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The House's decision to obstruct the use of Medicaid funds for non-therapeutic abortions is a rare demonstration of sensitivity to a particularly complex moral question that the full Congress should uphold.
The arguments of the "abortion-on-demand" lobby are certainly compelling in a practical sense. The question, however, is not one of eliminating socioeconomic discrimination, as laudable a goal as that may be. That only obscures the real question: the extent to which social expedience can justify a possibly immoral act.
Neither side in the abortion debate can claim to have positive knowledge of whether or not abortion constitutes the taking of a life. Yet a real biological possibility exists that this is the case. Given this possibility, the government must accord the fetus the same rights it grants the average criminal suspect: the assumption that it is innocent, until proven guilty, of being an "expendable" member of society. Until proof exists to the contrary, any "moral justification" for abortion simply does not exist.
The only argument that can be made for abortion is that it constitutes a means of reducing a burden to a particular segment of society. This appeal to social expedience is the same argument used to justify capital punishment and "protective reaction" warfare: the assumption that human lives may legitimately be sacrificed for the good of a society that is not under immediate attack. It may be painful to admit, but this view is morally bankrupt: Congress and the American people should not tolerate it.
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