Marvin Olasky

Two positions on abortion are logically consistent. One states, with biblical objectivity, that the killing of small human beings, whether born or unborn, should be illegal. The other, as espoused by Princeton's Peter Singer and others, is subjective: Small human beings dependent on others gain rights only as their needed protectors give them. This means that not only abortion but infanticide up to toddler stage should be legal (see "Blue State Philosopher").

This is not to say that Americans can't come at least temporarily to an illogical middle position. Most Europeans have. In France, for example, abortion during the first 10 weeks is legal but discouraged; after that time, sharp restrictions set in. If the Supreme Court hadn't in Roe v. Wade gone to the extreme of legalizing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason, we'd now have laws that allow for some abortion but do not freeze us into Court-dictated subjectivity.

Subjectivity: Right now killing an unborn child with the consent of the mother is legal in all 50 states—but in at least 35 states it is murder if a father or anyone else kills that child without the mother's consent. In other words, our law is based on the idea that unborn children do not objectively have value unless they are recognized as children by their mothers. Do we really believe that?

Singer predicts that by the year 2040 "only a rump of hard-core, know-nothing religious fundamentalists will defend the view that every human life, from conception to death, is sacrosanct." Maybe, but The New York Times must keep up its guard if we are to achieve that utopia.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
Be the first to read Marvin Olasky's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.