I'm going to point my readers to this post over at Doc MacDonald's blog. I freely admit I have personal problems with Doc's Objectivist anti-religious scribes. Sure, Ayn Rand was an atheist, but you don't have to hold any kind of religious view to know that we can, and should, and have an obligation to be able to draw a line somewhere to define when life begins.
I appreciate that Doc and other Objectivists hold and express these opinions, however wrong I believe they may be. I appreciate the purity of thought that this reasoning displays. And, we need a debate about this in this country, because Roe cut that debate off.
Unfortunately for Objectivist, Western Civilization and this country were not founded on Objectivist principles, they were founded and evolved largely on Judeo-Christian principles, and Western society has succeeded quite well under those principles for 100's of years. We do need thinkers like these, because we share a common belief in limited government, both in its use of our tax dollars, and in its ultimate intrusion in our lives and on our liberties, but, conservatives find a rightful place for government intervention in enforcing some of the basic tenets of human rights, as stated in the Declaration of Independence that among these are the right to life, one of those inalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator. I would like to frame this argument as a technical one over when does that life begin, and how do we balance that right with the same rights (not less, not more) held by the mother.
Unfortunately, Roe is a horribly reasoned piece of jurisprudence that doesn't really help draw that line, instead it really draws no lines, leaving us in a position where the "right" to abortion, or, as Doc would euphemize it, the "right to self-determination," is whatever the mother declares it to be. Doc posits that somehow, Laura Ingraham and others of her ilk, from conception forward, want to confer more rights on the baby (or "clump of cells" to use their phraseology) than on the mother. This is a patently false statement. We want to confer equal rights on the mother and on that "clump of cells." This is clearly not an easy or pleasant task for anyone, but amongst reasonable people, we can agree that mothers that find themselves in this situation as a result of some act beyond their control (rape, incest, a credible threat to the mother's life) should be able to avail themselves of abortion technology. Only the most ideological would argue against that, and in a national debate, I think they'd find it very tough going selling that argument. So, while we might be disappointed that not ALL life could be protected, regardless of its genesis, again, reasonable people would likely have to accept some compromise to reach national consensus, because, yes, the mother does have rights, too.
The problem is that abortion has come to be a favored method of birth control, of rolling back the clock, to somehow allow the mother to "regain control of her own existence." I just find this argument extremely uncompelling. Except in the unusual and rare instances above, women in today's sexed-obsessed society know that pregnancy is a risk of intercourse. In case no one's looked, they're teaching sex ed before kids reach puberty these days. In my opinion, and I think it's quite reasonable, the decision about "control of her own existence" was already made at the time of the act.
Doc's post elevates "self-determination" to the highest level of concern, and, I guess, on re-reading, and understanding a little of Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy, I can see where Objectivists, being ideologically pure, would actually support abortion up until the moment a child is born, maybe beyond (which you can see, I am attempting to draw out of Doc in my reply to him). After all, at what point is a human actually capable of really considering their right to "self-determination?" Are we born with it? Or, do we learn it? If the latter, at what point does one become truly capable of making self-determinant decisions? I mean if a Down's Syndrome child, or a child born with some horrible birth defect or illness, or even into seemingly downtrodden and hopeless circumstances can't make their own decisions about self-determination, why shouldn't their parent, or even the state make the decision of whether they should live? Or, how about a panel of Objectivists, they seem to be doing a higher level of thinking than the rest of the proletariat?
This "mystic" can't convince atheists of the existence of God. They can't touch Him, or feel Him, or see any objective evidence (despite it being all around them), so, therefore, He doesn't exist, and we're all derided as "mystics" who want to deprive women of their rights to correct their mistakes through a specious right to self-determination which legalizes abortion on demand and send them to back rooms where they will be butchered (trust me, if we overturned Roe tomorrow, that would not happen, and to think otherwise demonstrates a massive misunderstanding of the ruling).
About Doc's slippery-slope argument about masturbation and gay sex and condom use - it's easy to use extreme arguments to prove a point, but the fact that extreme arguments have to be used to prove the point should tell you something about the point being made. This part of his post is just meant to be sensational. Read it though, it's interesting.
To the kinds of people that rail at the legislation of morality, I posted on this days ago. That train long ago left the station.
If anyone's reading, feel free to chime in.