In Chapter 3 of Saving Leonardo, Nancy Pearcey anticipates the change in rhetoric on display from pro-abortion advocates: Namely, an acknowledgement that, biologically, life does begin at conception. They’ve had to admit this given the advancement of ultrasound technology which lets us see inside the womb.
How, then, to justify abortion? Either deny that life = personhood (and define personhood as having certain mental capacities), or simply say that some lives are more important than others. The latter strikes me as a more honest representation of those who support abortion rights. John Piper writes:
I took an abortionist out to lunch once, prepared to give him ten reasons why the unborn are human beings. He stopped me, and said, “I know that. We are killing children.” I was stunned. He said, “It’s simply a matter of justice for women. It would be a greater evil to deny women the equal right of reproductive freedom.”
And that’s the approach Mary Elizabeth Williams takes in a chilling article:
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.
This is exactly the “pro-choice” position: Might makes right.
HT: Denny Burk