Defense of another

Forty or fifty years ago, my friend Wendy dragged me to an abortion debate, an event populated mostly by women.  The debate began in an orderly manner and then devolved into chaos.  Simplifying for concision, the dialogue proceeded something like this:


Pro-abortion woman: "It's my body"

Pro-life woman: "It's not your body that dies in the abortion."


Pro-abortion woman: "It's my choice."

Pro-life woman: "You made your choice when you got pregnant!"


Pro-abortion woman: "It's my privacy."

Pro-life woman: "The same privacy as bank-robbers!"


Pro-abortion woman: "It's just a clump of cells."

Pro-life woman: "It's alive!"


Pro-abortion woman: "It's not a human person."

Pro-life woman: "It's the result of the fertilization of a human ovum by a human spermatozoon, so it is human."


Pro-abortion woman: "It may be human, but it's not a person until it's born."

Pro-life woman: "It is a fully formed human baby!"

That last pro-life retort is the weakest.  Even Roe allowed abortion restrictions after viability and presumed that viability implied personhood.  Hence the attention Joe Biden and Whoopi Goldberg gathered when they recently said the fetus is a child.  Not that I consider either of them expert on the question, but it is an interesting development, isn't it?

Image: Baby by freepic.diller.

After all, the fetus is alive, and hence is either vegetable or animal; and if animal, is neither cat, nor dog, nor horse, nor anything else other than human.  Since the fetus is the result of the fertilization of a human ovum by a human spermatozoon, it is surely a human life form.

If the fetus is a child, then it is a human person and has all the rights of any citizen.  That would include life, liberty, property — the whole nine yards of American civil rights.

And that includes the right to self-defense.

So far as I am aware, the fetus has no means available to defend itself against the abortionist, but since many of the technological realities of today are beyond my imagination, I withhold judgment about what the future may hold for fetal defense mechanisms.  But realize that if such fetal defense mechanisms somehow came into existence, the fetus would obviously be lawfully authorized to employ them against the abortionist!

Moreover, something else is clear: in a circumstance in which a person has a right to self-defense, it is a matter of black-letter law that this right of self-defense can be exercised by another person on behalf of the person with the right.  This is called "defense of another."  So it is that, if I see Person A malevolently trying to kill Person B, with Person B unable to defend himself, I can legally spring to Person B's defense.  You should Google Duck Duck Go Qwant it.  You'll get lots of hits.

And no, I am most definitely not advocating that pro-life people hunt down abortionists.  Doing so is illegal, counterproductive, stupid, and immoral.  This is simply a different way of looking at the issue and understanding why every pro-life person has a moral obligation to speak out and vote against abortion, especially when the matter comes to state legislatures.  In our Brave New World, this is an interesting way to look at the issue, right?

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