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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 17, 2007 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

Why be pro-life?

By Jonah Goldberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I don't know if life begins at conception. I don't really know what "life" means. Consciousness? Possessing a soul? Well, if consciousness defines the issue, then life surely does not begin at conception. Not even the most adamant pro-lifer claims otherwise.


As for souls, I believe we have them, but I don't know how they work. Indeed, ensoulment — the process by which G-d puts a soul in our bodies — is a controversial topic among religious scholars, people who know a lot more about such things than I do. And I'm not sure any of them are right anyway.


If "life" simply means that fetuses are something more than inanimate objects, I'm with you. But that hardly seals the deal for me on the issue of abortion. After all, the world is filled with organisms that do not deserve any special consideration, let alone a claim on a human being's life or liberty.


In short, while I have great sympathy for "culture of life" arguments, if you tallied most of the above views on abortion, they'd appear to add up to my being pro-choice. And yet, when I get right down to it, I'm not. Why?


I've been trying to find my own answer to that question as the GOP comes to grips with the fact that its presidential front-runner, Rudy Giuliani, is pro-choice. I confess: A fully satisfactory answer eludes me, but I have enough of one to stay pro-life.


Part of my reasoning is politically pragmatic. Right-wing activist Grover Norquist once told my National Review colleague David Freddoso that anyone who can go to black-tie dinners and face the haranguing of rich donors for his pro-life stance has the backbone to support tax cuts, too.


That's a crude way of putting it, but I know what he means. Being pro-life is so unfashionable, so uncool, I tend to trust politicians who are willing to hold the line.


This, in turn, is why I have special contempt for anti-abortion politicians who switch sides. Jesse Jackson used to call abortion "genocide." Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Dennis Kucinich and other pro-choicers all once championed the unborn. Did each of them revisit the moral, philosophical, scientific and theological issues involved and, after careful study, decide that abortion doesn't kill "babies," after all, but merely evacuates "uterine contents"? I doubt it.


I could be wrong. But the fact that their conversions echoed the march of the Democratic Party and, for the most part, dovetailed with their presidential ambitions suggests to me that they were willing to sanction the taking of what they had once believed to be innocent lives merely for political gain. That is disgusting.


Flip-flopping the other way (as George H.W. Bush, Mitt Romney and others did) may be no less cynical. To pro-choice voters, it's surely offensive to watch someone sacrifice the individual liberty of women for political expediency. But, morally, it just doesn't seem as bad to me.


Every day, the government restricts what you can do with your body, from the drugs you can take to the surgeries you can subject yourself to. In other words, the line of personal autonomy is often blurry and narrow. The line between life and death is supposed to be bright and wide. Once a politician takes a stand that a certain population — be they fetuses, blacks, Jews, the handicapped or anybody else — has the right to life, their motive for changing their minds should be a lot better than fear of losing support from NARAL and the New York Times.


And that gets me to my more philosophical or principled reason for being pro-life: I just don't know. I confess that I lack passion about debates over RU-486, Plan B and other measures that terminate a pregnancy in the first few hours or days after conception, because that's when I'm least sure that a life is at stake. But when it comes to, say, partial-birth abortion, I am adamantly pro-life. I don't know if a fertilized egg has rights. But I am convinced that a baby minutes, days or weeks before full term is, simply, a baby. And despite what you constantly hear, Roe v. Wade doesn't recognize that fact.


In death penalty cases, "reasonable doubt" goes to the accused because unless we're certain, we must not risk an innocent's life. This logic goes out the window when it comes to abortion, unless you are 100 percent sure that babies only become human beings after the umbilical cord is cut. I don't see how you can be that sure, which is why I'm pro-life — not because I'm certain, but because I'm not.

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