Many of us who are anti-abortion abhor the idea of thousands upon thousands of tiny lives being killed each year. If the the laws were to change to allow abortion to happen only when the life of the mother is in critical danger, I wonder how we would respond.
Some might still hold that no abortions should be legal because it is murder. Others might leave room for a few cases of legalized abortion here and there. The idea being that to value life means also to value the life of the mother.
What seems to be inconsistent is the reality that many who hold the strictest view of abortion (no abortions under any circumstance) do so because they value life and justice. "It is not our decision to make," they might say, "that is up to God." And yet many folks who are so adamant about abortion, support the war in Iraq.
How are these views contradictory? Well, in any war there are innocent casualties. And even though our technology helps us to reduce these, there are still innocent people, numbering in the hundreds, who have been killed in Iraq to date. Is the innocent life of an unborn American child more valuable than the life of an innocent Iraqi child? Of course not. So why are we ok with war?
"But its different", some might claim. "The war is supposed to help the Iraqi people be free from the oppression and violence of Sadaam. The innocent deaths are an accidental by-product of doing good." While that is true, I don't believe the decision is different. When we decide to go to war, we decide to have "accidental innocent deaths." We know these accidents will happen and will number in the hundreds. We just don't know to whom.
I am no legal expert here but according to public.findlaw.com "an unintentional killing that results from recklessness" is involuntary manslaughter . And "a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life" is considered second degree murder. Either way, the loss of innocent life in war is a crime. And it is a crime that we know will take place when we decide to go to war.
It's a strange political position we find ourselves in when we rail against the first degree murder of the unborn innocent, but rally around war with its inevitable second degree murder and manslaughter of innocent lives. We justify these losses as mere casualties of a just-war. Our ethics are no better than the pro-choice advocate who sees the loss of the unborn as simply a loss of cell clusters in the pursuit of women's rights.
I invite all of your responses on this one. Help me understand where I have gone astray in my argument. Bring all your ideas about foundationalism, pacifism and justice and help me understand. I can no longer justify my own undertanding of the value of life and the pursuit of justice with my views on abortion and war. Teach me whatever you have to offer. Thanks.