Tuesday, April 26, 2005

PUBLIUS OF LEGAL FICTION has a fine, detailed report on "Justice Sunday." Here is his take on the comments made about abortion.

As expected, there were several references to abortion tonight. Dobson said that Roe has killed something like 44 million Americans and created the biggest Holocaust of world history. Like most Americans, and many Jews I suspect, I disagree rather strongly. I simply don’t believe that non-viable fetuses (much less microscopic embryos) are “alive” in a legal, moral, or biological sense.

But for sake of discussion, let’s say Dobson is right. Let’s say that every microscopic embryo has a divine soul and that it should be considered “alive.” From that perspective, abortion is murder. In fact, it must be murder according to Dobson.

So if that’s right, here’s my question. Doesn’t the pro-life position necessarily imply (as a matter of logic) a pro-criminalization position? If you really think that embryos and fetuses are alive, then abortion doctors are murderers who should be imprisoned and possibly executed, right? Similarly, women (even 14-year old girls) who have abortions are at least conspirators to murder if not murderers themselves, right? And if you really take this view to its logical end, then every stem-cell researcher who splices an embryo is guilty of murder, right? And if not, why not? How can you believe that abortion is murder and not support criminal penalties (or even capital punishment) for those who participate in abortion or stem cell research.

That’s what scares me most about overturning Roe. In some states, we would literally be throwing doctors and young women in jail. Call me a crazy secular Lefty, but I don’t believe that the government should use the threat of criminal sanctions to force birth on 18-year old girls.

I guess I like crazy secular Lefties. They are certainly no competition for the crazies who believe that a fertilized egg has the same human status as my grandmother who died in Auschwitz.

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