By Doug Bandow
A bitter conflict that continues unabated.
Roe v. Wade, perhaps the most ostentatiously unconstitutional of many dubious Supreme Court decisions purporting to interpret the Constitution, was issued 40 years ago. Rather than settle the abortion issue, the justices triggered a bitter political conflict which continues unabated.
Roe represents tragedy. An unwanted pregnancy can cause serious, sometimes overwhelming, problems. Moreover, there are few more personal decisions than to terminate a pregnancy. Liberty and life seemingly come into sharp conflict.
But abortion is not a just another “choice.” Rather, it is a flight from responsibility. Abortion is a response to choice, that is, the decision to have sex. Other than rape, sex is voluntary. Sometimes the result is an unwanted baby.
The question then is what to do? What is a person’s responsibility for the earlier choice freely exercised? Abortion has become a leading means to avoid taking responsibility for the life created.
This goes as much for men as well as women. In fact, many of the most fervent abortion supporters are men. The availability of abortion absolves them of responsibility for their actions. Lynn Marie Kohm of Regent University School of Law observed: “Indeed, the ultimate irony of abortion is that it inherently lets men off the hook.”
Pregnancy produces a human being. Arcane arguments over personhood do not change the fact that the continuum of life is not easily segmented. Whether the critical moment is conception or implantation, thus starts a process which, if not interrupted, results in a human being. The physical differences between a fetus, a baby, and a child, though real, do not affect the moral worth the individual created. No one should be aborted without serious, if not overwhelming, justification.
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