Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Why Federalism is not Enough

Recently one of the early candidates for president has said that he has switched from being pro-abortion to being pro-life. But news articles report that he bases his “pro-life” stance on federalism. He says that he believes that abortion is a matter for state legislatures rather than for the federal courts. This is still a problematic view. From the standpoint of a really pro-life position, there should be no right to abortion because unborn human beings are human beings and all human beings have an unalienable right not to be killed with malice aforethought and without justification or excuse. While supporting a federalist view of the problem or any regulations on abortion may be desirable incremental steps, the fundamental philosophical change which we need is recognition of the rights of all human beings at all stages of development.

At conception, a living egg and a living sperm come together to form a living human being - the kind of thing made in the image of God. Humans, even when very small, are due dignity, respect, and fundamental rights from the moment of conception onward. Even the body of a dead human being is entitled to a certain degree of respect, though not the degree of respect accorded to a living human being.

Until jurisprudence catches up with this scientific and moral reality, abortion will continue to distort American law and justice. The existence of a legal doctrine in which we decide that some human beings are not entitled to the protections of the law because they are at a particular stage of development or do not evidence particular characteristics is a delegitimizing factor weighing against the overall legitimacy of America’s regime and legal system. Until we fix this problem, we are going to continue to have difficulties as a nation and as a people. Devaluing human life always has consequences even though they are not always directly understood or observed.

1 comment:

Buz said...

While I agree with your position, I have been a foot-soldier in this war and have seen both sides.

It is an ugly war. I have been arrested multiple times for peaceful demonstrations. I have seen the looks on the faces of the ones who think that it is their right to terminate a fetus for their own convenience. I have also seen the faces of the ones who have treated this as a military campaign to be executed and won using others to pay their price.

We have lied to ourselves and said, "this is not a human being" because it is to our convenience for it not to be. Similarly, we lied to ourselves about another inconvenient status of "human being" about 150 years ago.

I must agree with the one who said, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Beware ... the next words we hear may be, "yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown".