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Sunday, Nov. 30, 2003


A distinction can be made

Nagoya, Aichi

Bob Austenfeld's case against abortion ("Abortion ban will save lives," Nov. 19) is wide of the mark, to say the least. His argument, credited to Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute, is neither new nor particularly convincing: that there is no "bright line" between a fetus anytime before or after birth.

By way of analogy, Austenfeld might imagine, say, ordering a new car and choosing a model with green bodywork. Would he have cause for complaint if he was delivered a blue or yellow model instead? With his line of reasoning, maybe not; after all, there is no "bright line" separating these colors; rather, they blend smoothly from one to another. This is a trivial example, perhaps, but this type of argument doesn't merit any weightier a response. The point is that such distinctions can be -- and often are -- made even in the absence of a convenient "bright line." Making such a distinction in the case of abortion may prove a thornier issue than separating blue, green and yellow, but that does not mean that it cannot be done.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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