Friday, April 19, 2013
Conservative commentators and USA Today have criticized the mainstream media for ignoring a trial of an abortion doctor in Philadelphia. The contention is that editors and reporters have ignored a case of mass murder because of their position on abortion. There is evidence pro and con for that claim. The important point is that it raises an issue around which American society is divided and for which there can be no resolution. As science and reproductive technology prove daily, life begins at conception and that life can only be human. As advocates say, women have chosen for thousands of years whether to bring that life to term and making abortion illegal won't stop them. The law supports a woman's right to choose, but those who regard human life as sacred are dedicated to changing the law. Morals and ethics are at the heart of the argument. Either one values human life in all forms or one doesn't. Proponents of abortion argue that society has long made decisions about life, including use of capital punishment. The counter is that the law inflicts punishment on those who have done violence to other humans and society while unborn children are innocent. From the perspective of communications, one wonders whether a practitioner should get involved on either side. One is making a moral choice if he does and setting a value on what it means to be human. Even if one doesn't, the issue doesn't go away. It is like slavery, which today we consider monstrous but was judged normal until the start of the 19th Century. There are issues in society for which no amount of persuasion is sufficient. They strike at the heart of humanity and one's position, stated or not, defines one's stance toward others.