Can the freedom of one person cancel out the freedom of another?
That was the question at the center of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in the 1800s, and it is the question at the center of the abortion debate today. The debate over a woman’s right to choose can be illuminated by studying Lincoln’s argument.
Stephen Douglas argued that individual communities and states should decide for themselves if slavery should be legal. In today’s abortion debate, this is the thinking behind the pro-abortion argument: America is a big country; individuals should agree to disagree about whether abortion should be legal.
Abraham Lincoln counters by arguing that an individual cannot invoke the principle of choice without regard for the consequences of that choice. In the case of Lincoln and Douglas, it was the slave’s freedom in question. Today, it is the freedom of unborn babies at stake.
One woman can’t use her own freedom to take away the freedom of someone else. Here’s the bottom line: women can’t invoke choice to cancel out the life of another human being.
Keep watching #TruthStraightUp!
Brian Brenberg is up next, discussing equality: https://youtu.be/CtNu3ajJSmw
#TruthStraightUp continues with new episodes each week! Click the button above to subscribe to YAFtv and make sure you get notified when new videos are released.
The abortion debate is really illuminated by by the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Interestingly, Douglas argues, and this is in the context of slavery, that each community, each state, should decide for itself if it wants slavery.
Douglas’ arguments are the so-called “pro-choice” ones. He goes, “We have a big country. We should agree to disagree.”
Lincoln counters by saying, “You cannot invoke the principle of choice without regard to the content of the choice.” In other words, you can’t use your freedom to take away the freedom of someone else, in that case, a slave.
The same could be said about the unborn. You can’t invoke choice to cancel out the life choices of another human being. I think by looking at history, we can help understand our own peculiar situation and learn from it.
Watch more #onlyatYAF videos every day! Click now to connect with us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/youngamericasfoundation