Nov 4, 2014

On the slipperiness of slopes

Without any solid evidence, Francis Schaeffer was sure that infanticide was happening. It was going to be happening. It would happen very soon. The slope from legalized abortion to infanticide was just too slippery for it not to happen.

More than 30 years later, pro-life conservatives are still waiting for the slip down that slope. They expect it any day, and so unfounded rumors of a new acceptance of infanticide are greeted as outrageous, but also long expected. Thirty years later, however, it's still an urban legend.

Many people, it turns out, do not generally feel compelled by the argument that either life begins at conception or infanticide is acceptable. The typically rhetorical question, "But where do you draw the line?", is not impossible to answer. In their real lives, people draw these lines in many different places, often with a lot of nuance and careful consideration of the actual situations of human beings.

For more than 30 years, pro-life advocates have believed they understood pro-choice logic and they've warned about its inevitable conclusion. But as report after report of that conclusion turn out to be fakes mistaken for fact, it's hard not to think the pro-life people are just wrong: The slope isn't that slippery.

Read the full essay, "Infanticide Still Not a Growing Movement," at Religion Dispatches.