The View From 1776

Abortion Right vs Moral Duty

An article posted on the Intellectual Conservative website brings a useful perspective to the abortion debate: not a woman’s right vs right to life, but every parent’s moral obligation and society’s survival.

In Understanding the Paleoconservative Perspective on Life, Dr. Dan Phillips notes the political weakness of basing opposition to abortion solely on the ground of an infant’s right to live. 

Not that he disagrees with that position, but that it pits one asserted right against another, the infant’s right to live vs a woman’s right to control her body.  It reduces the political argument to “he says” vs “she says.”

What is almost impossible to counter-argue is:

Not only is it wrong to murder, it is particularly wrong to kill your own child. This is intuitive. Only the most rigorous universalist would dispute it….

An essential part of every civilized society is an expectation of certain behavior (i.e. mothers care for their babies) and prohibitions against others (i.e. incest). As Dr. Thomas Fleming pointed out in the Politics of Human Nature, different cultures have produced various forms of family association, but the one universal element of every human society is the mother/child bond. Outside the context of abortion, no one generally disputes this.

In some cases the law can enforce this obligation. Parents are not at liberty to just abandon or ?take care of? their ?unwanted? or ?inconvenient? child. The father can be held financially liable for his child if paternity is established. Parents are required to meet the basic needs of their child lest they be charged with neglect. In the eyes of the law and in the estimation of society, this parent/child bond and obligation is NOT VOLUNTARY. It is a duty. So in the case of abortion, on what grounds does this bond and obligation become a matter of choice when the child is in the womb?

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