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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Monday, November 15, 2004
Glenn opines: Instapundit Glenn Reynolds, an "abortion rights supporter" in journalism parlance, has an interesting post on abortion and the "duty to rescue." In layman's terms, it's the concept that being a good samaritan cannot be required of someone. I'm not going to address Glenn's position on abortion -- it's well-thought out and I'm not going to change his mind and he's not going to change mine.

What struck me though was this statement in Glenn's post:

At common law -- and still, pretty much, the law generally -- there's no duty to rescue. The classic example, in fact, involves a man walking down the sidewalk and observing a baby drowning in a half-inch of water. Even if the man could rescue the baby with no risk and minimal inconvenience to himself, he's under no duty to take any action at all, and can simply keep walking without facing any penalty beyond moral condemnation. [emphasis added]

The problem with the public debate on abortion -- aside from the often superheated rhetoric on both sides -- is that many pro-choicers seek to even bar pro-lifers from having a right to "moral condemnation." The typical attitude is: "It's the woman's choice, you have no right to criticize. Shut up!"

The closest that anyone on the left side of the political aisle is allowed to come to criticizing abortion is "safe, legal, and rare" with an implicit promise that nothing will be done with regard the first or third items.

Moral condemnation? The way the media, the universities and one major political party have outlined the terms of the debate, condemnation is not allowed -- "moral" is next.

1:39 AM

not to argue against your point (that the left is attempting to outlaw morality and condemnation altogether), but there is a case to be made for restraint when having the state enforce morality in either direction.

if we allow the legislation of morality, we run the risk of an everchanging set of rules that serves little purpose beyond punishment of the opposition to the current leadership.

society is a lot better at policing without the power of the state behind it. putting the power of law behind an essentially moral quest incites rebellion in ways that a grassroots movement never could.
The problem with Glenn's example is that it is backwards. One is under no legal obligation to assist but can choose to do nothing. If one chooses to do nothing with regards to an abortion then no abortion is performed. In Glenn's example affirmation action is required to assist. In abortion it is required to harm.
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