Saturday, April 17, 2010

Abortion and the New Math

One of the sad effects of the 1973 legalization of abortion in America has been the introduction of a new level of tolerance for incoherent, self-contradictory rhetoric.

A great example can be found in recent news headlines from Chicago, where I've lived for the past 18 years. I'm referring to the story about James Larry, who is accused of murdering four family members by shooting them all at point blank range (ostensibly because his wife wouldn't convert to Islam).

Or was it six family members? It depends, I suppose, on how one defines family, and on whether or not one learned how to count when one was in kindergarten.

Here's a link to a relevant story written by Don Babwin and published online by the Huffington Post:

Pay particularly close attention to the second paragraph, which reads as follows:
James Larry, 32, of Madison, Wis., was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of intentional homicide of an unborn child. Officials said both his wife and teenage niece were pregnant.
I find the preceding paragraph interesting in light of the headline of the article: "Man In Custody after Rampage: Killed a Woman and Three Children".

How many children was that, again, Mr. Babwin? Three? I think not. Read your own article again, doofus. There were six people killed altogether: One adult (the killer's wife, Tawanda Thompson), plus three children who'd already been born (named Keyshai Fields, Keleasha Larry and Jahod or Jihad Larry), plus two unborn children still residing in their mothers' wombs.

They wouldn't call them unborn children if they weren't children at all, now would they? Nor would they charge James Larry with "intentional homicide of an unborn child" if, as abortion advocates claim, the entities in question were merely lifeless "products of conception" or lumps of "fetal tissue". Why file such charges, as the Chicago police or detectives apparently did, if you don't think that the charges will stick?

This level of cognitive dissonance and Orwellian doublespeak exhibited by the aforementioned story would be hilarious if not for the fact that it's so common, even (or perhaps especially) among ostensibly serious journalists, and if not for its tragic effects on our collective reasoning abilities with regard to the fundamental principles of justice. There's something bizarre about admitting that there were six homicides altogether (all of which resulted in the filing of legal charges) and then turning around and saying that only four people were actually killed. I wish I could attribute the discrepancy to bad proofreading, but I think that something more fundamentally disturbing is going on here. In an effort to please everyone involved in the inherently divisive abortion debate, journalists end up sounding like idiots who can't even count to ten.

And why is it that James Larry gets charged with homicide if he kills an unborn child he has fathered, but if his wife had decided to kill that same unborn child by visiting a local abortion clinic, she'd have been celebrated as a "liberated" woman who was merely exercising her constitutional rights? If that isn't gender discrimination, then exactly what is?

Isn't it a bit ironic that such gender discrimination is regularly practiced and encouraged by the very people who tell us that gender discrimination is evil, or at the very least socially unacceptable? If they cannot live lives which demonstrate integrity, why should we regard them as people who have any credibility?

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