Legalized abortion undermines the structural integrity of any system of human rights or social justice.
On April 17, the Yale Daily News reported:
"After spending the year as a provisional member of Dwight Hall, Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) — Yale’s pro-life student organization — was denied full membership status in Dwight Hall’s Social Justice Network for the upcoming school year.
The approximately 90-member Dwight Hall Cabinet, which comprises member group leaders and executive committee members, gathered Wednesday night to vote on CLAY’s status within Dwight Hall. After deliberation, they denied the organization membership, blocking further access to Dwight Hall’s resources, including funds, cars and printing services...."
Two days earlier, on April 15, 2014 Andre Manuel wrote an op-ed in the Yale Daily News:
"To allow CLAY into the Social Justice Network would signal that we consider its work social justice, and would compel Dwight Hall to divert funds away from groups that do important work pursuing actual social justice and helping communities in New Haven and around the world. Social justice means fighting injustice and discrimination, and working to provide everyone with the chance to live a full and enriching life."
"The chance to live a full and enriching life." It is not the first time Americans have defended injustice by an inversion of reality. Here's a little free education for the Yale kids, more, apparently, than they are getting at their university. Mr. Manuel's statement is startlingly reminiscent to those made by supporters of slavery. One such was Senator John C. Calhoun:
"Slavery is indispensable to a republican government. ... There cannot be a durable republican government without slavery." (The Great Triumvirate: Webster, Clay, and Calhoun; Merrill D. Peterson, 1987)"
The proper response to Calhoun was given by one man who did get it, Abraham Lincoln:
"The Democracy (Lincoln was here referring to the Democratic Party) of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing, when in conflict with another man's right of property." (The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II; Roy P. Basler, Editor)
Lincoln understood that what we had in conflict in the battle over legalized slavery were two rights: the right to property and the right to liberty. He also understood that you can't have a right to property unless you have liberty. The two rights are not equal. One comes first, the other can only follow.
Today what we have in conflict in the battle over legalized abortion are two rights: the right to liberty and the right to life. What the young people at Yale's Social Justice Network need to learn is that you cannot have a right to liberty unless you have life. One comes first, the other can only follow. If you believe a woman has the right to have an abortion, you have already conceded she has a right to life. If you are willing to deny her the right to life, you are at the same time taking away any and all other rights she has, including the "right" to an abortion.
Legalized abortion undermines the structural integrity of any system of human rights or social justice. And such rights always exist in a system, never by themselves.