The scene: The Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson, in the late 1970s. I was invited in to do a debate on abortion with a young woman from the ACLU. I sought to show, in my usual way, that the argument on abortion could be cast simply in the form of a principled argument, without any appeal to faith or religion.
I drew, as ever, on a fragment that Lincoln wrote for himself in which he imagined himself in a debate with an owner of slaves, and he put the question of why this man was justified in making a slave of the black man. Was he less intelligent? Then beware, said Lincoln, you may be rightly enslaved by the next white man more intelligent than you.
As the argument moved on in this way, the upshot became clear: there was nothing one could cite to justify the enslavement of the black man that would not apply to many whites as well.
I pointed out then that we simply draw upon the same mode of reasoning when it comes to abortion: why is that offspring in the human womb anything less than human? Does it not speak? Neither do deaf mutes. Does it lack arms or legs? Well, other people lose arms or legs in the course of their lives without losing anything necessary to their standing as human beings to receive the protections of the law. ….
Read more at https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2019/11/19/beliefs-and-their-political-traps/