Thursday, September 08, 2005
If you can't trust me with a choice, how can you trust me with a child?
I think this is probably one of the more clever pro-choice bumper stickers out there. At a quick glance, it appeals to our idea of fairness and how much responsibility and trust a person should be given. Those who are trusted with important tasks should also be entrusted with "simple decisions." If we can't trust a person to make a "simple choice," then how could we ever entrust them to the immensely more important task of raising a child?
The bumper sticker displays one of main tactics of the pro-choice movement. Don't talk about what the choice actually is. Just emphasize that it is a "choice." The immense problem with this bumper sticker's message is when someone asks "what choice?"
Imagine a candidate for President of the United States running on the slogan, "If you can't trust me to run the country, how can you trust me with a child?" It doesn't really work, does it? Most of recognize the importance and skills need for parenting yet we also realize that being President of the United States entails a different set of skills.
Or imagine an advocate for bigamy with a bumper sticker saying, "If you can't trust me with a choice (to marry more than one person), how can you trust with a child." The pro-choice bumper sticker uses language to obscure the reality that some choices are wrong regardless of how much responsibility an individual might have.
This bumper sticker also fails miserably at the Toddler Test.
Imagine a mother holding her toddler and saying, "If you can't trust me with the choice (of whether or not I can legally kill this toddler), how can you trust me to raise this toddler?" Just because we trust parents with their children doesn't mean we entrust them with the right to decide whether to kill them or not.
The bumper sticker assumes that having an abortion is a choice that doesn't affect anyone else instead of doing anything to prove it.
Once the question "what choice" is asked, the real issue becomes obvious. The issue isn't "shouldn't I have a choice?" or "aren't I responsible enough to make a choice?" but "what is unborn?" If the unborn aren't living human beings, then yes, you should be able to choose. But if the unborn are living human beings then you shouldn't be granted the right to kill that human being anymore than a mother should be granted the right to kill her toddler.