Erica Wanis

In Dostoevsky's epic novel, The Brothers Karamazov, brothers Ivan and Alyosha engage in a deep discussion about God – his existence and his goodness. Expressing frustration at his brother's rejection of faith, Aloysha declares that if there is no God, "everything is permitted." The truth of this observation may be seen in the ongoing debate over abortion and the seeming inability for the pro-choice side's greatest minds to come up with a winsome argument in defense of unborn human life. So long as human society continues its trend of rejecting belief in the divine and relying upon the self as the sole source of moral authority and conscience, there is little chance of popular opinion shifting decisively away from an embrace of legalized abortion.

It's been over 30 years since the Supreme Court ruled that a woman's right to privacy includes the right to electively terminate the life of her unborn child. In that relatively short span of time, abortion has evolved from a highly controversial social taboo to a celebrated pillar of the progressive feminist agenda. Despite its current status as a sacrosanct symbol of female liberation, however, the debate over the morality of abortion rages on. Pro-life advocates approach the issue from multiple angles, in an attempt to find that one compelling argument that will convince the public of abortion's indisputable moral horror.

One popular and rather obvious objection to abortion is that terminating the life of an unborn child is a violation of his or her First Amendment right to life. To deny this, one must get into the muddy question of when life truly begins and when a person acquires those natural rights articulated in our Declaration of Independence. The easy out, of course, is to claim that such matters are above one's pay grade, as our President did, and go along supporting abortion under the nebulous aegis of a woman's right to "make her own health care decisions."


Erica Wanis

Erica Wanis is a consultant for the John Jay Institute's Center for a Just Society. She resides in Leesburg, VA, with her husband and son.