By Chris Gast, Right to Life of Michigan Education Coordinator

Just because something is published in a psychology academic research publication doesn’t mean it’s not stark raving madness.

“Conscious Abortion: Engaging the Fetus in a Compassionate Dialogue,” is the title of an article by Claudette Nantel appearing in the summer issue of the Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health.

The premise of the article is that an unborn child is a “conscious, relational” being that can be communicated with. In particular, women who don’t want their babies can encourage their unborn children to commit suicide via miscarriage, or express acceptance about their lives being taken in an abortion.

Throughout the article, several interesting references are made to important discoveries about the ever-growing development of the child and their very real relationship to their mother and ability to interact with others.

While it’s refreshing anytime someone who supports abortion is willing to acknowledge some humanity of the unborn child, the author—like most abortion supporters—remains hopelessly mired in pseudoscience, hokum, and wishful thinking in order to justify the unjustifiable.

Nantel writes about “[the desire] of the fetus being conceived.” Yes, brain waves have been recorded as early as 45 days after fertilization, and certainly people can have all matter of metaphysical beliefs about the meaning of the life of the child before the point of fertilization. But, even in an ultimate philosophical or religious sense, no child asks to be conceived. They are brought into being through the actions of others. They can only continue to remain alive with the assistance of other people for many years.

In order to be “respectful” to these children “destined to be aborted,” Nantel proposes mothers should dialogue with their children. This “conscious abortion” is pure claptrap. While research shows that children can comprehend language and begin learning in the womb, no unborn child can have a rational dialogue with you. Indeed, it takes a newborn baby some time to develop a theory of mind to begin initiating purposeful interactions with their parents. Just because a newborn baby hasn’t learned to debate you yet doesn’t mean they are any less human, but reality is reality: babies don’t dialogue.

It’s tempting to say that at least Nantel doesn’t reduce babies to the status of blobs of tissue, but her final solution to handling the parent-child relationship at the earliest stages is just as cruel and barbaric.

Imagine the idea of a “conscious abortion” in any other context. Imagine caring for your dog, and after a heartfelt dialogue with Fido and reflection on the rational choice of Fido to no longer have accidents on your carpet by way of euthanasia, you proceed to grab some pliers from your garage and begin to pull Fido limb from limb, watching Fido bleed out on your bedroom floor. How very wholesome—therapeutic even!

This concept of the “relational fetus” is guilty of the same dehumanization as those who deny the basic biology of the unborn child, because it still treats the unborn child as an object. “Conscious abortion” is simply projecting the desires of abortion supporters onto these children. That’s not psychologically healing, that’s psychopathy!

Only a psychopath could look at another human being, believe they are entirely human and innocent in every way, and then decide that person must die—and believe it’s what that person really wanted.

Nantel even suggests that a dialogue with an unwanted child can work to induce a miscarriage, obviating the need for an abortion procedure. How is such a dialogue supposed to happen? One researcher Nantel quotes suggest that:

“With deep love and concern, ask them to leave. Let yourself feel the divine love and connection with them, then tell them that it is not the time for them to come in, or that you would like them to come back at a later time.”

Imagine looking your four-year-old child in the face and saying those words, and then locking them outside your house forever.

You can bust out a guitar and sing “Kumbaya” to an unborn child until you are blue in the face, but that doesn’t make it OK to rip the child limb from limb. There’s nothing “respectful” about using violence to achieve your own desires.