The Earth Party
Pro-Life and Pro-Choice
1. The Bigger Picture
What each side isn't seeing - but needs to see.
2. Ethical Foundations
Principles to guide the formation of policy.
3. Specific Policies
The actual rules that make the most sense.
1. The Bigger Picture
If ever there was a question where no answer is perfect, it's this one.
When it comes to abortion, whatever policies we implement, someone is going to be on the losing side. If we come out on the side of choice, preborn babies will be harmed. And if we come to their defense, pregnant women will be harmed. There is no easy, perfect answer.
But here's what we can do: We can look at the issue objectively, without bias, and seek the most logical answers - whichever side they happen to fall on.
And this process begins with taking a step back, and looking at the bigger picture.
First, let's assume, for the sake of this argument, that "pro-life" is the correct position, and that abortion is wrong, and should not be legally permitted by society.
Let's say that's your free Bingo square, to begin the debate.
First, let's assume, for the sake of this argument, that "pro-choice" is the correct position, and that the choice should always be up to the woman whose womb it is. Let's say that's your free Bingo square, to begin the debate.
Even with that in mind, we have to address the fact that the so-called
"pro-life movement" has become filled with an absolutely staggering amount of hypocrisy.
Look at this picture:
These are sentient beings. This is obvious. If you can't see that, then something's wrong with you.
Refusing to recognize the obvious sentience in this photo, and insisting that they're just "things" or "objects" with no intrinsic value whatsoever (unless a human decides to assign some) is just gross. And it's hurting your movement. It's making you look like colossal hypocrites who are looking for nothing more than to score moral brownie points with a religion, and couldn't care less about protecting the vulnerable.
Here's a screenshot taken of a real discussion from a "pro-life" Facebook group:
Here's a person who claims to be "pro-life", who campaigns to make sure that Life is recognized as sacred, and that those who are most vulnerable are protected, and that the voiceless have a voice.
And yet here they are, making jokes about the intentional taking of innocent life, from the vulnerable, from the voiceless.
Honestly, how do you expect people to believe you when you say you "respect the sacredness of Life", when you not only kill, and not only kill when you don't need to, but think that killing is funny - and not only funny, but funny enough to joke about in a group specifically dedicated to cultivating societal appreciation and respect for the value and sacredness of Life?
And if you're a "pro-lifer" who would readily tolerate this behavior in your group, how do you expect to be taken seriously by people outside your group, and outside your movement, if you allow this kind of abomination to occur freely in your midst, without calling it out, or admonishing the culprit in any way at all?
Can you really be surprised when people accuse you of not really caring about the babies, and only being interested in "pro-life" for some ulterior motive, like, for example, controlling women and their bodies?
Most pro-lifers claim to be in it to cultivate respect for, and protection of, Life. Well, are humans the sole constituents of Life in this world?
Most claim to be concerned with the protection of the vulnerable. With being voices for the voiceless. Well, are non-human animals not the most vulnerable members of our society? What voice do they have?
Now we've entered territory that's beyond just the life of the specific individual someone might be targeting. Now we're talking about Life itself.
When you destroy ecosystems, and ruin your planet, you're not only taking lives, but threatening the continuation of Life itself, in the only place in the cosmos where Life has been confirmed to exist.
Even with that in mind, we have to address the fact that the so-called
"pro-choice movement" has become filled with an absolutely staggering amount of hypocrisy.
Look at this picture:
This is a person.
This is obvious. If you can't see that, then something's wrong with you.
Refusing to recognize the obvious humanity in this photo, and insisting that it's just "a clump of cells" with no intrinsic value whatsoever (unless the host decides to assign some) is just gross. And it's hurting your movement. It's making you look like selfish monsters who are only looking out for your own rights and your own freedom, with no concern for whom you might be hurting in the process.
Here's a screenshot taken of a real discussion from a pro-choice Facebook group:
Here's a person who likely identifies as "progressive", who campaigns to make sure "everyone is welcome", and no one is "dehumanized" or "otherized", and talks a lot about power and of speaking up for those without any.
And yet here they are dehumanizing, otherizing, and denying all rights to the most powerless people who exist.
Honestly, do you not see how hypocritical this is?
It's one thing to believe in "choice" - including the "choice" to kill life-forms who look exactly like human beings, and who have the exact same anatomical and neurological structures as human beings - but it's quite another thing to think it's funny.
Do you not see how utterly revolting this is?
Even if you're not the one making these "jokes", do you reject them or do you tolerate them? When you see someone else making them, do you call them out? Admonish them? Tell them how disgusting they are?
Or do you keep on scrolling?
With this kind of attitude accepted and normalized in pro-choice circles, can you really be surprised when the pro-lifers think of this debate in stark terms of absolute good and evil? Can you blame them for thinking you're literally allied with devils and demons?
And can you blame those in the "middle", who are "on the fence", for shying away from your team, and for rejecting the political "Left" in general, and refusing to vote for leftward parties and candidates, no matter how many other issues they agree with you on?
Because that's what's happening. This behavior reaches well beyond the abortion debate. A lot of people right now agree with you on ecology, war, helping the poor, healthcare, and so many other issues - but they can't stomach this proud celebration of killing. Even if they're partly in favor of abortion, they don't think it's something to celebrate. And they can't bring themselves to vote for people who think it is.
And it's understandable. If you take two seconds to just step back and listen to how repulsive it sounds.
Here are examples of acceptable positions to take:
"I feel for the unborn, I sympathize, they definitely deserve ethical consideration, they have a right to be considered in the equation, they're not "nothing", they do matter. But we have to respect the choice of the host."
"Society should do as much as it can to reduce abortions, but the option should still remain available."
These positions aren't exactly without problems. But they fall within the acceptable range of debate.
Here are some positions that fall outside the acceptable range:
"The unborn are not people. They have no consciousness."
This argument used to be made about people of other races. Racists said that other races had "no souls", (which is ye olden speech for "no consciousness"). And it wasn't a fringe belief. Most of western civilization believed in it, and they codified that belief into legally binding legislation, and used it to commit real concrete violence. If you're taking that pathway of argument, then you're in the company of slaveholders and conquistadors and southern sheriffs.
"The unborn are nothing, they don't matter at all, they deserve no rights, and have no value whatsoever, unless I assign them some."
"They are the same as the gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe."
"Abortion is fun, it's great, it's wonderful."
"Shout your abortion!"
There is nothing "empowering" about killing someone who never had any power in the first place.
Most pro-choicers identify as "progressives." But what is progress, if not the inclusion of more of us under the umbrella of compassion?
The process of social progress has always been about expanding the Circle, to include those who weren't previously included. It's about looking at those whom society says "don't matter", and saying, "Actually, they matter."
To prolifers: one of the things that bothers prochoicers about you, i show you only care about one specific type pf life. intersted in protrecting lives, but not doing anything while Life is being exterminated on thei planet. entire living world is collapsing around you and don't care. sit there and justify deforestation, polution, marine dredging, fracking, injecting of 40 trillion tons of carbon into the atmo in greatest geoeng ever perforemd. the burning, cutting, species extenionctin, noen of this bothers you? the fact that life istelf on tihs plaent is being systemaclaly eradicated in a thouand ways? the shellfish are even having trouble forming their shells now. life of planet in danger. sitingg there protecting lives, that's great, but you don't carea bout life?
If you want to wear the label of pro-life, then you've got to care about... you know... Life.
Not just fetuses, and not just humans. If you only care about fetuses, then call yourself "pro-fetus." If you only care about humans, then call yourself "pro-human." Pro-Life is so much more.
And it's become all-too-common to find so-called "pro-lifers" who make a big deal about protecting 0.001% of Life, while treating the other 99.999% like absolute garbage.
You can find them declaring - openly and brazenly - that "humans are the only form of life in this world that matters." They believe that all other beings, animals plants or otherwise, have no intrinsic worth, and that their value depends entirely on their economic usefulness to humans. They buy wholesale into dominionist cosmology.
The entire living world is under direct assault, and there is an ongoing omnicide underway, that threatens the very existence of Life itself on this planet. And meanwhile, the majority of people who call themselves "pro-lifers" are not only ignoring it - they're actively supporting it, defending the economic system that's causing it. They're calling themselves "pro-life" while engaging in a well-planed and systematic campaign to completely eradicate all biological Life from the face of this planet.
They call themselves "pro-life", while deliberately attacking and hacking away at the foundations of Life itself. This hypocrisy is so humongous it defies description.
Look at these pictures... if these don't make your blood boil with the white hot intensity of 10,000 suns...
Look at these pictures:
Progress demands the end of apathy - the end of callousness towards those of us on the margins. The end of otherizing, the end of denying the inherent worth of those who are different from us.
The inclusion of those of us at different stages of development is one of the key next steps in the expansion of the Circle, and the future will bear this out.
Whatever strategy you feel is best for protecting them - maybe it's to attack the supply (by restricting abortion) - or maybe the demand (by reforming social patterns and institutions to reduce the amount of unwanted pregnancies, so there's less demand for abortions in the first place), history is not going to judge you kindly if you refused to care at all - if you refused to even acknowledge the preborn as having any value whatsoever.
If you take the attitude of developmental supremacism - the belief that those at an earlier stage of development have no value and no rights - you'll be seen the same way we see slave-holders, racists, misogynists, ableists, and all those who denied the sentience and worth of those classes and groups whose sentience and worth we today see as self-evident.
Do you feel any sympathy - any, whatsoever - for the preborn?
Do they register on your compassion-meter, at all?
Do you feel that there's any value in protecting them from harm - not necessarily through restricting abortion, but through other methods, that don't involve imposing on anyone's freedom of choice?
Do you see their lives as having any worth?
Nature is under assault from every direction. The entire living world is collapsing around us. The very foundations of Life itself are crumbling. Not passively - but due to being actively and systematically eradicated. We are in the midst of a mass-extinction that's proceeding so quickly, the term "extinction" doesn't even do it justice. It's a mass extermination of Life on Earth.
It's becoming increasingly common to hear pro-choicers answer this question with a resounding "no." Many people within the movement have even taken on an attitude of pride in the strength and power that comes from the ability to take another's life.
The so-called "pro-choice movement" has, to a large extent, devolved into a callous celebration of killing.
This is not cool.
It's not progressive.
If you think it's acceptable, you're on the wrong side of history.
One of the things that make pro-lifers really don't understand about your side, that they find the most egregious, that proves to them in their minds that you're bad and evil, is not just the fact that you support the availability of abortion, not just that, it's the callousness with which you seem to approach it. Like you don't even care at all. perfectly comfortable setting up relationships in modern times founded on the basic assumption that abortion is not big deal, and if you get pregnant, just have abortion and it's not big deal.how you're perfectly comfortable with it as a built in feature of relationships.
If you want choicers to take you seriously, and treat you as ratonal reasonble people reather than rabit ecodical maniacs, then you need to start caring about the earth, there's no way around that.
not even just that it improves cred, it's directly related to protecting chilren. if ecosystem,s collapse, nad mass starv of humaity, that's gonna effect prg mothers, thery're not exempl.t then what happens to fetuses inside them? that's abortion is it not?
Well if someone's deliberately destroyuing the eco upon which that woman depend,s thats abortion! mass, forced, order of mag more diabolical than even reg aboriton is forced one. and mass. mass forced. and you're sitting there totally complacent in the face fo this> what's wrong with you?
if you believe the life of a zyote is sacred, that's fine. that's great. that's an advanced evolved way of thinking. you're on the more evolved more enlightened side when you recognize the sacredness of life. but what about other living beings? when you look at this picture, is this not alive? is this not a being? whether a person or not, are they not at least a BEING? whale. if you don't believe that this life is sacred, then how can anybody take you seriioulsy when you say a szygote is sacred. you've obviously got some ulterior motive. if you can look at this face, all those faces collage, and not see life, but you can look at this cell, and see life, then something is not adding up!
do you actaully care about sanctity of life? protecting vulnerable? or some other reason?
not respecting animal rights also leads to abortion, in eneral a society that tolerates the exploitation and ownership paraidgm over animals and all the vilence athtat attends it, that society sets itself up for more abortions of human fetuses. because it desensitizes people to violence, it cultivates an appetite for violence, a mass bloodlust. when a population is infected with a mass bloodlust, that is going to spill over ito ever area, including the wya we treat hte unborn. so the more violence you commit against animals, and the more violence you support, and even the more vilence that you passively ignore, and just wlak by, all of that contribute to ta culture of bloodlust, in your society, which dreastically expands the prevalance public acceptance of infanticide, in and out of the owmb. if you care about babies, you'll care about animals too. and if you're willing to go to a protest march take time out of day, but not willing to take any time to learn vegan recipes, or to seek alternatives for the ay youre hurting animals, then again something's not adding up.
general human rights
pic of dismembered fets and feel seomthings rong, but nothings wrong pic of dismemberec child in street blown up by one of your countries bombs, again, something isn't adding up.
culture of war obviously spills over into abortion
If you wanna convince the other side that you're not wholly evil, then choicers, start looking at what do we actually do about it...
you need to admit that wanton abortion is bad, that's a problem, a stain on our society, and that it is among the serious issues that we should be solving, as a society. therapeutic is one thing,k if it's for health, that's a differnt matter, but the wanton kind, where it's like eh i just dont feel like it, too busy, wanna travel more, finsih my career, get degree, whatever it is, this is not acceptable.
now, at the same time, the burden should not all be falling on the woman. it's not just about shaming an dscaring her into choosing the right choice. it's about hte society around her, cokming together, to fix this, to out its resources into supporting her ability to have the child. it's society's responsibility, to protect, and not just through force and fear. but through actual support. if you actually care about the unborn kids, then you have to support them once they're out of the womb too. remember, even if their mommy and daddy are irrespsonble, even if true, not their fault. if you're saying the child has to be born, then you need to take care of that child once they're born too. society's respsibniley, and the prevalance of wanton abortion in a society is a reflection on the state of that society, not just the woman in question.
even if choice is still hers to make, and the supplyu should not be restricted, you still have to figur eout w ay to reduce it form the demand side ,and put real effort into that.
and half of it is supporting the mother and child.
the other half deals with figuring out why people who don't intend to have children are getting preg in the first place. examine the practices and patterns and lifestyles na dbehaviorsn and gernal attitudes towrad relationsio and beliefs about sexuality and relatioships and the value of Life.
and this has two aspects too: one is why isn't birth control availa ble for people who can't afford it. if seirous, provide birth control to those who can't afford it. def lower unwanted pregand therefore abortion. need to do that. make contraception a universally available thing.
and the other half is looking at the relationships themselves. what is it about our relationsihps that's leading to so much irresponsible coitus? if you go back to grandpartns time, they dated for long perios of time without having sex. they were able to be content simply in each others presence, looking in teyes, talking, light sensual touch. they didn't feel the need, somehow, to go straight to coitus. whyu oes out society feel that need? why cotius such an urgency?
if you support the cheapening and vulgarizing of sexuality, then you're supporting unwanted pregnancies, and leading towards abortions. and we'v ejustestablished above htat if you d't care abou thte little peopl,e ten you can't really call yourself progressive.
not even talking about restriction choice yet. applying any restrictions on choice. haven't even gotten there yet. just changes we can make, by choice, to reduce abortion, and to make it rarer.
bad, shouldn't do it,but still choice, if gonna say that, but hten you dont actualy wanna do antying, any changes to reduce it, then cant'take you seriiuslky hwen you say you know it's bad. you have to choice a side here, and act on it. either you don't wnna do anytinhg, caues you dond't care, or you are and you gotta admit we must do smeothing abou tit. make changes to lifestyles. introspe tion, thought, meditation to this topic.
There are 4 aspects of being Pro-Life. They are as follows:
1. Ecological Consciousness
Life is a community.
The Community of Life is the ground of all Lives within it. Every living Being within the Community depends on the Community, and cannot exist without the Community. If the Community ails or collapses, all of its members follow its fate.
The Community of Life is very complex, with all members being interrelated in a nearly infinite series of relationships that no one, not even the smartest scientist, fully understands. And it functions best when least-interfered with. Therefore, it is wise to minimize our interference, to the absolute best of our ability. In other words, we should treat the Community of Life with respect and reverence. We should recognize the sacredness of all Life. All of it.
All Life has value, and the value is intrinsic. The value of a Life does not come from Man, and is not assigned by Man. The value of Life exists independently of its economic utility to Man. The value of Life is not connected to its "usefulness."
If you don't care about the Community of Life...
...or if you don't even recognize that it exists...
...or, if you acknowledge its reality, but still only see it as a "resource" to exploit, as "property" to "own"...
...and you don't mind seeing the whole community erased...
...then how can you call yourself "pro-life"?
Even if you claim to respect "the environment", as a resource, and acknowledge the importance of preserving it "for future usage", but still don't recognize its intrinsic value as a Community of Life, that's not really being "pro-life" either - it's really just pro-self-interest.
If you don't revere the land, waters, and sky...
...if you don't respect the very ground of Life itself...
...then you applying the title of "pro-life" to yourself is a joke.
Still, it's a problem. It's something to work towards reducing. Even if you believe the reduction should be done from the demand side, rather than the supply side (i.e. implementing policies to reduce the demand for abortion, instead of restricting the supply), it's still a problem - it's still something to work towards reducing. It's something for our society to address.
A mature society does not treat abortion like swatting a mosquito. If there are abortions, they should be flukes at most, and not a routine feature built into the design of our relationships.
The sexual ethos of our society has become centered around abortion. For many people, it's "no big deal." If you get pregnant (or get your partner pregnant), "not to worry" - you can just go for an abortion. And then do it all over again.
Even if you believe that abortion should remain an option, you've still got to admit that there's something rather grotesque about this cavalier attitude toward the taking of life.
Sexuality is a creative process. It's supposed to be about life. Yet our society seems totally fine with mixing sexuality with killing. Again, even if you support the freedom to choose, you've still gotta admit that something is off about this.
We have to admit that those inside the womb deserve ethical consideration.
If you identify as "pro-choice", you probably call yourself "progressive." Right?
But what does "progressive" actually mean?
Throughout history, progress has been about inclusion. A "progressive" is a person who looks at someone whom their society does not see as mattering - and says "you do matter."
To be "progressive" is to seek the expansion of the Circle of Compassion.
Right now, our society does not view the preborn as being worthy of any ethical consideration.
2. Animal Rights
Non-human animals represent 99.9% of the sentient lives on this planet. They also represent 99.9% of the torture and slaughter that humans are inflicting upon Life.
Every year, hundreds of billions of sentient beings are born into a life of cages, where they almost never feel grass or soil beneath their feet, nor see the light of day - and spend their whole lives in such a tight space that they're unable to spread their limbs.
And waiting for them at the end of this horrific process, is a slaughterhouse - a giant machine, specifically designed for maximum killing at maximum speed.
The vast majority of people who identify as "pro-life" believe that slaughterhouses should exist. They believe that a society that builds entire factories dedicated to nothing but highly efficient mechanized slaughter, can call itself "pro-life."
Look at that. Does that look "pro-life" to you?
Some so-called "pro-lifers" spend their time displaying bloody, disgusting, horrific pictures of abortions, outside abortion facilities, and then recoil and get offended if someone tries to show them a bloody, disgusting, horrific picture of a slaughterhouse. Then, they go out to the supermarket and pay people to keep the slaughterhouses - the same ones they just took offense at - operating.
"Eww that's offensive, don't show me that."
This is a mind-blowing level of hypocrisy. It's staggering in its obliviousness.
3. General Human Rights
There are people who call themselves "pro-life" while supporting imperial wars to conquer the world in the name of "Manifest Destiny." They think it's OK to drop bombs on children because their leaders don't align with the Empire or recognize its supremacy.
There are people who call themselves "pro-life" while arguing that immigration is such a crime that it warrants separating children from their families and putting them in cages, without toothpaste, towels, showers, or basic hygiene.
There are "pro-lifers" who think poor people who can't afford medicine should just die.
And homeless people should sleep on the street, and freeze to death, while there are 6 empty houses for every house-less person.
Needless to say, this is hypocrisy. These people shouldn't call themselves "pro-life."
4. Pre-Born Rights
And finally we come to the pre-born. Life inside the womb.
This is a serious topic. It shouldn't be ignored. The pre-born are part of the Community of Life, and they deserve more ethical consideration than they're currently getting.
But if you apply the "pro-life" label to yourself, we can only take that label seriously if you also acknowledge the other 3 categories just listed.
If you care about fetuses, but not the rest, then it's not compassion or respect for Life that's motivating you. Something else is going on.
If someone thinks forests should be clear-cut, and slaughterhouses should exist, and people less privileged than themselves should die on the street (or from bombs their country is dropping on them), but yet they somehow care about fetuses, then we can only conclude that such a person has some kind of ulterior motive.
And that motive is, in most cases, religion. Such people aren't motivated by "care for the vulnerable" - they're simply seeking brownie points from a deity.
They're not feeling sorry for the downtrodden - they're simply following orders. They've heard that their "eternal salvation" depends on being obedient, and they're simply looking out for Number One.
"Yes, maybe so. But they're still GOOD ORDERS. Isn't it a good thing that my deity tells me to respect the lives of the pre-born? Isn't it a good conclusion to reach, regardless of what path I took to reach it?"
No, it isn't.
"Why not? It's saving pre-born lives, isn't it?"
Actually, it's not. Its contributing to the problem.
"Are you saying religiously-motivated opposition to abortion is causing there to be more abortions?"
"OK... and how might that work, exactly?"
Religious order-following reinforces the concept of Identity-Based Morality, which is the philosophical foundation of all oppression and all bigotries - including bigotry against the pre-born.
"What is this "Identity-Based Morality" thing?"
Identity-Based Morality is the idea that morality derives from a specific identity - a specific person or personage.
In such a worldview, right and wrong are not defined by any intrinsic qualities - but by external validation from a specific individual entity, who usually lives in the sky and is usually depicted sitting on some kind of big golden throne.
Here is a handy chart showing the Levels of Moral Comprehension:
At the bottom, we have pre-moral - the level of not conceiving of the concept of morality at all. It's just instinct.
Above that, we have Power-Based Morality, which is the idea that morality comes from those who have power. When someone says "the State gets to decide what's right and what's wrong, because they have the power to enforce their determinations", they are arguing from this level.
But Power-Based Morality is actually nothing more than pre-morality, dressed up in fancier words. They're the same thing. Their distinction is illusory. If you believe "those with the guns make the rules", then you're really just saying "those with the fangs make the rules." It's nothing but "might makes right" either way.
And if the people with the power to do XYZ also get to decide whether XYZ is moral or immoral... then what's the point in even having a concept of morality in the first place? There isn't any.
The next level is Identity-Based Morality. If you're using the argument that "abortion is wrong because God said so", then this is the level you're arguing from.
This level seems higher than the previous two, but it's actually not. Because you're not arguing that abortion (and killing in general) is bad because it's *intrinsically* bad. Nope. It's only bad because a particular personage decided it's bad. And by corollary, if that same personage changes his mind and decides abortion is GOOD, then voila, it becomes good!
We shouldn't need to explain how fragile of a system that is, and how much danger it poses, or how much destruction it's caused over the millennia.
"But He's not just any dude - He's God. So it's different! He has the right to declare anything He wants, and decide what's moral and immoral, because of Who He Is."
Well, why? Why him?
Why does he get to decide?
What is it about him - what quality does he possess - that makes him different, that makes his identity the identity from which the definition of morality emanates?
Power, of course. He's (if the book is true) the person who made the world - the only person with the Power to do so. Since he's much more Powerful than us, it's he who makes the laws. And thus we sink back down into Power-Based Morality. Might makes right. He who has the fangs or the guns or the lightning-bolts or the discretion over eternal salvation vs. damnation, makes the rules. This is a backwards slide, away from true moral reasoning, and into the darkness of pre-intellect.
Identity-Based and Power-Based moralities are really the same thing. Their difference is illusory. Because all Identity-Based claims ultimately rest on Power as their defining characteristic. Power is the trait that determines which Identity gets to be the Identity that holds the key.
So if we all were to believe in a moral system based on Identity and/or Power (which most people do, having grown up in a civilization founded on the Bible, which promotes such thinking), then we could all rationalize heinous things, using Power and Identity (which again, most people do).
An abortionist can argue (as they do all the time) that it's the mother who gets to choose. Why? Because that's just who she is! The definition of right and wrong, in this situation, is not based on any NATURAL equation - it's based solely on Identity.
They can also argue that, since it's LEGAL, it's therefore MORAL. Because the State is the identity that decides. Why? Because it's got the Power.
Power --> Identity --> Morality.
Even if people don't believe consciously in the Bible, the philosophy in it has a shaping-effect on the patterns we develop. It shapes our minds to view Power as the source of the Identity which in turn is the source of Morality - and so, even if we stop believing in that specific identity (God), we've still been TRAINED to look for SOME identity - and to use Power as the defining characteristic when searching. And we end up falling for various other powerful identities, whether they be demagogues, cult leaders, or simply the State in general (as 99% of people currently do). And once you have that situation, all it takes is one "law" to be passed, and you've got neighbors throwing neighbors into gas-chambers. Or aborting late-term fetuses. Or torturing animals. Because it's "legal."
So the Biblical argument isn't some "pure" standard to repair to. Morality is complex. It requires independently driven examination. Every person should be on a personal journey to figure out right from wrong, using empathy and reason. It's a constant learning process. Relying on a single book - especially one written thousands of years ago, which doesn't even make an attempt at dissecting the nuances of moral philosophy - is a recipe for oppression and atrocities.
"So then where does morality come from?"
True morality is Empathy-Based.
If you observe another living being in the midst of some kind of suffering, you're supposed to be able to realize that it's not something you would want for yourself - and therefore, since you don't want it for yourself, it would be wrong to do it unto others.
It's that simple. Very straightforward logic. Very easy to get. So easy, toddlers can understand it.
You're supposed to be able to do it, on your own, with or without any book or guru or religion.
"So then why are so many people unable to do so?"
Because they've been confused by another moral system that's been superimposed on top of the real one. They may still feel and know intuitively what's right and wrong, but they also have religion and/or the State telling them something entirely different, often contradictory, to true morality, and they're confused. They're looking for commandments from someone else - usually a big strong powerful someone else - instead of listening to their inner wisdom (i.e. their hearts).
And they're looking to a big strong authority figure to define morality for them because they've been conditioned to do that, for generation after generation, by their religion. The book taught them, and their ancestors, for centuries, to put aside their empathy and instead take moral instructions from a big strong guy, solely because he's big and strong. They still have the empathy, but they're not listening to it, because it's being obscured by book-morality, based on the Identity of the Powerful guy.
"So what's your point?"
The point is, when you rely on religious commandments to define something (like abortion) as wrong, you're reinforcing Identity-Based Morality, which is what got us into this mess in the first place.
If you really want to help the pre-born (and all oppressed types of Beings), then the only real way to do that is by increasing compassion.
Start caring about ecosystems, even though your holy book doesn't tell you to.
Start caring about animals, even though your holy book doesn't tell you to.
If you start caring about these, then you'll raise the overall tide of compassion in your society. And a more compassionate society will be kinder to all of its members - including the pre-born.
Compassion is like an ocean tide - as it rises, it lifts all boats.
This is why the animal rights movement and the fetus rights movement are highly intersectional. You can't really care about one without caring about the other.
If you claim to care about the pre-born, but only because Mr. Big commanded you to, then you're not spreading compassion, and not opening hearts, and not teaching love. You're merely following orders. That's it. And that does nothing to raise society's overall level of consciousness.
And spreading the concept of "divine commandments" doesn't raise consciousness. It doesn't teach compassoin. It simply reinforces Identity-Based Morality.
So not only are you not helping to raise consciousness, but you're actually bringing it down, into the darkness of Identity-Based Morality, the philosophical foundation of all oppression.
Raising consciousness is the only way to actually create a solid lasting respect for the rights of the pre-born, as well as others. The only way forward is a compassionate society.
Furthermore, the hypocrisy of such thinking turns people off.
A lot of people would be sympathetic to the plight of the fetus, and willing to help the pre-born rights movement, if only they weren't so repulsed by the colossal hypocrisy of its members.
"I see. I'll check out what you have to say on the topic of animal rights. And also ecology, too. Whatever it takes to help the pre-born! If those topics are intersectional to this topic, then I'm all ears (and eyes).
But in the mean time... I did click on this page thinking it would tell me where you stand on pre-born rights, and abortion. Do you have a position on it?"
Yes, and we'll explain it now.
Questions addressed here:
"Is abortion acceptable?"
"Even if it's bad, should it still be legal?"
"Should there be any restrictions on it?"
"If so, what are they?"
Before deciding what the correct answers are, we first need to be clear on some larger moral principles:
1. Benign Sovereignty (also known as bodily autonomy):
Everyone has the innate right to sovereignty over their own self, as long as they are benign to others. This sovereignty includes autonomy over one's body. No one may make decisions about your body except you.
Benign Sovereignty is a natural law principle, meaning that it's true regardless of what society believes. Natural law is woven into the fabric of reality, and exists as truth, no matter what codes have (or haven't) been proclaimed by "legislators.'
Here it is, formalized in the Law of the Earth:
All human rights
are derived from one:
The right to Benign Sovereignty.
Everyone is entitled to
sovereignty (full freedom of choice)
as long as they are benign (not doing harm).
A sovereign being
may make any choice,
perform any action,
or refrain from any action,
as long as they are not infringing
upon the rights of anyone else.
Benign sovereignty can be extrapolated into a series of specific rights, which are enumerated in the Bill of Human Rights. First among them is the right to Physical Integrity:
To be physically Whole,
free from all forms of assault,
unless violating the rights of another;
free from non-consensual sexual contact;
and free from non-consensual anatomical alteration,
except in cases of diagnosed medical emergency
in which consent cannot be discerned.
In other words, your body is yours, and you get to decide what to do with it, and nobody has the right to harm you or make changes to your body without your permission.
"So if women have bodily autonomy / sovereignty, does that mean abortion is always legal to do?"
Not so fast. We aren't just talking about one body - we're talking about two. A fetus is not an organ of the body carrying them - they are a distinct body, with a distinct brain, a distinct nervous system, and a distinct mind (and possibly soul).
What about their bodily autonomy?
"But womens' rights are paramount!"
A woman who is aborted will never vote.
She'll never earn as much money as a man.
She'll never get to serve in the army.
She'll never get to explore her sexuality.
She'll never get to march in an LGBT pride parade.
She'll never get to say "yes" or "no" to a sexual advance.
She'll never get to walk down an alley at night without feeling afraid.
She'll never get to break the glass ceiling.
The logic behind the slogan of "My Body, My Choice" breaks down (with regards to abortion) when we realize that there are two bodies in question, and only one of them is the person chanting the slogan.
"So you're not pro-choice?"
We are absolutely pro-choice. But we believe in respecting everyone's right to choose - including that of partially developed people.
"Nonsense! Fetuses aren't people! They don't deserve the same rights as born persons!"
That may be true. Not the same rights. But... some rights? Some ethical consideration? Not necessarily the same as a born person, but still greater than zero?
Does it have to be binary? All or nothing?
"I don't buy that. Fetuses are NOTHING. They don't count - AT ALL. Until they're born, they have as much value as the gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe!"
If you believe that, then you aren't on the side of moral progress, and you should not call yourself "progressive."
Progress is about expanding the Circle of Rights to include more types of living beings - and progressives are people who want to do this.
Are you progressive?
2. The Circle of Rights
In recent centuries, one defining aspect of human progress has been the gradual incorporation of more and more types of living beings into the ethical sphere. In other words, as history progresses, our society recognizes an ever-expanding range of Life as holding ethical weight.
A long time ago, only kings and "nobles" were considered to have rights, and everyone else existed only to serve the upper classes. But then the common folk rose up to demand rights, and got them.
Then the sphere expanded to include women.
And other races.
And other nationalities.
And other religions.
And other sexual orientations.
One by one, more living beings became "worthy of rights." (Note: they were always worthy of rights, but society-at-large was just too ignorant to recognize it).
Today, animal rights are the emerging frontier in humanity's journey toward a compassionate society. Great strides are now being made in every aspect of human relationships with animals. People are recognizing that living beings whom they didn't believe had feelings and consciousness, indeed have feelings and consciousness. And with these, of course, come rights - i.e. entitlements to ethical consideration.
If you believe that animals deserve ethical consideration (and we do), then it logically follows that partially developed humans do too.
After all, if consciousness is the deciding factor in determining whether an entity has rights (and if so, what rights they have, and how much those rights weigh against the rights of others), then any being with consciousness must be entitled to some degree of ethical consideration.
Consciousness = Entitlement to Ethical Consideration.
Write that down.
"OK, maybe fetuses deserve some rights, or "ethical consideration", but what about the mother? Doesn't the one set of rights contradict the other set?"
Yes, and that's why no one should take a black-and-white position on this. There is a lot of nuance here, if we really want to be accurate.
3. Non-Binary Value
First, everyone should be able to agree, no matter which label you identify with, that a developing fetus deserves some degree of ethical consideration. Even if you believe the rights of the pregnant mother are more important than those of the fetus, you can't say the latter amount to zero. It can't be completely binary. They're not rocks. They're living beings, and we can't just ignore that.
As you may have deduced, principles #1 and #2 appear to contradict each other. A pregnant woman has the right to bodily autonomy... but this runs up against, and often clashes with, the rights of the living being she's carrying.
Clearly a fetus is not the same being as the mother - they are two distinct beings. They have two distinct bodies, nervous systems, brains, and minds.
What about the partially-developed person inside?
Does he/she have the right to bodily autonomy as well?
If "choice" is what's important, then what about his/hers.
And it seems that we have an ethical dilemma on our hands. We have two sets of rights that conflict. So what do we do?
Even if we can't arbitrate the answer just yet, we can still acknowledge that some sort of compromise is in order. The values of the two sets of rights are not binary. In other words, the answer is not going to be "all of one and none of the other." It's not going to be 0 and 1. Neither "all for the pregnant woman", nor "all for the fetus." It will be some sort of mixture.
Most people, even adamant pro-choicers, acknowledge that there's something wrong with electively aborting a baby 1 day before the due date, "just because."
Birth is not a binary line dividing consciousness from non-consciousness. Being born does not magically bestow consciousness. A late-term fetus has a fully functioning nervous system, and is capable of perception.
And likewise, most people acknowledge that there's something wrong with telling a teenage girl who was raped by an alcoholic family member that she can't abort the zygote, 1 day after fertilization, and will go to prison for 99 years if she tries.
Most people - the vast majority - acknowledge that there is a spectrum here.
4. The Spectrum of Consciousness
The answer (or at least part of it) is that the ethical weight of a being is determined by how far along that being's consciousness has developed. The more conscious (and the more complex the mind), the more ethical consideration they deserve.
This is the reason why a cow holds more ethical weight than a gnat. It's not because the cow is physically bigger, but rather because she/he is more complex, and thus has a more intense and intricate experience of the world.
Likewise, the spectrum applies to a fetus in development. The further along they are, the more consciousness they have - and thus, the more entitled to ethical consideration. A fully-developed fetus at the end of gestation clearly has more consciousness than one in the middle of gestation, who in turn has more than one in the beginning.
Because there's a spectrum of how conscious a fetus is, there's also a spectrum of ethical weight. And this means that the ethics of abortion change with the degree of fetal development.
A single-celled organism, even if its species is human, does not have the same perceptive ability as a person (or a fetus) with a developed nervous system. Even if a single-celled person holds ethical weight (due to species membership), the ability to feel pain and suffering has not yet developed (at least not to the extent of someone with a nervous system).
The line between conscious and non-conscious is difficult to place. There is no absolute distinction. Consciousness, in this case, is not 0 vs. 1, like a computer. It's a continuum. So a fetus in an intermediate or early stage of development may have some level of consciousness. Or they might not. Be we can't be sure. And since we're not sure, it's probably better to err on the side of caution, and assume that they do indeed have some form of consciousness. So, even an early stage fetus deserves some ethical consideration, even if it's just a little bit.
5. Variance in the weight of rights
Not all rights are equal. Some rights are more important than others. For instance, the right to freedom is more important than the right to a library card. The right to drive a car is less important than the right to not be hit by one - regardless of "who's" the driver and "who's" the pedestrian. The "who" is not what matters. What matters is the type of rights in question.
And the most important right of all is Life. Without that one, you can't exercise any others.
As we stated in principle #1, the only time one being's agency (i.e. free will) can be lawfully overruled is if it conflicts with the rights of another. And since there is more than one living being involved in an abortion, we have a conflict between the agency of two beings, so no matter what we do, SOMEONE's agency is going to be overruled.
So what can we do?
We can look at the things each being wants to use their agency for.
The partially-developed person in the womb would use their agency to stay alive. The big person carrying him/her would use it to do something other than stay alive.
No matter what that other thing is, can it ever be as important as life itself?
"That makes sense."
For this reason, the truth leans toward the side of Life. Life should be the general rule, and abortion should be the exception - not the other way around.
"But some abortions are medically necessary. If the pregnancy continues, it would jeopardize the life of the mother. In those cases, doesn't the mother have just as strong (and possibly stronger) of a claim than the fetus?"
Yes. Medically necessary abortions are different from elective ones. They have a different ethical nature, and should be treated differently by law.
In summary, each side of the debate has a strong claim. Generally speaking, the type of rights applicable to the fetus are more weighty than the type applicable to the woman carrying him/her, because Life is more important than any life choice. But the ethical weight of fetuses themselves may be less than that of a fully born person. We still have a spectrum to deal with here.
So now we've got some principles to work with. These will be our foundations as we work out the details - which we'll begin now.
1. Medically-necessary abortions belong to the category of Self-Defense, and are therefore ethical.
When a pregnancy endangers the life/health of the mother, then the type of right that applies is no longer merely that of autonomy and agency, but rather life itself, which puts it on par with the right applicable to the fetus.
Since the fetus threatens the life of the mother, the mother has the right to self-defense.
"Self-defense? What do you mean?"
If a robber breaks into your house and threatens to kill you, you have the right to defend yourself, by doing it to him first. Merely stealing is not enough to justify killing in response - but if you have a legitimate reason to believe he might kill you (i.e., he's pointing a gun at you), then you have the right to take his life before he takes yours.
Likewise, if a pregnancy threatens the life of its carrier, the carrier has the right to defend herself as well.
Medically necessary abortions may be performed at any stage of pregnancy.
2. If a doctor makes a determination of medical necessity, he or she should be prepared to back that up.
It's not unreasonable to expect the doctor who makes the determination of medical necessity to put his or her professional name on that determination, by documenting it as such, and filing it, along with whatever evidence he or she used for making the determination, and signing it, under penalty of perjury.
The documentation should include the medical diagnosis of the condition that the mother has, the evidence for that condition, and why the doctor believes continuing the pregnancy constitutes an unreasonable risk to her life.
It should also include a sworn affidavit stating that the procedure was, to the best of his/her knowledge, indispensable to the preservation of the life and health of the mother, and that, without it, she would have faced undue risk of death or serious physical injury.
This documentation process should not be required prior to the procedure, since "time is of the essence" in any medical issue. But after he or she performs the abortion and the patient is stable, this file should be created.
Reviews may be conducted by any licensed medical professional, and if evidence of dishonesty or continual incompetence is found, the normal institutional deliberations should be followed (in other words, however a jurisdiction deals with faulty doctors, that process should be used).
A doctor who repeatedly makes faulty determinations should face penalties, up to and including the suspension or revocation of their medical license. And in cases of outright lying/forgery and fabrication of evidence, criminal penalties equivalent to that of perjury are appropriate.
3. In cases of fundamentally non-viable fetuses, the determination belongs with the mother.
If there is medical proof that the baby will be born non-viable (i.e. will never be able to live without staying hooked up to machines, or will otherwise have a very brief, horrific, painful existence), then the determination is for the mother to make.
After all, if we truly care about the fetus, then subjecting them to a painful and cruel existence (that results in an early death anyway) might be worse than abortion. Might be. We don't know - no one really does - and it should be up to the mother, the person with the most intimate knowledge of them.
And again, the doctor must create a file, in the same manner as in #2, explaining what condition the fetus has, and how he/she (the doctor) knows the fetus has that condition (i.e. evidence), and why he or she believes that condition will prevent any chance at viability.
Now let's talk about elective abortion.
With medically necessary abortion, the right in question is the right to life, whereas with elective abortion, it's the right to self-determination. While both rights are important, the former is weightier than the latter.
Elective abortion can be further subdivided into two types: pregnancies arising from consensual and non-consensual intercourse.
4. Unwanted pregnancy arising from having been a rape victim reflects no moral failing or mistake on the mother's part.
A rape victim should not be held culpable for her unintended pregnancy. The public accountability rule for elective abortions (see above) should be waived for her.
"But it's not the fetus's fault! Why hold a fetus culpable for the crimes of their father?"
It's still a better choice not to abort, and we encourage any woman in this situation to have the child, and the community should mobilize its resources, both social and economic, to persuade her to voluntarily choose not to abort.
However, it's not fair or just, to force someone into such a major life-alteration for something that she didn't even have control over. It's one thing if she chose to have sex, and chose to take the risk of pregnancy - but quite another if she was raped.
While abortion is an ugly thing, it's even more grotesque to force a rape victim to carry a reminder of her rape inside her, if the trauma is too intense. In such scenarios, we are forced to choose between two horrible things, and no choice is going to be 100% right. We have to do the best we can, and in this case, it should be her choice.
5. If rape is claimed as a justification for elective abortion, then there needs to be a police report.
This principle should not be abused. A woman claiming justification for abortion due to rape should be willing to back up her accusation. If the intercourse was truly non-consensual, then a report should be filed. After all, there is a rapist on the loose, and he could victimize more people if he's not stopped.
"But some women don't report their rape, due to shame, disorientation, or the intimidating nature of police departments, which are usually mostly male, and insensitive to the needs of recently victimized women. Some police departments don't take women seriously. In some backwards countries, woman are even punished for their own rapes, and going to the police is dangerous!"
Any jurisdiction wishing to enforce this rule must provide a crisis-response-trained, all-female task force within its police department, for the purpose of receiving and handling such reports (so that the victim does not feel intimidated out of reporting, due to an insensitive, male-dominated police department).
If the jurisdiction does not provide this, then it may not require a police report for abortions due to rape, and a rape victim may have an abortion without filing a report.
"Hey, won't this result in false-rape allegations against men, since women will have an incentive to lie about being raped, in order to qualify for the abortion?"
If you have penetrative sex with a woman, you're taking the risk of creating the demand for an abortion. You're taking that risk willingly. So you better be sure about what you're doing, and whom you're doing it with. You're just as responsible as she is, and if she's going to be in an ethically and legally precarious situation, so should you.
"So a dramatic increase in false-rape allegations is OK?"
Maybe you shouldn't be sticking your dick in people you don't trust.
7. Elective abortions from consensual sex are unlawful after 6 weeks.
"But that's not enough time! Sometimes, people don't know they're pregnant until after they've missed two periods! That's 2 months!"
Any jurisdiction wishing to enforce this time limit must provide weekly pregnancy screenings (free of charge) to rape victims. If the jurisdiction does not provide this, then it may not enforce the time limit.
"What if there are no abortion clinics nearby? What if she's too poor to afford one? What if there are state-imposed obstacles and hardships, preventing her from getting it in time?"
The time-limit on abortions for rape should give enough time to get to a doctor for the procedure, without artificial barriers and state-imposed hardships.
If hardships are involved (including difficulties affording travel, or getting time off of work), then the time-limit must be extended accordingly.
If a jurisdiction doesn't want to have to keep extending its time-limit for low-income women, then it should find a way make medical attention more easily available to them.
"Why 6 weeks?"
Because 7 weeks is the approximate time when the soul begins the process of incarnating into the body.
49 days post-conception is when the pineal gland first appears. The pineal gland is the main communication link between the soul and the body. If a fetus has a soul, then he or she is an individual with the right to life.
"What is the pineal gland, and how does it work?"
The pineal gland consists of a sack, filled with fluid. Floating in that fluid are millions of tiny crystals. The inner lining of the sack is covered in photo-receptors - cells that pick up light.
The soul lives at the quantum level of reality, and the crystals in the pineal gland act as conduits between the soul and the physical world.
The soul vibrates the crystals, causing them to emit light, which radiates out to the lining of the sack, where it is picked up by the photo-receptor cells, and then transmitted neurally to the visual cortex at the back of the brain. We then see it as a picture, which we sometimes call "visions" (if they're profound) or "intuitions" (if they're subtle.)
Hindus refer to the pineal gland as the "third eye." The Christian Bible also contains hints at this: "If thine eye be single, then they whole body shall be full of light." The ancient Egyptians, as well as the Tibetan Buddhists - two very spiritual cultures who had no contact with each other - both came to the same conclusion, that the pineal gland is the seat of the soul.
As the pineal gland is the soul's communication line to the brain, a person with a fully functioning pineal gland can be considered as "having a soul." With a soul come Human Rights, which include the right to not be killed by another human.
49 days gives enough time to "choose."
For more information about the pineal gland:
Illegal elective abortions (those after 6 weeks) should carry penalties for all parties involved. The penalty should be proportionate to the developmental stage of the fetus.
"What about the child? Will you take care of them? Or do you just care about them when they're in the womb, and don't give a crap about them once they're born?"
8. Jurisdictions wishing to enforce the prohibition on elective abortions after 6 weeks must provide adequate care for mothers and their children.
This includes prenatal, natal, and postnatal care, full reasonable healthcare coverage for both mother and child up until the age of majority (18 years in the USA).
It also includes housing and food for mothers who can't afford it - all the way up until the child reaches the age of majority.
A jurisdiction that does not provide this care may not enforce the prohibition on elective abortion after 6 weeks.
That is the Abortion Determent Safety Net, or ADSN.
The ADSN can be provided at the local, or state, or national level - or any combination of those - but the bottom line is, whoever is doing the enforcing against abortion, must simultaneously be doing the alternative-providing.
"But... that sounds like socialism!"
Poverty and abortion go hand-in-hand. The ADSN removes all excuses. If poverty does not exist, it can no longer provide a believable excuse to terminate a pregnancy.
9. Elective abortions from consensual sex that are performed within the time-limit (before 6 weeks) require some form of public accountability.
While they don't merit criminal penalties, they still warrant some kind of accountability from society and community, if not from law.
A woman who has any elective abortion (and the man who sired the child!) should have to face their community and explain how and why they put themselves in such a situation, knowing full well the ethical implications they risked by doing so
"Wait... are you saying people who have sex should have to talk about it with their community?"
Their Village Assembly, yes.
If you chose to have sex, then you chose to put yourself at risk of needing an abortion, and you took the risk of putting a member of your own species - possibly with a soul - of being aborted by you.
After getting an (elective) abortion, there should be a mandatory period of community service, preferably involving some sort of outdoor labor or agriculture (for those physically capable), to promote self-reflection and contemplation on the ethical nature of what was just done.
This rule applies to men also. A man who sires a baby who gets electively aborted is just as responsible as the woman who chooses to abort. He must face the same penalty as she. And due to DNA testing, it's easy to find out who the father is.
And with all the range of options for contraception, there is no excuse anymore.
So those who have unprotected coitus, with the exception of the rare situation in which a new child is actually needed for the population, are acting in a careless way, and they should have to account for it, at the very least.
"But what if I used contraception, but it just didn't work?"
You still took the risk.
And there are methods that are 100% effective, such as tubal ligation or vasectomy, which can be reversed in the event that you decide to have children. If you're sexually active, and having coitus, then it's your responsibility to make sure you can't conceive. And if you do conceive, then you need to be accountable.
If you want to call yourself "pro-life", then you need to be pro-the-full-range-of-Life.
That includes the rest of the living beings with whom we share this planet. They are LIFE, and therefore, if you don't care about them, and think killing them is fun and funny, then you are, at best, PARTIALLY pro-Life.
Imagine if someone called themselves "pro-human", and when you ask them what that means, they say it's because they're pro-LGBT. Just that, and that's it. They still hate immigrants, hate poor people, hate disabled people, and a whole bunch of others - but they think being solely pro-one-type-of-human makes them "pro-human."
Oh, and they're pro-abortion. Really, really pro-abortion. Like, as in making "humorous" memes of lampshades and soap-bars made out of aborted babies, and posting them in pro-life (pro-fetus) groups, and giggling about it.
I think most people, especially "pro-lifers", would have a problem with them calling themselves "pro-human."
Why? Because "human" means ALL HUMANS. And since they only care about one type, while ignoring all the rest, the title doesn't make sense.
Well it's the same with you if you call yourself "pro-life" while ignoring (and remorselessly participating in) the abuse and killing of non-human Life.
We don't own this planet. It's not our property. It's our community. We're members of the Community of Life. And we have a moral responsibility to respect that community, and all its members.
Your western so-called civilization started out with kings being the only beings with rights, and every other type of being, from nobles on down, had to fight for the recognition of their rights in order to get them recognized. Nobles, merchants, craftsmen, regular common-folk, peasants, women, children, the handicapped, other races, other religions, other sexual types, again and again and again and again and again, for one type of being after another, a fight was waged within society to get them their rights.
And during all these fights, there were people arguing against recognizing them, arguing to keep the them subjugated. And what time was the pro-subjugation side EVER correct? What time did they ever win? What type of oppression is it whose justifiers are not today remembered with nothing but shame and disgust?
None. History heaps scorn upon them all.
You and I are both tired of having to explain this to people who think the preborn don't have any inalienable rights. And I'm tired of having to explain it to people who think the same of the rest of the community of Life on this planet.
So your argument is basically, "I have a choice to kill one cow, or thousands of insects, and I think the lives of the thousand insects are worth more than the life of the one cow." Is that it? Somehow I don't think that's really what you mean. I think what you really mean is: "I don't give a flying fudge about any animal at all, neither insects nor cows, but I secretly feel upstaged in the respecting-Life-department by people who do, so I'm going to discredit them in any way I can, like by calling them hypocrites for caring more about cows than about insects. Even though I don't care about either."
Your argument is basically like saying to a 19th century abolitionist, "You're a hypocrite for selectively caring about Negroes, but not animals, and campaigning to stop slavery, but not meat! Hypocrites!"
The process of expanding the radius of the Circle of Compassion to cover more beings is, sadly, a slow process that only seems to go one type at a time. At no point in history was there an active, widespread campaign to include more than one or, at the most, two types of beings. It's sequential. And it seems like cows (and other mammals) might have to win recognition before birds, vertebrates before invertebrates, and so on. At least vegans are trying to win the upcoming round. At least they're TRYING.
And the other upcoming stage, along with animals in general, are pre-born humans. I believe they can (and will) win recognition of their rights in tandem with one another, since both campaigns are being waged simultaneously. And because they're intersectional, meaning the fortunes of each one impact the fortunes of the other. The more compassion society develops, the better it is for all beings who are in need of compassion - like "a rising tide lifts all boats."
The hypocrisy of anti-fetus vegans is directly related to the hypocrisy of anti-animal PLers. I'm sure that accusation's going to make you indignant, but think about it. Think hard.
If PLers don't take PC vegans seriously, because of the latter's hypocrisy when it comes to preborn humans, then don't you think it might be true in the other direction also? That vegans might not be taking pro-lifers seriously, because of YOUR hypocrisy when it comes to fully born animals?
I mean, I know vegans who think exactly that. They think: "Those hypocritical pro-lifers, they care so much about fetuses, but don't even care about the rest of the living world beyond the human species. That's so hypocritical! They must not really care about the fetuses. There must be some other reason why they raise such a fuss about fetuses - something besides genuine compassion. If it was genuine compassion, they'd feel it for the animals too. But they don't... so... it must not be compassion that motivates them. It must be something else. It must be no more than an excuse to rationalize controlling women's bodies, or something."
That IS what they're thinking. Right now. Did you not know that?
That is, in my opinion, one of the main things stopping most vegans from making the logical realization that pre-born humans matter. It's nothing philosophical. It's their personal disdain for YOU. There are other reasons, of course, and that might not be the #1 reason, but it is a major one. They see you as hypocrites, and it bothers them. They lose their respect for you. And without respect, they don't listen to your arguments, and you have no chance to have a conversation with them.
If you only could talk to them, they'd be receptive to your entreaties. Vegans are NATURALLY fertile ground for a pro-life message, if only we could get past the fence and sprinkle some seeds. More so than any other "lefty" identified movement.
And that's because veganism IS a pro-life message. It is pro-life for animals, and living ecosystems, which constitute not only the majority of Life on this planet, but the foundation of human life, too - for without respect for the wider Community of Life, the human world has no ground to stand on, and collapses, as so many past civilizations have proven.
You each have a half. Vegans recognize animals, but not pre-born humans, while the PL movement recognizes pre-born humans, but not born animals. You are two halves of the overall combined Pro-Life attitude, which is necessary for stabilizing this world, spiritually.
Since veganism is a pro-life message, and YOUR message is a pro-life message, it should be easy to awaken vegans to your truth. Easier than any other movement out there. You're supposed to be ALLIES, in fact.
But if, when you look into the eyes of an animal, you refuse to recognize the Life that's looking back at you, then you alienate an ever growing portion of the population. And that means, in a nutshell, fewer conversations about fetal rights, and therefore, more abortions.
And it also means that you can strengthen the PL movement and attitude (and therefore save more babies) by casting off your hypocrisy. Even if you didn't care about the animals, it would still be in your interest to stop harming them, since the two oppressions, animal and pre-born human, are so intersectional.