In the National Post, a Canadian national newspaper, columnist George Jonas writes quite a peculiar article defending the legality of abortion. In doing so, he lists a number of reasons why he actually opposes the killing of unborn children, but he still says that abortion should be legal.
He breaks down a lot of the common pro-abortion arguments, talking about how women are the ones who choose to undergo actions which lead to pregnancy and how people already break laws anyway, and he acknowledges the personhood of the unborn. He admits that abortion is killing a person. Yet he believes that it should be legal anyway. Why?
The fact that abortion is killing, though, doesn’t dispose of the matter. All societies, religious societies included, authorize individuals, sometimes classes of individuals, to kill for certain reasons. Judges, parents, police officers, ship’s captains, inquisitors, soldiers, executioners and others have been entitled to terminate human lives, provided they did so for compelling reasons.
… But while I call abortion killing — in fact, I call it an abomination — I’ve no urge to jail people for everything I abominate. I leave that to my “liberal” friends. I actually believe the state has no business in the bed-chambers of the nation, not even when they turn into death-chambers. I fear the state. Although, absent interference, what emerges from the womb in nine months is a citizen, not a tissue sample, I argue that it’s the parents who should decide its fate, not the government.
… In ancient Sparta parents used to toss their substandard children off a cliff called the Taigetos. Spartan society had no use for physically infirm children. We find this shocking. Our preference is to kill healthy children. The year we appointed Dr. Henry Morgentaler to the Order of Canada for aborting unwanted fetuses was the year we released Robert Latimer after nearly a decade in jail for having killed his disabled daughter.
Imagine a time-travelling spaceship of Spartan tourists discovering that in this destination the natives jail parents for killing incurably sick children, but honour doctors who kill perfectly healthy children at their parents’ behest. It’s lucky Canada doesn’t rely on time-space travel tourism from antiquity.
So even though an unborn child is a person, and to abort the unborn child is to kill him, we should still be allowed to do so because…the government shouldn’t intervene in our bedchambers? It’s the most nonsensical argument for the legalization of abortion that one could make. If a husband rapes his wife, it’s still a crime. But by Jonas’s logic, should it not be? After all, it happened in their bedchambers, and we don’t want to give the “state” too much power, now, do we?
If we accept the science of embryology, which tells us that an unborn child is a distinct, separate person from the mother, we must then accept that abortion is the killing of that person. If we accept the science, then we cannot accept abortion.
It is one thing to argue that the government should be limited in the amount of power and authority it possesses. But no one argues that the government is wrong for making certain crimes illegal – robbery, rape, murder – so why should the killing of an unborn child be any different? Jonas never answers that question, and probably because he knows the truth in his heart already.
If abortion is killing an innocent person, which he admits that it is, then there is no reason it should remain legal. If we accept the killing of the most vulnerable among us, then why should we even bother to make any killing illegal?