Against a LARC
I am writing in regard to Robert VerBruggen’s article, “On a LARC,” in the December 31, 2014, issue of National Review.
I would like to thank Mr. VerBruggen for being honest about his present state of mind. However, I think it is incorrect to raise questions about the “value” or the “worth” of protecting an unimplanted human embryo.
An unimplanted human embryo is still a human being. To claim the right to decide to cause its death amounts to a claim of ownership of another human being. Ownership of human beings is forbidden by the 13th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
Fond du Lac, Wis.
Robert VerBruggen responds: Ms. Hoffman does not address my primary argument on the question of how we should treat unimplanted embryos: If we are to treat them with the same respect we give to any other human life, we can’t just make it illegal to harm them; we also need to save them from natural death when possible. Thousands upon thousands of embryos fail to implant naturally in the United States every year. If she is willing to advocate taking steps to address this, she has my respect for her intellectual consistency.
Regarding the Constitution, the 13th Amendment makes no mention of “human beings” (it bans “slavery” and “involuntary servitude”). As for what the document says about abortion elsewhere, I’m with Antonin Scalia: “When the Constitution says that persons are entitled to equal protection of the laws, I think it clearly means walking-around persons.” States should be free to restrict abortions, including the very earliest abortions, but nothing in the Constitution requires them to.
A Post-Apocalyptic Union
I admit that I am a sucker for end-of-the-world books. I got started with an obscure one called “Swan Song” by Robert R. McCammon many years ago. So it was with rapt attention that I read Ian Tuttle’s article “To Carry the Fire” (December 31, 2014). His writing is pure poetry, probably better than the books he mentioned. I particularly like the twist that apocalyptic events might bring about the best rather than the worst in people. I have often wondered about this. Could people band together (as they do not in the apocalyptic stories I have read)? I assume it would make for boring reading. After all, what fun is it if everyone gets together and tries to make the best of things, i.e., to carry the fire? I would love to see this tried. I admit that Stephen King did this in The Stand, but, still, half the survivors were evil. Perhaps, because of his wonderful writing ability, Mr. Tuttle might want to try his hand at this.
Oklahoma City, Okla.