Irvine, CA--President Bush has praised the Supreme Court's upholding of a ban on so-called partial birth abortions as a victory for a "culture of life" and a step toward "the day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law."
"Since Bush and other religious conservatives regard embryos as 'children' from the moment of conception," said Alex Epstein, a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, "this is an open declaration of his goal to ban all abortions. And it is an indication of the true meaning of the 'culture of life' that the Religious Right says we must embrace--a culture in which abortion, assisted suicide, and embryonic stem-cell research are all illegal in the name of 'the sanctity of human life.'
"Think about the reality of such a culture. Pregnant women who rationally desired to abort--whether because of accidental pregnancy, rape, birth defects, or danger to their lives--would be forced to attempt dangerous, 'back-alley' abortions, the kind that crippled or killed untold numbers of women before Roe v. Wade. Individuals with incurable and unbearable diseases would not be able die with dignity at a time of their own choosing, but would be subjected to a protracted existence of often unspeakable agony. The potential millions who could be cured by treatments derived from the promising field of embryonic stem-cell research would instead suffer and die.
"To call this a 'culture of life' is a colossal fraud. In reality, it is a culture of suffering--of living death--in which actual human lives are sacrificed because 'God's will' commands it. It is a culture that consistently accepts the Christian ideal that human life is properly lived in sacrifice to God, and that suffering is proof of virtue.
"A true 'culture of life' would leave individuals free to pursue their own happiness--free from coercive injunctions to sacrifice themselves to religious dogma. Such a culture is what we must seek to create, as we do everything possible to fight religious conservatives' culture of living death."
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