Pro-Life, or Not, in a Pandemic

Medical staff move a patient to an ambulance during a transfer of people infected with coronavirus, in Angers, France. March 26, 2020. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters)
Pressed between an economic and a medical crisis, some of those on opposite sides of the abortion debate start to sound like they’ve traded scripts.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A s governments worldwide impose restrictions on freedom of movement, critics of that response to the pandemic raise various objections. Anne Applebaum warns that rulers will exploit the crisis to suspend civil liberties and that, fearing death, people will accept and even applaud many such power grabs. The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben worries that something of the emergency measures taken now will linger after the pandemic subsides. “Italians are prepared to sacrifice practically everything . . . to avoid the danger of falling ill,” he writes in the European Journal of Psychoanalysis. “Our society no longer believes in anything but naked life” —

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