Pro Life and Marriage: Common Sense by Thomas Sowell

From the Feb. issue of the National Review (A Lion in High Summer)

ASKED to comment on abortion, Sowell says, first, that the courts should have stayed out of the matter. “They were solving what was basically a non-problem. There was no serious controversy over abortion prior to Roe v. Wade.” States were addressing the issue in their various ways. Second, it is almost impossible to get “an honest discussion” about abortion. No one will say what an abortion actually is. We resort to euphemism and other methods of avoidance. Sowell says that, like many people, he had always thought of abortion in a particular way: An “unformed mass of cells” existed “somewhere in the body”; a doctor removed it, and that was that. But “once I began to learn about these ultrasounds,” it was plain that “there’s a little person in there,” which is a “different ballgame.” Sowell notes that people like to say, “A woman has a right to do whatever she wants with her own body.” But it should be obvious that there’s another body in question.

Now to another “hot-button issue,” namely gay marriage. Many conservatives, even those opposed, believe that it is inevitable. Does Sowell? “Nothing is inevitable until it happens. But I am enormously pessimistic.” As indicated by those words, he believes that gay marriage would be a harmful development. “There is no gay marriage.
There is marriage and then there’s the redefinition of marriage. And if you’re going to redefine marriage for the gays, why in the world not for polygamists?” Why not for others as well?
[On] the debate about gays in the military, Sowell says, has been “very depressing.” “We talk about the right of gays to be in the military. Nobody has a right to be in the military. The military doesn’t exist as a jobs program. I mean, their job is to stop other people from killing us, and at the risk of their own lives.”

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