Thursday, January 27, 2011

Abortion = happy face! Motherhood = sad face! (It's Scientific)

I should have two new tags: It's Scientific, or Philosophy Matters.

So Alicia Chang, billed as the Associated Press "Science Writer," opens her article thus:
Having an abortion does not increase the risk of mental health problems, but having a baby does, one of the largest studies to compare the aftermath of both decisions suggests.

The research by Danish scientists further debunks the notion that terminating a pregnancy can trigger mental illness and shows postpartum depression to be much more of a factor.
Got that? That means that killing an unborn baby won't hurt you, but giving birth to him might. You know, just in case Alicia's sermon didn't come through clearly enough.

When you read it, you'll instantly have questions about the study, the disparity of groups, the things they did and did not factor in. You'll question whether their method of evaluating mental health was all that sound and objective. Were the subjects reporting on themselves to any degree, and if so isn't that like doing an obesity study by asking the subjects how overweight they feel?

But I have a different approach.

I don't care and it doesn't matter.

Let me be more specific. Suppose there were a study of who had fewer mental health problems, men who murder their wives or men who stay married to them. Or a study of whether adults who committed child molestation or rape were happier than adults who do neither. Suppose the studies showed that murderers/molestors/rapists were happier than non's.

Who would care? Or, perhaps more, what would those studies prove? Would they prove that murder/molesting/rape were good things? Or would they prove that murderers/molestors/rapists were spiritually dead, had warped and damaged consciences, or were liars who did not even know what real joy was?

All those are open questions, aren't they? Without some transcendent, external, objective standard, we're absolutely hopeless to find a moral path.

However,  the study is already premised on a moral path. Its premise is "Whatever makes us happy is good." Of course, my examples above show this to be an inadequate and unlivable basis. Besides, happy for how long? Jumping off a cliff would make me very happy. I'd be flying!

At first.

Any adult realizes that all sorts of short-term "happifiers" are long-term "miserablizers." Might this be one? Might the misery take a year... or ten... or fifty... or a hundred? How can we know?

Plus, even our lost society tends to look down on people who make themselves happy at the cost of others' misery. When we hear that someone has murdered 11 people, our first thought is not, "Well, anyway, at least he's happy, and that's good."

So suppose (just for argument's sake) it really did make a woman happy to have her child killed. Does that make child-killing a good thing? Suppose it made a man happy to have his 1-year-old killed — more happy than if he had the responsibility of caring for him? Would that make the killing a good thing? Would not even our insane society say that the man's happiness is irrelevant?

So, to be very clear: I think women should not contract to have their children killed.

But my reason for thinking this is not that I think the women will be immediately happier if they do not contract to have their children killed. Frankly, as the expression goes, in this equation I could not care less whether she is more or less happy having her child killed. I do want her to be happy; I do not want her to be happy at the cost of another's wrongful death.

So why should a woman not contract to have a child killed, even if the child is really-really imperfect, or really-really inconvenient? Simple: God forbids it, as surely as He forbids rape, murder and theft. She should not contract to have her child killed because it offends God, because the child is created in His image, because an assault on the child is an assault on God, and therefore is attempted Deicide-by-proxy.

But if it makes her happy to contract to have her child killed?

She needs to know for a fact that any happiness she achieves by shaking her fist in God's face will be illusory, short-lived, and ultimately ruinous far out of proportion to any apparent gains her rebellion yielded.

What she — and all of us — needs to be told is not that she can defy God with impunity. This is a lie, and a disastrous one at that.

What she — and all of us — needs to be told is that God has provided one way through which we can know forgiveness of our crimes, and find reconciliation to God. That is the path to true, abiding happiness free from regrets.

AP won't tell you that.


Anonymous said...

Good post! I'm with you 100%.

Using happiness as a standard is for narcissists. Any woman who would hire a hitman to kill her baby certainly qualifies as a narcissist.

kateg said...


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Dan,

That is wonderfully said.

(From a mom, whose three boys - when they're not being delightful - can drive her within an inch of insanity.)

What I think will make me happy, at any given moment, is no responsible basis for making decisions. Isn't that what we're trying to train out of our toddlers? Good heavens, if my own personal happiness was the guiding factor of my life, imagine how self-centered I would be!

Oooooo, I could rant on an on, but you've said it so much better.


Oh, and btw, even if she has no conscience now, how will her 'happiness factor' be affected when she gets breast cancer by age 50?

Anonymous said...

I wonder...

How happy were individual Nazis after murdering Jews?

Fair comparison. Neither the unborn babies nor the Jews are/were considered to be people by their butchers.

Stephen said...

Well put! Case closed at this point:

"I don't care and it doesn't matter.

Let me be more specific. Suppose there were a study of who had fewer mental health problems, men who murder their wives or men who stay married to them."

DJP said...

Yes. "But it makes me happy" is not necessarily the end of the process of moral reasoning, because that might always need to be followed by "...then there's something very wrong with you."

Magister Stevenson said...

Unbelievable. I am continually amazed at what people grasp at to avoid the patent truth that they are advocating for murder.
I live near Philly where a truly horrific abortion clinic was shut down. Complaints of death and barbaric conditions. How can the news report that without the irony overwhelming the report? The whole purpose of the place is death and horror!
You got it just right in your comments, Dan. Keep at it.

trogdor said...

I'm not sure how it could be a positive thing to be able to kill your child and suffer no negative emotional effects. Isn't that basically a textbook illustration of psychopathy? Or as scripture might call it, a seared conscience?

In other news, there are a lot of people who happily do utterly reprehensible things. Flipping this issue around, people who've killed abortion doctors are no doubt thrilled with themselves. Do you think this author would find such a thing morally acceptable because it makes them happy? Of course not - nor should she approve of something so vile for such a stupid reason. Which pretty much undermines the entire purpose of this article.

Rob said...

Even if "science" has supposedly "proven" no mental health issues with abortion, I find the connection of abortion with breast cancer an interesting, and well-documented, connection, at sites like

Anonymous said...

Wow. You did an excellent job of tackling this issue, and I couldn't agree with you more. Amen!

Rita Martinez said...


John said...

Alicia is a liar. What the actual study found was that women who had a first trimester abortion sought psychiatric help at a rate almost double those who carried to term. Prior to the abortion, women who got a first trimester abortion sought help at a rate nearly five times greater. Read the actual data here. What is being compared is a differential - women who give birth increase in seeking mental help by a large percentage, while those who have abortions increase only very slightly. But the actual quantity of mental disorders as a percentage of population is inordinately higher in those who have abortions. Apparently one's ability to understand mathematics and/or report objectively is not a requisite for employment by TBO.

Robert said...

Just more suppressing the truth as described in Romans 1. My wife worked as a counselor at a pregnancy center and I was truly amazed at the things she learned about how abortion clinics are run. It is truly amazing the lengths that people will go to in order to justify sin to other people.

Scooter said...

Actually Dan, I think your new tag should be, "It's Above My Pay Grade" or "Gumby Math." Just my opinion.

This is just beyond belief. She quotes numbers and her interpretations of said numbers are borderline ludicrous. I would like to see a link to this study to read it myself.

It would be great if the media stopped commenting on revealed studies. So often, "new study on distant galaxy reveals potential new particle" becomes "WARP DRIVES coming next year!"

Rhology said...

--So, to be very clear: I think women should not contract to have their children killed.--

(Hits the Discard button in gmail.)

Jennifer said...

The findings may be a result of the fact that OB/GYN offices have numerous posters and pamphlets advising pregnant women that post-partum depression is something they should be looking for and, if they feel they are experiencing it, to contact the number given. At every visit, the doctor asks about the mental health of the mother. They have the women thinking that they are supposed to experience some depression, and freaked out enough that they tell someone the moment they feel the least bit overwhelmed. By contrast, an abortion clinic has no such literature available to alert the women that they may experience post-abortion depression of any level.
So, the result is that new mothers feel depressed (which is natural and temporary) and seek help and women who have abortions and feel depressed think they have no one to talk to and may not even connect the two events because they are told that abortion has no negative consequences.
I have had both experiences and I can honestly say that the child I did not have has caused me more grief than all that comes with having to care for the four I have had.

DJP said...

Thanks, Jennifer. Good points.