The fundamentals of the abortion discussion must sometimes be reviewed. There’s this argument which I see very often:
I know you would never have an abortion yourself and I respect your decision. But it’s the law of the land and my choice is not your business.
Let us take this apart and examine it.
It’s the law: Because a thing is legal it is right. It is settled now. Its being legal makes it right.
Let’s substitute slavery for abortion. Slavery was once perfectly legal, and its legal status wasn’t largely controversial. There was an abolitionist movement, a relatively small but vocal minority who were committed to seeing slavery made illegal and to seeing the United States become a more just nation.
Did slavery’s legal standing make it right? Were those who opposed slavery doing the wrong thing or the right thing?
Did slavery’s legal standing settle the issue? ( Hardly.)
I respect your choice. No you don’t, and I don’t respect your choice.
Imagine again we are living in America in 1850. Sally would never own a slave and Jane respects that. But whether Jane chooses to own slaves is Jane’s choice, her business, and Jane is offended when Sally talks about Jane’s choice being morally wrong. Besides, says Jane, it’s settled now. It’s legal.
Is Jane’s owning slaves OK then? Should Sally respect Jane’s personal choices?
You should follow your conscience and I should follow mine.
Are Sally’s and Jane’s truths relative? Should they live and let live? Did slavery simply become unpopular?
Or is slavery morally wrong, anytime, anywhere…was it as unjust in 1860 as it was in 1943 or in 1000?
So we see that these reasons…
It’s legal. It’s settled.
If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. But leave me alone.
We each have our beliefs and both are to be respected.
…do not stand up. Why? Because there is absolute moral truth. There is objective right and wrong. Some things are right and some things are not right.
There is no one who does not believe this, though there are many who claim to believe that moral truths are relative to each individual. Ask such a person if sidewalk counseling outside abortion clinics is morally neutral. Ask him if churches should be tax-exempt. Or ask her if it was morally relative for the dentist to shoot Cecil the lion. Or ask her if your driving big gas-guzzling cars is none of her business. Or ask her if she minds if you get in her car and drive it away and keep it.
All of us respect an objective moral standard, though the items on my list may be different than the items on yours. But there must be absolutely objective items on that list which are true regardless of my opinion or yours. An item like abortion, which involves the ending of lives which may be human, must have an absolute value. Abortion is objectively right, or objectively wrong.