In his book A Defense of Abortion, David Boonin describes photographs on his desk that show his son, Eli, in various stages of life. “Despite all the remarkable changes these photos retain,” Boonin writes, “he remains undeniably the same little boy.”
I keep another photo of Eli in the top drawer of my desk. This photo was taken… 24 weeks before his birth. The ultrasound image is cloudy, but it reveals a small head tilted back slightly, one arm raised and bent, hand pointing back toward the face, and thumb extended toward the mouth. I do not doubt that this photo also shows the same little boy at a very early stage in his physical development. And there is no doubt that the position I defend in this book is that it would have been morally permissible to end his life at this point.
It would have been okay to kill Eli, Boonin argues, because at that age, Eli hadn’t yet acquired the qualities Boonin believes confer rights or value. It wasn’t enough that Eli was Eli. He needed a little more to count.
Many abortion advocates have these views, but it raises troubling questions. Who decides if and when I matter? What features do I need, and why do those making such a difference? How much of that do I need? What happens if I lose them (e.g., due to injury, illness, disability, or age) – do I lose my human rights? And since no two people share such characteristics to the same degree, is equality just a myth?
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The deepest kind of love is seeking that which is good for other people – seeking their well-being or their prosperity.
But this kind of love is not contingent. It does not strive for the prosperity of others only part of the time, while at other times, it empowers their destruction. It always wants what is good for them.
Abortion is the opposite of love. Abortion robs people of the good that is their life. It affects their well-being and undermines their flourishing. You may matter at some times in your life or some circumstances, Abortion says, but at other times you don’t.
Love says something else. It tells you matter just because you are yourself. And that’s enough.
LifeNews.com Note: Paul Stark serves on the staff of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, a statewide pro-life group.