Abortion is the intentional killing of innocent human beings, and as such, opposition to it commands that we acknowledge this verity as the principal basis of our position.

No one knows this better than Amherst scholar Hadley Arkes. He articulates the right legal objections to abortion better than anyone, and that is because he does not skirt the basic biological, and moral, issues involved. His latest piece on this subject was published in the May edition of First Things.

Why is abortion wrong? It is wrong because it violates the natural law, the common sense ideas of right and wrong that are inscribed in the hearts of every human being.

Bill Donohue remembers reading an editorial in the New Republic, a prominent liberal magazine, many years ago that sided with the conclusion of Roe v. Wade—abortion should be legal—but nonetheless objected to the Supreme Court being the deciding agent. That decision, it said, should have been made by the Congress. Fine. But if lawmakers do not base their judgments on the natural law, there is little to cheer about. That is what Arkes is getting at.

Unfortunately, many conservatives have adopted the thinking of the New Republic—turn the issue back to the states. What would that resolve? That’s the end of our moral obligations? If abortion is morally wrong, why should we be satisfied that some states will sanction it and others will not? Would we find it agreeable if some states allowed racial discrimination and others did not?

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