Long Island Coalition for Life, Inc.
Oratory Contest 2010
Pro-Life Speech on Abortion
by Kevin Cirronella
Time for Redecision
"We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer." These words marked a landmark pro-abortion victory on January 22nd, 1973, in the case of Roe v. Wade. It is because of these words, written by Supreme Court Justice Blackmun, representing the majority decision, by the court's own admission that abortion in today's society ought to be outlawed for good. Through advancements in technology and science, we are able to answer these speculations posed by the court. It's because of the court's own logic that it is time to end abortion in America once and for all. The time for redecision is now.
As rational and moral agents, members of society are bound to certain normative standards of ethics. Even if people such as post-modernists and atheists reject the proposition of absolute morality it is impossible to reject some normative foundational standards of ethics. It is this standard of normative ethics which claim that it is wrong to kill an innocent, rape, or torture. This is the underlying factor in the existence of a justice system in the first place.
Abortion at its very essence is an attack on these normative standards, since it is the stripping of life. Murder in any form is wrong because it is a direct attack against intrinsic human worth. All people would agree that murder is wrong both legally and morally. In this case the distinction should be made between killing and murder. Society does condone killing if necessary, for instance in self-defense, but murder is much more egregious, since it's the intentional killing of an innocent. When abortion is analyzed it is not not just a form of killing, its plain murder.
In terms of abortion, society is putting a stamp of approval on the most egregious violation of these standards. This is true because the most innocent and blameless level of humanity is at the level of a fetus and an infant. Society would be most appalled at a situation in-which a mother intentionally drowned her new-born infant. But if looked at closely is there a difference between an infant and an unborn child? Both are dependant on their mother for survival, in terms both are
non-viable without the presence of the mother. Both are limited in logical and moral rationality. Both are unable to introspect on their own being.
It is interesting to note, however, that these premises are justifications for abortion. But, the majority of pro-choice advocates would never justify infanticide as well. Why? Because, even pro-choice supporters retain some degree of moral decency. It is very hard to tell your neighbor that you support murdering year old infants.When you analyze the situation closely, you recognize the fact that there is really no difference between an unborn and an infant. It is clear that you are killing a
defenseless and innocent human-being.
In the U.S. and around the world, governments hold fast to the proposition that women should hold the right to an abortion. In the U.S., this right gained protection under the Supreme Court case of Roe. V. Wade, maintaining the position that women have the right to privacy, and by extension the right to an abortion. Proponents of the Roe. V Wade decision continuously argue the point of viability, meaning the child can't survive on it's own thus can't be considered a separate living entity. Johnson, Editor of Free Inquiry answers this:"The basic flaw in this argument is that it makes the moral standing of the embryo or fetus hinge on a factor external to it. Viability is not an intrinsic characteristic of the fetus but a relational characteristic: it depends on the relation between the fetus's stage of development and the state of neonatal medical technology. The moral standing of a being properly depends, however, only on the characteristics intrinsic to it. A twenty-eight-week-old fetus had no hope of surviving outside its mother's womb in 1900, but by 2000, technological advances had given it quite favorable prospects in such a circumstance. Yet it cannot plausibly be thought that the moral standing of a twenty-eight-week-old fetus was different in 1900 and 2000."
Since we have established at least a baseline idea that there is no moral distinction between an unborn child and an infant, using pro-choice rationale itself, where does that leave us legally?
By the Roe v. Wade majority decision based on the premise that fetuses are non-viable without the mother then either this decision implicitly justifies infanticide, killing a paralyzed person, and killing an unconscious person or it implicitly overturns itself. The Majority decision as stated by Justice Blackmun never answers the question of when life begins. It argues that it maintains the opening that if the unborn are proven as living-beings then they would gain protection under the 14th amendment, thus gaining the right to life. This is in Section 9 of the majority decision.
At this time in history, all the existing evidence points to the fact that a fetus is a living being. The most basic fact is that an embryo, fetus, child or at any stage during a persons life, the person is a person based on a genetic code. Embryos and fetuses have that code, ergo making it distinctly human; it isn't a goat or a fish, it's a human. A Senate Report submitted in response to the "Human Life Bill," states "Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being - a being that is alive and a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings. Everything that determines the individuality and originality of a person is established at conception. The first single cell contains the entire genetic blueprint in all its complexity."
The majority of pro-choice advocates accept this fact because it can't be disputed: it is biologically a human, and due to technology can survive on it's own. Instead they have embraced the "it lacks rationality, thus it isn't a human" argument, which is fallacious at best. The Supreme Court decision is now in a logical double-bind: it can't rely on science to be in its favor, because biology has proven the humanity of the unborn, and it can't rely on the rationality argument because doing so justifies clearly morally egregious and indefensible illegal actions.
As American citizens and members of a moral society, we should not allow the government to disregard its own words, especially when dealing with matters of life and death. The Supreme Court has the duty to insure that all Americans gain the protection of the most valued document in the U.S., the constitution. As such, we must demand that the court fulfills this duty and once and once and for all strike down the evil that prevades our society, namely the evil of abortion.
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