Population and Abortion
(Editorâ€™s note: The recent debate dealing with Terri Schiavo and the issue of assisted suicide hides a deeper debate, a debate that deals with the direction of our society. My own bias is to err on the side of life but there are times in which life no longer is viable. James Wilson wrote a brilliant piece in the Wall Street journal on this particular case. (http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110006474)
However, there is a trend that goes beyond this particular case. Underneath the rubble of this debates lie a specific issue, namely what is the value of human life from birth to death and how does it effect the society as a whole? For what concerns me the most is not just the case of Erry Schiavo but a discussion on where the rights of individuals derive from- From God or from humans. The former presupposes that rights are natural to all of us and not gifts to granted from other men.)
When one examined the voting records of pro-choice legislators, most are big government advocates. As columnist Mark Steyn observed, â€śIf you don't accept that that's a human life that's being destroyed, my deeply personal passionate beliefs aren't likely to sway you one way or another. That's where so-called progressive politicians such as Tony Blair and John Kerry have it all backwards: the point about abortion is not that it's a "matter of conscience" for individuals to "wrestle with", but that it's a crucial part of the central political challenge of our time.â€ť For many pro-choice supporters on the left, humans are a liability to be cared for not producers who create wealth. Economic, political and religious freedoms are not natural freedoms endowed to all humans but gifts to be doled out by government. Unlimited abortion rights cheapen human life, and when human life becomes cheaper, then it becomes easier for government takes other rights away. That is what this debate centers around.
Mark Steyn observed, â€śIn Britain, two doctors escape prosecution for aborting an otherwise healthy baby with a treatable cleft palate because the authorities are satisfied they acted "in good faith". You can read similar stories in almost any corner of the developed world, except perhaps the Netherlands, where discretionary euthanasia is so advanced it's news if the kid makes it out of the maternity ward. .. Babies born into what is certain to be a brief life of grievous suffering should have their lives ended by physicians under strict guidelines, according to two doctors in the Netherlands.â€ť .â€ť
Harvardâ€™s Leon Steinmetz, writing in National Review a few years back, revisited a curious debate among leaders of the French Revolution. Many asserted that France contain too many people for the revolutionaries to consummate their vision of a social utopia. One leader proposed that the population be halved; others argued that this decrease would prove inadequate and that further reductions were in order. Citizen Robespierre, not to be outdone, called for an ideal republic of 4 million Frenchmen. Franceâ€™s actual population at the time was 25 million! (Soon, Robespierre would become one of those excess citizens guillotined.)