Gloucester Daily Times Debate on Abortion (7), December 9, 1985

They Are Unable to Grasp the Issue

After reading Sandy Parsons’ letter of Dec. 3 defending the pro-choice position in terms of a “woman’s issue.” I am struck once again by the incredible inability of feminists and their supporters to grasp the key issue in the abortion debate. That issue is that the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is the basic right in our society, and cannot be superceded by other important, but less fundamental, rights. The argument that the fetus is not a human being is specious, deceptive and, in the final analysis, immoral. It was just as easy for the 1857 Supreme Court to declare a black man, Dred Scott, to be in a category of sub-humanity (s slave), and thus not entitled to the constitutional guarantees that “people” enjoy. The Dred Scott decision did not withstand the test of time because it was immoral. Roe versus Wade is destined for the same fate for the same reason.

I must respond to one of the specific questions by Ms. Parsons in her letter. She asks, “What is the difficulty in accepting the fact that differing beliefs have as much validity as their own?” In other words, you believe what you believe and I’ll believe what I believe, and we’ll live happily ever after in harmony and peace. Should we apply that enlightened philosophy to the government in South Africa? After all. if they believe that black people can be treated like cattle, will Ms. Parsons allow them this belief without challenge? Will she allow the Nazis their belief that Jews are non-persons? Of course not. There are times when immoral behavior must be resisted no matter what the prevailing social mood. Abortion is one such moral evil, feminism notwithstanding.

James Boland, 43 Cherry Street


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House of Lords 17 October 2017

Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.