Monday, February 4, 2008

Pro-life?

When Dismas Becker was in the legsialture and public hearings were held on abortion regulation bills he'd like to pepper those who oppose legal abortions with a question about how they felt about capital punishment.

Becker's point was that many folks who call themselves "pro life" really aren't.

On the flip side we have the "Pontius Pilates" who'll say they oppose abortion but won't get involved. In other words, it's hard to know where they really feel. And those who insist on abortion as a litmus test for public office often overlook whether there is consistency in the candidate's position on respect for all human life.

I point this out to show that respect for human life is a complex issue that extends beyond whether you disagree with Roe v. Wade. It's an uncomfortable subject because it compels us to search our souls and consciences.

I've never felt abortion should be legal except in cases of rape or incest and to save the life or health of the mother. I also believe Roe v. Wade is a flawed opinion that ignores any consideration of whether the unborn child is entitled to protection under the law despite a substantial amount of legal precedent supporting such protection.

That said, the real decisionmaker isn't a judge or legislator but a woman in a crisis pregnancy. And law isn't only laid down by legislators. There is a higher authority.

There's a certain character flaw in many of us that equates legislative permissiveness with condoning a particular course of conduct. Life doesn't always work like that.

It's like when I was a police officer and observed some idiot smoking a cigarette while pumping gasoline. When I told him to put out his cigarette he responded, "There's no law against it" followed by an invitation that I ought to engage in an anatomical impossibility.

I declined the invitation, reminded him that there is a law against it and advised him that he was under arrest. Then I said, "Even if it wasn't against the state law, it's against the law of nature and you could have blown up the entire block!"

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