23 January

Violations of Conscience in ‘The Land of the Free’

From a guest blogger: Not for the first time has ‘the land of the free’ been a hopelessly wrongheaded epithet with which to label the United States of America. Many developed western nations find themselves embarrassed by histories of racial subjugation and segregation and they are rightly sorry about these records. But slavery is not the only enemy of freedom.

Now, in 2012, it has become law in the United States of America that contraceptives, including abortifacients must be provided by public medical institutions whether or not they are in accordance with the ethical traditions or codes of the bodies in question.

So far, there has not been a single coherent case made for why a newly conceived baby in utero is not as fully human as you or I, or indeed President Obama. Whatever a person may have done in his or her life it still has a value equal to that of every other human being. Whether or not a person can make an articulate plea for life the right to that life is unaffected. In destroying a human embryo a human person is destroyed just as if this were effected on death row. On death row, leaving aside the question of the morality of the death penalty, the person concerned has at least been found guilty by due process of some dreadful crime deemed a capital offense. In the womb, however, the person can have done do such thing.

To require by law that a person or institution must provide such doses of a drug as would terminate pregnancy must, for anyone mindful of the preservation of human life, constitute a very grave violation of conscience.

Freedom, as with any good thing, very often calls for a fight. Complacency in matters of liberty, as in the case of any of the virtues, is in itself a vice. It is now painfully clear that freedom has still to be fought for in, of all places, the land of the free.

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