Dean Barnett is not your average conservative and as such, he puts to rest the notion that only religious people are pro-life.
But I’m pro-life, and adamantly so. Unlike the often erroneous stereotype of the pro-life citizen, I didn’t arrive at my position as a matter of religious faith. Rather, my conclusions flow strictly from logical inquiry.
So Barnett starts off by stating his opposition to abortion and that he has arrived their logically apart from religious belief.
You might expect that since I’m pro-life, I would argue that life begins at conception. Actually, that’s not quite right. In answering the question of when life begins, the best I can do is say “I don’t know.” Life may begin at conception. It may begin during pregnancy. Or it may begin at childbirth. While I have a feeling that life begins at conception, I certainly can’t prove it.
I was struck by this because I have heard that sentiment express here by pro-choice people on numerous occasions – “I don’t know when life begins.”
He then explains why his limited understanding of the beginning of life or personhood leads him to a pro-life position.
In our society, Roe v. Wade drove us to a court-ordered “consensus” that life doesn’t begin until close to birth. But what if that “consensus” is wrong? What if life begins earlier? What if it begins at conception? If that’s the case, then the implications are beyond horrifying. It means that our country has taken 45 million innocent lives through abortion since Roe v. Wade, all with the explicit sanction of the law and therefore the implicit sanction of the rest of society.
Because we don’t know where life begins, the only logical thing to do is to err on the side of caution — the side of life. In other words, because an abortion might take an innocent life, it should be avoided. It should also be illegal in most cases.
I do not believe someone of faith should have their viewpoint discriminated against, but it does seem to reason that for many people reading a secular Jew logically explain his pro-life position may be more influential than my writing.
To me, his column begs the question: Why not “err on the side of caution?” If we do not know, or cannot agree, as a society where life begins, why should we not tilt the scales toward protecting life and a possible person?