Rudy Giuliani's explanation of his views about abortion illustrate, I think, the internal inconsistencies many Americans live with. Most Americans aren't comfortable with legal abortion in all nine months of pregnancy for any reason. Many Americans have the public/personal distinction Rudy does. And Chris Wallace asked very good questions yesterday to press Rudy on his views that are just the type of questions we should ask of people who hold this distinction. I have no idea what Wallace's views on abortion are, but he knew the question to ask. Why?
Why are you personally against abortion? Why are you personally against ESCR? Why? Why
Rudy, and I suspect most people who hold this distinction, couldn't actually articulate why he would personally encourage a woman not to have an abortion. Birth and adoption are to be preferred. But why?
By pressing that question we encourage the person to get to the heart of the matter: the status of the unborn. Though many people can't quite articulate that clearly, they are uncomfortable with abortion because of an intuitive sense that under other circumstances it is something we'd cherish and protect. Why? If it's something we'd cherish and protect personally, why shouldn't the law cherish and protect it?
Pressing the question, gently but persistently, can help someone clarify what they really believe about the unborn. It's a rare person who could acknowledge that the unborn is an innocent baby yet believe the law should allow it to be killed.
If the unborn isn't human, then no justification for abortion is necessary and there's no reason to be personally against it. If the unborn is human, then no justification for abortion is adequate and it's not possible to live with the private/public distinction.