Photo by Gage Skidmore / flickr

Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign likely was unrecoverable months ago when she pushed for Medicare for all, and the economics involved were overwhelming for even very liberal democrats. Amazingly, Bernie Sanders was able to carry on calling for the same but he avoided the specifics, and thus was less assailed on the issue.  

But some believe Warren’s sanguine South Carolina debate attack on Michael Bloomberg sealed her moribund campaign’s fate. Among other things, she almost brought the debate to a halt when she claimed Bloomberg was the “riskiest” candidate because of his past treatment of his women employees. 

“At least I didn’t have a boss who said to me, ‘Kill it,’ the way that Mayor Bloomberg is alleged to have said to one of his pregnant employees,” Warren shockingly said.

Bloomberg proceeded to vehemently deny this accusation.  Perhaps to some, though, the shock was that Warren would choose that specific line of attack, given how pro-choice she is. And Warren would likely say exactly that: she is pro-choice, and of course Bloomberg, as the woman’s boss, was leveraging his authority over her, limiting her choice and thus discriminating against her and her pregnancy. 

However, one might ask Senator Warren: what about boyfriends who leverage their influence with girlfriends to abort? What about parents who do the same? One imagines that she would rail against any coercion and want the woman to have absolute free choice, the choice, that is, to kill, using her own words and the alleged words of Bloomberg.

But this takes us back to the whole problem with this particular choice. Who truly has the right to kill innocent human life?  The unborn child’s mother? Why? Because the fetus has, at best, only the rights of a conglomeration of human cells, the rights of squatter in her uterus? Of an at-will tenant within his/her mom, to be evicted by an act of killing at any instant, depending on the choice of the landlord? This all seems so anti-human and so murderous, given the word Warren chose to quote.  

To further muddy these waters, when an unborn child is killed in utero in a car accident, sometimes the driver(s) of the car or other cars involved can be charged with and found guilty of vehicular homicide. Why? These incongruities seem bizarre, random and non-sequitur.  

Does an incipient human life only have intrinsic value when its mother determines it to be so? What does science say?  When a woman is found to be pregnant, modern science actually confirms that an independent human life has been launched within that woman, even though that life is very dependent on its mother for its existence. It is a separate entity within. It has its own DNA, organs and burgeoning personality.  

Why, then, is the intentional killing of that human life licit under any circumstances?

Late term abortion, which involves intentionally killing often viable (sometimes disabled or diseased) human life – life that could exist outside the womb independently – is even more troubling for all of the reasons stated above.  Killing, ultimately, is just that: killing.

Given that Roe vs. Wade may be up for grabs with the new configuration of the Supreme Court and some cases on abortion rights coming up before it, and that this is a presidential election year, it’s good to submit these matters to the test of reason and logic. 

The democratic presidential candidates have uniformly, in lockstep, assumed the mantle of defending abortion at any stage of in utero development. They have, in other words, approved of the fetus being killed, as long as the mother wants the abortion and is free, say, of a boss forcing her to kill that life. 

As we move forward in this presidential election year, it’s worth recalling what our founding fathers articulated as essential principles on which our national union should be based, especially in this passage from the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It is highly unlikely that Elizabeth Warren is a closet pro-lifer, but the words she chose in the contest with Bloomberg should continue to reverberate and shock Americans. Killing innocent human life should always shock and, indeed, outrage us. And not just when a boss seems to be imposing that choice on a pregnant female employee.

M. T. Oates is a writer based in New York City. She was lead Editor of Women of Opus Dei: In Their Own Words (Crossroad Publishing Company, 2009) and author of the novel Erin’s Song (Marblehead Publishing, 2013).