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J. Neil Schulman on...Abortion

GARY YORK: Since you met God, has your opinion changed about abortion? Do you believe abortion to be wrong, a sin or an error?

J. NEIL SCHULMAN: I don't like abortion, personally, however I have always been and still am pro-choice. But I think a lot of the modern feminist rhetoric regarding a "woman's right to choose" is hogwash. Why should a woman have the sole right to choose whether or not to have a child, but the father -- who is expected to be responsible for it -- has no right to participate in the decision? That sort of feminism offends my libertarian view that there can be no duty where there is no choice. If women want the sole right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, and no man should be able to tell a woman what to do with her body, then women should lose all moral and legal claims for child support from the men whose semen they appropriate to achieve fertilization.  But I also think a lot of the "pro-choice" movement has a hidden agenda: to eliminate human reproduction and kill off the human species. It's just another facet of the left's fundamental nihilism.

GARY YORK: Most religions agree that killing is wrong and that the killing of babies is particularly egregious.  Some would say that ďabortioní is just a polite term for ďkilling babies.Ē  Do you agree?


J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Well, what is a fetus? Is it a human body being prepared for the arrival of a conscious soul, or is it a living being itself from which a conscious soul emerges? The older view is that the soul is not yet present until the first breath of life, so a developing fetus is just a body part. I don't see why the modern revisionist view that the soul is present from the moment of fertilization should be automatically adopted by those who believe in reverence for life. I don't see the religious right picketing blood banks. The part is not the whole. A fetus does not necessarily have a soul, and without a soul there can be no murder.


GARY YORK: If the fetus is just a body part, why would you dislike abortion?


J. NEIL SCHULMAN: Because even though the body isnít fully alive without the soul, itís designed in the image of God and shouldnít be regarded cheaply. Itís the same reason I have esthetic objections to body-piercing and self-mutilation. 
By the way, I do think itís ironic that the right-wing arguments for fetal rights and the left-wing arguments for animal rights are exactly the same arguments... and both of them fail to ask the fundamental question of what identity or nature is required for a thing to acquire rights.

GARY YORK: What is so special about birth Ė exit from the womb Ė that makes it proper to kill the prospective child before that moment and improper afterwards? 


J. NEIL SCHULMAN: The old answer to that is that's when the soul comes into the body. The libertarian answer is that's the first moment when you have a free individual with its own independent identity.


Back to Gary York's interview with J. Neil Schulman






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