Oklahoma state representative George Faught believes each human life is precious, an idea that sees the Left castigating him as “dumb” and “vile.”
The Lefties on my Facebook page have been reduced to stuttering incoherence by a statement from Oklahoma State Representative George Faught about pregnancies resulting from rape or incest: “Life, no matter how it is conceived, is valuable and something to be protected. Let me be clear, God never approves of rape or incest. However, even in the worst circumstances, God can bring beauty from ashes.”
Having been a pro-abortion person for half my adult life and a pro-Life person for the other half, I have a fairly good insight into both points of view. But before I go into that, let me back up and flesh out the story a bit.
George Faught introduced a bill in the Oklahoma State House that would ban abortions due to fetal genetic abnormalities or Down syndrome. When Democrats in the House challenged him about the fact that he made no exceptions for rape or incest, with one asking him whether rape was God’s will, Faught responded by saying that rape appears in the Bible so God must see it in some way as part of life: “If you read the Bible, there’s actually a couple circumstances where that happened, and the Lord uses all circumstances. I mean, you can go down that path, but it’s a reality, unfortunately.” He said the same held true for incest.
The fight went on, with Democrats hollering “rape” and “incest” and Faught responding that God’s ways are mysterious. They were arguing from two different universes.
Broadly, the hard-Left VICE news publication, doesn’t hide its position on this issue (emphasis mine):
Republican politicians frequently have to say dumb and vile things to justify abortion bans that don’t allow exceptions under any circumstances—including pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, or if the woman’s life is in danger. The latest example comes from an Oklahoma state representative, George Faught, who introduced a bill that would ban abortions due to fetal genetic abnormalities or Down syndrome.
Indeed, there are many reasons women choose to terminate their pregnancies when they learn the fetus they are carrying has a genetic abnormality. In some instances, the abnormality may be so severe that it will be incompatible with life. It’s also often the case that severe conditions are detected late in pregnancy, so many late-term abortion restrictions already pose hurdles to women in these situations. But no matter the circumstance, bills like the one proposed in Oklahoma tell women that they don’t have the right to decide what’s best for their families and their own bodies—only God and old white men do.
Faught’s bill passed the House, although I doubt it will become law in Oklahoma. Still, I found the debate edifying.
If one removes God from the discussion, the issue boils down to this: Does a person’s life have worth if (a) the person has a genetic defect or (b) was conceived due to an act of violence or perversion against a woman?
As a Leftist, if we were talking about a fetus, I would have responded “no” to both queries. To a good Lefty, the fetus is an insensate bundle of cells without meaningful cognitive function, whereas it’s the the mother who has to deal with the emotional and financial burden of either a damaged child or a child who’s very presence reminds her of the horrible abuse committed against her. Nothing outweighs that.
As a conservative, I must expand that question to encompass a viable, out-side-of-of-the womb human being because, absent accident or intervention, that’s what each fetus ends up becoming. Moreover, as someone who’s had children, who invariably start out as anonymous fetuses who end up as your beloved babies; who’s seen the struggles and intense rewards parents experience with children with genetic or birth defects; and who’s been utterly turned off by the Progressive’s fanatic commitment to fetal death, my views are \more nuanced and hew more closely to Faught’s.
The genetic defects argument, which is what the bill is about, is a dangerously slippery slope. In India and China, having XX
XY chromosomes instead of XY XX chromosomes is a genetic defect. Planned Parenthood’s gusto to place its clinics in minority neighborhoods implies that the organization sees high melanin production as a genetic defect. The West once enslaved people with darker skin. In our lifetimes, in Sudan, the Northern Arabs tried to wipe out both Christians and Muslims who were black.
As genetic testing becomes more detailed, I can envision a lot of things justifying pre-birth termination: low IQs, a predisposition to heart ailments, whiteness. . . . As to that last, just last week, a writer for hard-Left Teen Vogue strongly stated her opinion on Twitter:
The old Southerners were actually more humane than Witt. They thought blacks inferior, and worried about a lustful predisposition to rape white women, but did not castigate the entire race as “evil.” Considering that Witt is obviously flooded with white genes herself, one wonders how far her self-loathing goes.
Witt’s hatred also reminds us that, when amoral people get the bit in their teeth, they’re perfectly happy to do post-birth abortions of people with genetic defects. To Hitler, Jews were a genetic defect and he used the gas chambers and mass shootings to try to erase that genetic defect completely. Hitler also killed mentally kill people, deaf people, blind people, or anyone else who deviated from his genetic norms. The Northern Sudanese, as I noted above, did the same with blacks in the Southern part of the country. ISIS did it with the Yazidis. After all, if people are defective pre-birth, why aren’t they equally defective post-birth?
Since there’s no stopping the momentum once evil people look to their emotions, rather than an external force, for moral guidance, there is no meaningful barrier between pre-birth genetic defects — however they happen to be defined — and post-birth genetic defects. Killing the former justifies killing the latter. One doesn’t have to believe in God or God’s plans to realize that Faught is putting up a necessary moral fence before our culture steps off a slippery slope that has no stopping point.
But what about Faught’s willingness to force women to bear and raise a child that’s the product of something as ugly as rape or incest? I understand today, as I did not 20 years ago, Faught’s point about beauty from ashes. Life is indeed precious. In a world in which ISIS slaughters everything in its path, Planned Parenthood commits a legal holocaust against American blacks, and North Korea plots nuclear annihilation against South Korea, Japan, and America, I’m going to side with the person who thinks life is precious.
I’m also going to side with the person who realistically acknowledges that mankind is imperfect and that, sadly, there will always be rape and incest. As a society, we should do everything we can to stop those appalling crimes, but humans are still remarkably close to their animal forebears and, in improperly civilized people, those animal instincts will inevitably emerge. Is that inevitable emergence a reason to take a life? Well, it might be a reason to take the life of the rapist, but it’s hard to justify on moral grounds taking the life of the innocent product of that evil act.
One could get very complicated here and hypothesize a genetic test that proves that the child will be a psychopath, as the father was, and then ask whether under that circumstance the child should be terminated. It’s a variation on the “would you kill Hitler at conception if you could” argument? The problem is that not all psychopaths are murderers. Some of them are successful entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Terminating a life because of “what might be” is a power that’s better reserved to God, if he exists, than to man — whose judgment proves to be remarkably flawed more often than not.
There are no easy answers when a fetus is the product of violence or fails to meet prevailing standards of what constitutes an acceptable human being. I just know that, given the enormous power modern technology has granted us, I’d rather err on the side of life. If you take away all of Faught’s Bible and God talk, which is kind of off-putting to a secular-ish Jew like me, that’s exactly what Faught is doing. You may disagree with Faught, but I think the real haters are the ones who castigate his reverence for life, for all life without drawing lines about what constitutes worthy life and unworthy life, as “dumb” and “vile.”