Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Abortion and human life

From an exchange in the The New York Review of Books. A non-religious, pro-abortion liberal gets the question right:
"Notwithstanding their claim to be neutral on the moral status of the fetus, liberals cannot defend the right to abortion without implicitly denying that the fetus is a person. For consider: if the Catholic doctrine were correct—if the fetus were morally equivalent to a child—then even the important principle of the woman's right to choose would be morally outweighed by the importance of respecting human life. This is why Nagel is wrong to insist that the distinction between public and private morality can, by itself, decide the question. If abortion were tantamount to infanticide, it would not be a merely private choice. Where one draws the public/private distinction depends on how one resolves the underlying moral question."
If the fetus is a person, its right to life is more important than any other person's right to anything — except, possibly, that person's right to life. That has always been the issue — and so anyone addressing abortion needs to begin there. Is there any point after conception when you, or I, or anyone, "became" a person? The idea that a "person" could justly be killed for a "privacy right," or because of disability, or financial hardship, or eugenics, or any other reason short of saving another life, is a regression to savagery, however disguised as "humanitarianism."

1 comment:

  1. World estimations of the number of terminations carried out each year is somewhere between 20 and 88 million.

    3,500 per day / 1.3 million per year in America alone.

    50% of that 1.3 million claimed failed birth control was to blame.

    A further 48% had failed to use any birth control at all.

    And 2% had medical reasons.

    That means a stagering 98% may have been avoided had an effective birth control been used.


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