We in the pro-life movement have got a decision to make.
If this were a football game, it would be the fourth quarter with one second on the clock. We, the Lifers, trail the Choicers by three points. We’re on their goal line. It’s fourth down. And, it’s the Superbowl.
Do we go for the field goal and the tie, in hopes of sending the game into overtime?
Or, do we run a play and go for the touchdown and the win?
Welcome to the debate within the pro-life movement between those who support the National
Right to Life and their desire to kick the field goal of keeping abortion “safe, legal, and rare” until a more opportune time to challenge Roe, and those who support the Thomas More Law Center who want to go for the touchdown—and the win—of ending abortion on demand through all three trimesters now.
I’m sure there are good arguments on both sides. As of right now, I’m only familiar with one since there’s nothing on the National Right to Life’s Web site to explain their position. Stay tuned.
Last week, I talked with attorney Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center who’s making the case that the pro-life strategy since Roe has not been to win but merely to tie, to only dither at the edges, improving notification procedures, curtailing particular surgical procedures, and so on. For example, he argues that the recent “victory” restricting partial birth abortion has in fact not saved a single life, it’s only changed the type of procedure used to take the lives of those already destined for abortion.
Muise would like to see states adopt a Human Life Amendment that would affirm that every unborn child is a person from the moment of fertilization. He believes this is the heart of the abortion issue.
He sites the Roe v. Wade decision, in which the court said, “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in … medicine, philosophy and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”
Today, that “difficult question” has been unequivocally answered: human life begins at fertilization—at least in the biological sense. What remains to be answered is whether the court will be forced to acknowledge that all human life has value in the moral and therefore legal sense.
Furthermore, Muise points to the central passage of the entire Roe decision, in which Justice Harry Blackmun wrote, “(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”
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