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Slouching Toward Surrender



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Avik Roy says he is not calling for surrender on the issue of abortion — but then he calls for pro-lifers to be more flexible on the question as to when life begins. He says many “moderate Americans” do not necessarily believe that life begins at conception.

But to cede any other “belief” about when life begins would be nothing more than backpedaling, surrendering on what is arguably the most important front in the fight over abortion. Arguing for another strategy does a disservice to the pro-life cause, which has been working tirelessly to unite everyone around the reality that life begins at conception.

Roy wants the pro-life movement to include under the label “pro-life” those who have decided in their hearts that life begins at some moment other than conception and therefore support legal abortion prior to that point.

Pro-lifers have been striving to make sure that those who favor abortion cannot co-opt the term pro-life simply because they disregard science and hold their own personal beliefs about when life begins. To give ground here would be the ultimate surrender, and an unnecessary one, as even the scientific community accepts the simple assertion that at the moment of conception, a new human life is created and infused with a unique set of DNA. Every heartbeat, spasm, and brain wave after that is fetal development.

And as our friend Aristotle might note, at the moment of conception, the fertilized egg takes on a “principle of motion” unique onto itself that, without interference, leads all the way to old age.

Roy clearly means well in wanting to bring some of the more than 30 percent of Democrats who are pro-life over to our side. But there is no middle ground with regards to abortion, because the middle ground between life and death is death.



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