Sunday, January 25, 2009

This one's for Walter Stabosz; or, why abortion is worse than war

My son Walter, and others of his socially liberal persuasion, want to know why I am so upset about the loss of life in abortion and not that of war. Don't the dead Iraquis and dead Palestinians count as much as the dead babies?

Abortion is worse than war. Both, we humans have always had with us. Likely, we always will.

But war has checks and balances in a way that abortion does not. However poorly we, as citizens, truly exercise choice over how our military goes to war or allies itself with other nations at war, at least we acknowledge that we have a social responsibility towards who and how we kill in war. We acknowledge war as a corporate responsibility of a state. In a democratic republic, we can vote in legislators who will conduct war according to the will of the people, and vote out those who will not.

Abortion has no such checks. Our abortion policy pretends that we have no corporate responsibility towards who and how we kill in the womb. Roe v Wade put all power into the hands of the individual mother, and then the abortion industry sprang up to reap the monetary benefits of the unbalanced power to kill.

In what other instance do we put unchecked power to take a human life into the hands of a single individual, one who is disposed by circumstance to view the object of that taking with less than objective eyes? Every one of us is pre-disposed to putting our own needs and wants over the needs and wants of others. Human law is all about providing limits to how we exercise our native propensity to do what we have to do in order to survive and thrive.

So why do we allow this horrendous choice of life or death, with no checks and balances, to people caught in extreme circumstances for whom the choice of ending another human life will put an end to the extreme circumstance?

We don't allow this in other areas. If my life has become unbearable because a villain is blackmailing me, I am not offered the unchecked power to put an end to the life of that villain. If my nation goes to war, it does not have unchecked power to wage war -- unless my nation has ceased to be a democracy.

In no other instance do we allow the choice of life or death over another human being to be put in the hands of a single individual. We hold human life to be important enough to warrant social and legal checks and balances.

That's why abortion is worse than war.

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