A13 Critical Reading — Jon Gonzoph

“Many Renew America readers, I think, are acquainted with my pro-life credentials.”

The direct claim is that we both know this author and we know that she has “pro-life credentials.” There is also an unstated claim that Renew America readers agree with her, and thus that we agree with her. Also, this is not incredibly relevant, because her points should stand no matter her background. It’s not even a particularly effective appeal to ethos yet, since there’s no reason that “pro-life credentials” make her any better a source than an actual scientist, or any explanation as to what those credentials are.


“I was privileged to have come into the Pro-life Movement at the ground floor in the early 1960s.”

The claim is that being involved in the Pro-life Movement is a privilege, and thus presumably a good thing. Another claim, though an easily verifiable one, is that the Pro-life Movement started in the 1960s.


“…later eugenic abortion, sex initiation programs in public and parochial schools, human embryo and fetal experimentation, and euthanasia.”

There is a clam that abortion is similar enough to euthanasia to be placed in the same list. Also, there is a claim that “sex initiation” programs exist in public and parochial schools. There really should be a claim about what “sex initiation” progams are, but I’m hoping the author will get to that at some point.


In 1972, I founded the U.S. Coalition for Life as an international pro-life research agency and six years later, with the assistance of the Dr. Jerome Lejeune of the University of Paris, I established the International Foundation for Genetic Research, popularly known as the Michael Fund, as the prolife alternative to the March of Dimes. I have written three books dealing with pro-life issues.

            On the surface, a plethora of factual claims about things the author was involved in. Also, a sneaky claim that the March of Dimes is not prolife – one that is unsubstantiated and appears to be incorrect, since the first thing in the March of Dimes mission statement on their website is “We help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.” An abortion would not be considered a full term.


“And I would have remained in my state of ignorance had it not been for Dr. Paul Byrne, an Ohio neonatologist and co-founder of the Life Guardian Foundation, who removed the scales from my eyes and permitted me to see vital organ transplantation for the evil that it is. [1]

There is a an evaluation claim that vital organ donation is evil. This really deserves immediate explanation, since many people would not consider saving someone’s life with an organ that would otherwise have no use evil – quite the opposite, in fact.


“Like the abortion industry, the vital organ transplantation industry rests on the utilitarian principle that the end justifies the means.”

There is a resemblance claim that the organ transplant industry and the abortion industry are similar because they both lie on a single utilitarian principle.


Like the abortion industry, its nexus is hard, cold cash — billions in hard cold cash.

Another resemblance claim  between the abortion and organ transplant industry in the same vein of the last one, with the added bonus of the word “cold hard cash” making an subtle evaluation claim that this is a bad thing. (Someone should perhaps tell the author that just about every industry is built on the idea of making money.)


The only thing harder and colder that the cash, is the hearts of the surgeons and staff who, having come to the knowledge that they must kill a living donor in order to retrieve a healthy organ for a recipient fellow human being, continue to engage in this medical butchery, and rationalize said killing as justifiable on the grounds that that the excised organ will be used to save the life of another living human being.

            In order: An analogy between the “cold hard money” and the hearts of the doctors who perform organ transplants. Or perhaps just the ones that take the organs out, since it is unclear if the author is also including doctors that only implant orgams. There is also a factual claim that this procedure of taking the organ out must be done on a living person and must kill them. The words “medical butchery” and “rationalize said killing” also show evidence of a strong evaluation claim that this is a horrible thing to do, and thus that the doctors are horrible people.


Pro-lifers need to make vital organ transplantation a key right to life issue because it is a violation of the Natural Moral Law and God’s Commandment — thou shalt not kill.

            The evaluation claim in this sentence is fairly clear – “right to life” implies the other side of the argument is taking away this right, thus murdering people, and they even throw in the 5th commandment to make sure you get the message. Unfortunately, the site this is hosted on appears to have broken the 4th commandment of keeping the Sabbath holy by posting (and thus presumably working on) something on a Sunday, Dec. 4th 2011. Further, they are also skipping over Jesus’ “treat others as you’d like to be treated” rule, unless they’d like people to call them heartless for calling for the deaths of innocents so they can satisfy a moral code written long before any of these issues came about. I have another half a dozen religious counters-arguments to bring up, but the point I’m making is that their inclusion of religion weakens their claims. (Also, I’m fairly sure Moral Law was a Roman concept first, reasonably sure Plato came up with it or something, but this isn’t really relevant.)


[More  coming,  I’m going through this entire article, but out of time now]

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1 Response to A13 Critical Reading — Jon Gonzoph

  1. davidbdale says:

    You’ve done more than enough. How much more can the poor woman take?
    Grade recorded.

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