The Post-Roe Paradox

by Pat Conroy
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For the second time in a decade, the Supreme Court of South Carolina has upheld the conviction of a woman for causing the death of her unborn child. Pro- life advocates have limited cause to cheer. The only reason for this decision is because the mother caused her child's death by using cocaine, an already illegal activity.

Nevertheless this case does illustrate the paradox of the post-Roe v Wade legal arena—it may be criminal to kill an unborn baby by smoking crack, but one has a constitutional right to do so using, for example, a pair of forceps in an abortionist's office. If pro-life and pro- abortion supporters could agree on anything, it should be that this is a distinction without a difference.

Yet for the 200-proof pro-abortion, a pregnant woman who smokes crack is no more culpable than any other crack user. For the pro-life, killing an unborn baby with drugs is no more acceptable than causing the child's death by abortion. As long as Americans remain ambivalent regarding abortion, however, ludicrous moral inconsistencies will prevail.

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Posted 11 July 2003.

Copyright 2003 by Cincinnati Right to Life
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