The recent posts on the uproar caused by bill C-484 among abortion advocates made me reflect on the philosophical implications of opposing a bill that gives a different legal status to fetuses that are expected than to those that are not. I always thought that the entire edifice of choice arguments rested on moral relativism. In other words, whether something – ending the life of a fetus – is right or wrong depends on what you think it is. There is no absolute yardstick of morality and, consequently, what you see depends on what you choose to see.
So what should be the big deal about a bill that gives a special legal status to fetuses that are expected and wanted? If abortion is relatively moral, supporting an initiative that upholds this relativity should strengthen the choice rhetoric, shouldn’t it? Well apparently no. The “free abortion on demand” slogan cannot withstand any suggestion that the fetus is relevant because doing so would be admitting some abortions as unwarranted or unnecessary. And when the rightness of an action – ending the life of a fetus – won’t withstand the challenge of circumstances, it’s called an “absolute.” We pro-lifers have long argued that some things are absolutely wrong. It is time to start reflecting on the implications of holding abortion as absolutely right.by