Thomas Friedman has a rather astonishing take on what it means to be pro-life. In a column over the weekend, he tries to redefine terms so that he can stake out the rhetorical high ground for people who support an unlimited right to abortion. He writes:
In my world, you don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and be against common-sense gun control — like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children. You can call yourself a “pro-conception-to-birth, indifferent-to-life conservative.” I will never refer to someone who pickets Planned Parenthood but lobbies against common-sense gun laws as “pro-life.”
The rest of this column is really badly done. It does not engage pro-life arguments in any serious way. Instead it just rehearses pro-choice propaganda that gives no consideration to the humanity of the unborn. Nevertheless, I want to respond to Friedman’s argument about who gets to call themselves pro-life. Thomas Friedman supports the right of a woman to have an abortion at any time for any reason, no matter if the woman is 1 month pregnant or 8 months pregnant. In other words, he supports the regime of Roe v. Wade, which has presided over the legal killing of 55 million unborn human beings since 1973. He thinks that this entire class of persons should be excluded from the human community simply because they live inside their mother’s womb instead of outside of it. They are innocent human persons, and yet he thinks it should be legal to kill them at any time for any reason.
Friedman’s argument is sophistry and violence. No matter how many gun control laws you support, now matter how many soft-drink bans you endorse, no matter how ardently you support the environmental protection agency; if you support a regime that has presided over the legal killing of 55 million persons, you are not pro-life.