Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I have thought for years that a significant problem in the abortion debate is that the two sides are arguing two very different issues. The Pro-Choice side argues that a woman has the right to do with her body as she sees fit. That is a "bodily integrity," "free will" debate. The Anti-Abortion side argues that you can't kill an innocent life. To them, it is a debate about murder. Each side makes assumptions the other would never agree with.

A good example of this can be found at Bench Memos, a blog at National Review, where Matthew J. Franck responds to a young Medical student who explains her journey from anti-abortion to pro-choice. He wonders:

whether this future obstetrician has learned from her embryology textbooks that every fetus, every embryo, is a unique, distinct, self-directing, living member of the human species. Any rights that our young med student has by virtue purely of her humanity today, she had from the moment of her conception.
Franck assumes that it is self-evident that life begins at conception, and that an embryology textbook should obviously make that point. But not everyone agrees, and unless Franck sees that, and realizes the reasonableness of the disagreement, there will never be a solution. Similarly, if Pro-Choice advocates (which I am) don't understand that Franck's position regarding when life begins is also reasonable, we will never get anywhere. My suggestion? No clue at the moment. Just a thought.

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