Thursday, January 16, 2014

Supreme Court hears case regarding abortion clinic protesters and their speech; more issues circle

Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments on a Massachusetts law barring abortion protestors from a 35-yard buffer zone around a clinic or facility.  The Washington Times, in a piece Wednesday by Robert Knight, noted that the ACLU has itself changed positions on the speech aspect of the issue, versus the choice and life debate, link here
Knight, by the way, goes overboard when he claims that homosexual activists protest at conservative churches.  It’s gone the other way, as Westboro Baptist Church has sometimes been across the street from LGBT churches.
I could never get into a situation where abortion affects me directly, so, I suppose some would wonder if I have a standing to mention it.  I don’t share the emotionality on both sides of the issue.  It does strike me that very late term abortion is infanticide.  I can remember Oliver North saying that through the car radio numerous times in the 1990s.
There’s a debate going on in Europe, recently noted by Steve Forbes in his magazine, over euthanasia, which now extends to a proposed law in Belgium allowing it with children in great pain, as covered in Euornews here The Netherlands has a similar law with an age floor of 12.
When I was a substitute teacher, I got to see the risk that parents take any time they have children.  I know where you can go with this (pre-natal amniotic testing), and that the rich have more access to this than the poor, etc.  But what really was striking was the emotional engagement required later, not just from the parents, but from so many others, including teachers, including subs, who could feel ambushed by the process. 

There’s a lot more to the “right to life” issue than just the narrow idea of the unborn child’s consciousness or pain or rights as a human entity.  In fact, there’s some evidence that in most kids, the “soul” and consciousness takes hold slowly as the kid grows, and does not exist as such in the womb.  Of course, there could even be scientific questions about evidence for reincarnation. 

The issues even extend to areas like contraception and intentional childlessness – as if human engagement were a moral requirement of all.   

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