In the wake of what appears to be the most successful March for Life in its 40-year history, Avik Roy’s analysis of abortion politics comes off as yielding unnecessarily.
While he is certainly correct that a Roe-less world in which state legislators crafted abortion laws based on voter sentiment would be one with far fewer abortions, he is incorrect that such a world would constitute a “middle ground on abortion.”
That is because there is no such thing as an abortion middle ground.
As he notes, “abortion is a matter of life and death.” Abortion is a matter of fundamental human rights. Either the right to life is secure for every unborn child, or the laws fail to protect the weakest among us.
Overturning Roe is a step in the direction of an abortion-free world. But conservatives, or pro-lifers, certainly are not “defined” by Roe. The scope of our cause is far greater. And the strategy of the pro-life movement reflects that. Very little of its energy is channeled towards Roe. Much of it targets state laws, public opinion, federal funding, and providing viable alternatives to abortion such as crisis pregnancy centers. To say that the pro-life movement is shackled by Roe suggests a complete unfamiliarity with the pro-life movement.
Furthermore, why throw up the white flag now? The rising generation is the most pro-life in recent history. And while polls will always continue to find support for keeping certain forms of abortion legal, that never justifies throwing in the towel for some babies and not others.
Finally and most significantly, Roy violates Aristotle’s Law of Contradiction. A thing cannot be and not be simultaneously. One simply cannot be pro-choice and pro-life. This is a fallacy pro-abortionists have been spinning for decades, the classic, “Well, I personally am against abortion and think it’s wrong, but I support a woman’s right to choose.”
Roy does the pro-life movement a disservice by perpetuating this logical fallacy, one the movement has worked so hard to expose.
Now is not the time to “compromise.” Now is not the time to let ourselves be defined by liberal talking points about middle ground on human rights. Now is the time to press forward with principle and hope.
— Ashley E. McGuire is editor-in-chief of AltCatholicah and a senior fellow with The Catholic Association.