On August 16, national media outlets pounced on a ruling from the Florida Court of Appeals that determined a parentless 16-year-old was not “sufficiently mature” to make the decision to abort her child. Given her circumstances, the teen was seeking a judicial waiver to state law, which requires parental consent for minors seeking an abortion.
In response to the ruling, Jim Messina, deputy chief of staff under the Obama administration, tweeted: “This is what the Republican Party fights for—forcing a parentless 16-year-old to give birth. Barbaric government intrusion in children’s lives.” Like most pro-choicers, Messina denies the humanity of the child living in the mother’s womb.
ADOPTION AND SAFE HAVEN LAWS
Pregnant women who feel they are not capable of providing the necessary care for a child have alternatives. Adoption offers mothers the ability to surrender parental responsibility in advance of the delivery and after the child is born. Experts estimate that between one to two million people are waiting to adopt, according to Adoption Network. Other adoption sites place that figure closer to five million. Abortion numbers are also difficult to pinpoint, since states are not required to track them, but the Guttmacher Institute reported 930,160 abortions in 2020.
Additionally, Florida has “safe haven” laws, which allow parents to hand over their newborn baby to hospitals, fire stations and emergency medical stations, up to approximately seven days, without fear of prosecution. The statute guarantees the right to anonymity, except in the case of child abuse.
ROGAN VS. DILLON
The same day as the court of appeals ruling, Joe Rogan debated abortion with Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon on Rogan’s podcast.
“I don’t think murder fixes a rape,” Dillon said in response to Rogan’s question about a hypothetical scenario where his 14-year-old daughter conceived a child as a result of being raped. “If it’s a distinct human life, then I think it’s wrong to end its life.”
“Do you think that once the conception happens, there’s some sort of miraculous event, like at the very moment,” Rogan asked.
“At some point you’re going to have to say there was a magic moment that happened, because you believe eventually we become valuable humans,” Dillon responded. “Where’s the moment where you think the magic happens?”
Rogan did not give a definitive point, but instead called it a “messy issue.” He argued that abortions after “6 or 9 months” were “crazy” and “literally killing a baby.”
THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE
A 2018 poll from the University of Chicago’s Department of Comparative Human Development found that 95% of biologists affirmed the “biological view that a human's life begins at fertilization.” The poll surveyed more than 5,500 biologists from over 1,000 academic institutions, including those that identified as “very pro-choice,” “very liberal,” and “strong Democrats.”
The implication behind the provocative “what about rape” question is that the manner in which the child was conceived should impact the mother’s ability to kill him or her with impunity. If the abortion rights advocates believe that it should, then by their own reasoning they should support legal protection of a mother killing her 4-year-old child that was conceived in rape. Or a 14-year-old that she conceived in rape for that matter.
Parenting is challenging in the best of circumstances and single mothers undoubtedly face even greater difficulty than married couples. Few would dispute the abundance of problems with the foster care system and adoption agencies. But is killing a child to shield him from that fate really a better solution to those dilemmas?
“What about calling that baby a clump of cells,” Dillon asked Rogan, and answered his own question: “I think that’s harmful misinformation, because then you’re encouraging people to kill it like it’s nothing when it’s actually a human life.”