Friday, October 12, 2012

The moral confusion of Joe Biden

In yesterday's debate, Vice President Joe Biden said that, as a Catholic, he accepts the position of his church regarding the ethics of abortion, then added:
But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and -- I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman [Paul Ryan].

I -- I do not believe that -- that we have a right to tell other people that women, they -- they can't control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view. And the Supreme Court -- I'm not going to interfere with that.
This is the cop-out of all cop-outs. If abortion is what Biden says he accepts it to be -- namely, the unjust killing of an innocent human being, as pro-lifers argue using the facts of embryology and sound moral reasoning, and as the Catholic Church unambiguously teaches -- then abortion is precisely the kind of act that only an anarchist would deny should be prohibited by law as a matter of basic justice. Because surely the proper role of government includes securing fundamental rights and protecting people from lethal violence. It is not difficult to connect the dots.

Biden would have no trouble "imposing" his view that suicide bombing is wrong, or that rape is wrong, or that child abuse is wrong. It would be understood as shocking moral confusion, or cowardice, or insanity for him to speak only of the imposition on the perpetrator in arguing that the act, though wrong, must be legal, ignoring completely the actual victim on whom brutal violence is truly "imposed." Yet that is what he does with the issue of abortion.

Biden once strongly opposed the use of taxpayer funds for abortion, and he voted to ban partial-birth abortion and for other modest pro-life legislation. Now he defends an administration that has encouraged the taxpayer funding of abortion at every turn -- here in America and around the world -- and accepts no limits whatsoever on the practice of abortion on demand, even opposing a bill this year to stop the killing of unborn baby girls simply because they are girls. Biden used to hold positions that Barack Obama (in his breathtaking abortion radicalism) considers not just wrong but unconstitutional (e.g., support for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Born Alive Infant Protection Act).

Paul Ryan served as a refreshing contrast. He said in the debate that he holds his pro-life position "not simply because of my Catholic faith" but also "because of reason and science." He continued:
You know, I think about 10 and a half years ago, my wife Janna and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where I was born for our seven-week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat. Our little baby was in the shape of a bean, and to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child, Liza, "Bean."

Now, I believe that life begins at conception. ... I understand this is a difficult issue. And I respect people who don't agree with me on this. But the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.

What troubles me more is how this [Obama] administration has handled all of these issues. Look at what they're doing through Obamacare with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. They're infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic Charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals. Our church should not have to sue our federal government to maintain their religious liberties.

And with respect to abortion, the Democratic Party used to say they want it to be safe, legal and rare. Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding, taxpayer funding in Obamacare, taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said that he sympathized or wouldn't second-guess their one-child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That, to me, is pretty extreme.
After a follow-up question, Biden argued:
The court -- the next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That's how close Roe v. Wade is.

Just ask yourself: With Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for -- for Mr. Romney, who do you think he's likely to appoint? Do you think he's likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court, far right, that would outlaw Planned -- excuse me -- outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.
Biden is correct that the fate of Roe v. Wade might be at stake in this election, and that the Obama administration will do everything it can to preserve that decision (it has already effectively saved Roe with its two Supreme Court appointments thus far). But he is wrong when he implies that overturning Roe would outlaw abortion. And Justice Antonin Scalia himself is clear that he doesn't think the Court has the constitutional authority to prohibit abortion. What overturning Roe would do -- and what Scalia would do, and what Mitt Romney and Ryan want to do -- is allow the people, through their elected representatives, to once again determine their own abortion policies. Obama and Biden are instead dedicated to ensuring that the Court, with no constitutional warrant, imposes a nationwide policy of abortion on demand whether the people like it or not.

As Ryan put it last night: "We don't think that unelected judges should make this decision; the people, through their elected representatives and reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process, should make this determination."

Joe Biden would rather impose unlimited abortion on the states. And impose abortion funding on pro-life taxpayers. And impose death on the most vulnerable members of the human family. For them -- those he says he acknowledges to be living human beings -- he will do nothing but sit back and help facilitate their destruction on a massive scale. And then he will boast about his moral superiority.