The Wrong Kind of Conclusion

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an article called, "The Right Kind of Justice." I don't want to focus on the majority of the piece. But I do want to address a paragraph that classified the basis of abortion as a "constitutional right to privacy." The section below contains this uninformed and false statement.

"The far right's agenda for the court is a frightening one. Activists want a justice who will radically reinterpret the Commerce Clause and other parts of the Constitution to tie Congress's hands, so it no longer has the power to protect people from discrimination, unsafe working conditions and pollution. They want to obliterate the constitutional right to privacy, which is the basis not only for the right to abortion, but also for such elemental protections as the right to buy contraception."

Setting aside the origin of "rights" for the more important question-- is abortion really a matter of privacy? We can't ask this question without asking what it is that is put in private? In other words, "choice" and "privacy" arguments are red-herrings to the status of the unborn. Would my aunt be justified in killing her two sons (Ages 19 and 21) who are mentally handicap--suffering, among many other diseases, from Cerebral Palsy(CP) and Parkinsons Disease, in the privacy of her own home? Surely, we would not argue that privacy dismisses the killing altogether. No doubt some would object, "But the two sons are human unlike the things being aborted." Ladies and gentlemen, if the unborn are human, like the two sons, killing them in private or public is irrelevant. What's relevant is the status of the unborn.

No one is debating whether women should be able to make their own choices-- clearly we should all be pro-choice when it comes to women deciding their own religion, healthcare, husband, and career - to name a few. But some choices are wrong-- like taking the life of a human in the confines of a doctor's office, bathroom, the wilderness, and many other private places. It all comes down to the status of the unborn. What is it? I could be wrong about the unborn, but we need to address this before asserting "privacy" and "choice" were violated. Bring arguments and scientific evidence for your case instead of stating conclusions. I've got an argument to make and evidence to back my convictions. I'm not just emoting or "suppressing women's rights." Can we rightfully exclude the unborn out of the human species? --Not by shouting conclusions back and forth without tackling the first question--What is the unborn?

Cross-blogged at Apologia Christi


Anonymous said…
The rights of “privacy” and “choice” in this context imply a restriction on the power of the state to compel an individual to a certain course of action against their wishes. You are advocating the position, I take it, that women who become pregnant should be compelled by the state, even against their own wishes, to provide hosts for developing embryos within their bodies until birth.
BK said…
Wow, what "newspeak". Big Brother would be proud of you. First of all, the Supreme Court directives making abortion legal in all 50 states as a Constitutional right isn't a restriction to "compel an individual to a certain course of action" any more than stopping a person from commiting theft is "compelling" a person to not steal. It is a reasonable restriction on activity that is deemed detrimental to society.

Second, we aren't talking about a woman who is suddenly impregnanted by a being from another planet who has taken over her uterus. Like it or not, she is a mother who is putting to death her baby ("provide hosts for developing embryos"? -- Good grief).
Weekend Fisher said…
A government teacher was reviewing Supreme Court case law with our class once, and she had mentioned something once said by Oliver Wendell Holmes, once chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Apparently a case had come up in which a man had punched another in the nose -- but was claiming that it was not a crime because this was a free country, and he had a right to swing his fist wherever he wanted.

Holmes' comment? "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

Our right to "control our own bodies" stops where our child's body begins.

I'm also sympathetic towards this thought by John Stuart Mill: "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

Take care & God bless

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