To the Editor:
The fiftieth anniversaries of the atomic bombings have prompted debates about the ethics of warfare. Meanwhile, America's war on prenatal children has raged on unabated, routinely trashing every ethical principle. It has consisted exclusively of literally surgical first strikes against the totally innocent and helpless, intended to preempt the recognition and protections normally accorded at birth. Rather than honor the immunity of non-combatants, it has deliberately targeted them. It has employed poisonous weapons, refusal of quarter and live dismemberment of the unarmed target population, even subjecting them to experimentation, in contravention of the laws of war and all international standards for the treatment of prisoners. It has violated "Just War" principles, including just cause, last resort, proportionality and competent authority by placing the decision for a death-dealing act, grotesquely disproportionate to the ends usually sought, in the hands of the frequently ill-informed, distraught and underage. It's rationalization on the basis of so-called hard cases has reduced the vast majority of those slaughtered to collateral damage at rates that would be morally horrendous if practiced by the military.
What is it about unborn babies that suspends every ethical consideration? Is it the lack of any non-violent alternative for retaining control that justifies all manner of barbarism? Or is it that once the mental process of devaluing the lives of others, born or unborn, has gone far enough, they cease to exist in our minds as human beings such that anything can be done to them? What have we become that we avert our eyes as nearly one in every three of our children is destroyed? Is this imbalance of power so much to be feared? Why has the propaganda campaign been so effective that many now think and speak in the euphemisms ("pro-choice", "pregnancy termination", "reproductive freedom", etc.) and oxymorons ("safe abortion", "abortion rights") of the language of denial? How much more violence to life, truth, language, values, law, government, medicine, ethics and the principles of human rights can our society withstand?
But conscience and nature are not easily overcome. Like the flyers who delivered the bombs, the women who have delivered their unborn babies to the killing centers have suffered unforeseen fallout, experiencing a range of emotional and physical problems from guilt and depression to sterility and breast cancer. Yet the war planners continue to resist providing even the most basic safeguards - such as information about human development, life-affirming alternatives and potential hazards - rightly fearful that piercing their veil of ignorance will render their proxies unwilling to continue the carnage.