slavery advocates became more radical, defending slavery as a positive good and expanding slavery into the territories, so pro-abortion advocates have become more radical, shouting their abortions, demanding an end to the Hyde Amendment, and claiming that any restrictions on abortion make America into a misogynistic theocracy.

It is easy to be for a woman’s right to abortion when you just consider the woman, but when you add the child into the equation, it is no longer a simple matter of protecting a woman from the dangers of what we euphemistically call “back alley abortions.” If we are interested in protecting innocent life, we cannot ignore the most innocent of all.

At one time in my life, as a young man who had seen his mother treated as a second-class citizen in the business world, I had been a dedicated member of NOW — the National Organization FOR (not of) Women. That meant I supported Roe v. Wade and I even arranged for our local chapter of NOW in Kalispell, Montana, to hear from the only local physician who provided abortions. This was in the late ’80s, and Dr. James Armstrong was a passionate advocate for “a woman’s right to choose.” He came and spoke to our small group of about a dozen women and me at a meeting in the basement of the library.

What we were not prepared for was when Dr. Armstrong took out a small bottle from his briefcase and passed it around the table. Inside was a tiny perfectly formed human being who had been the casualty of choice. There were some sighs and groans. We had never expected a show and tell of this kind. Abortion behind a curtain, out of sight and mind, was one thing, but this was quite another. We marveled at the small hands and feet, the unique face, the infinite wonder of the human form, and for a few of us at least, it was not possible to think of the thing in the bottle as a fetus, as Dr. Armstrong insisted that we call it. It was a baby, and a mother had asked to have its life ended. Dr. Armstrong had done just that, and was quite proud of it.


The evening ended, but my thoughts of that baby in the bottle have never left me. Nor could I just go on supporting a woman’s right to choose when I had been shown what her choice meant. A few months later, I left NOW and became a pro-life Democrat. You could still do that then, but not anymore. Democrat chairman Tom Perez has made it clear: You can’t be both a Democrat and against abortion. You have to make a choice.

I agree. You have to make a choice, and I think most people who were confronted by the baby in the bottle would have made the same choice I made. Choose life, not just once, not just when it is convenient, but every time.


Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. To support my work, please consider buying my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy, which documents the downward spiral of the USA before Trump arrived on the scene. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Thanks! Also visit Heartland Diary on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1FmrOF2TF-njRznqoU4yjA



2 thoughts on “Abortion, slavery and ‘the baby in the bottle’ — why choosing life is the only choice

  1. I wish everyone could see that little baby in the bottle – it could change a lot of minds. Life is so complicated and we need to value it and protect it.

  2. Thank you Frank. Personal testimony is always the most compelling force in helping to change and shape minds.

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