I would like to thank The Crimson for publishing “Right To Abortion is Right To Life” by Ian R. MacKenzie ’04 (Opinion, Mar. 4). I have often heard it said that the wackiness of Harvard liberals makes rational students on this campus more conservative when they leave than they were when they got here. MacKenzie’s ridiculous assertions that it is better to be sucked into a vacuum (the abortion method he cites to defend the humaneness of the procedure) than to be born into a non-ideal situation certainly serves to make many moderate and rational students rethink whether they want to be associated with such “pro-choice” radicals. The same is true for his assertion that women are better off having abortions than having unwanted children. Any thinking individual could imagine that having an abortion negatively affects both mother and child.
Most supporters of abortion think about it much like colonists thought of slavery, a “necessary evil.” In other words, they think abortions are morally questionable and should be rare, but that women should not be prohibited from choosing them. When slavery came under increasing attack in the 19th century, a reactionary theory developed that said that slavery was a “positive good,” benefiting both slave and master. MacKenzie’s piece performs this role for abortion, claiming that it benefits both mother (right to abortion is right to life for her) and child (better to be terminated than born into non-ideal circumstances). I thank MacKenzie for placing abortion on the same historical trajectory as slavery, and I look forward to the eventual emancipation of unborn children.
Justin A. Barkley ’02
Mar. 4, 2002