The notion that any government action is justified if saves even a single life is malarkey, to borrow one of Mr. Biden’s favorite terms. Worse than that, it’s dangerous malarkey.
Let’s start with the malarkey part. The federal government could ban cars, fatty foods, ladders, plastic buckets, window blinds or Lego pieces small enough to choke on and save far more than just one life. Is it imperative the government do any of that? It’s a tragedy when people die in car accidents (roughly 35,000 fatalities per year), or when kids drown in plastic buckets (it happens an estimated 10 to 40 times a year), or when people die falling off ladders (about 300 per year). Would a law that prevents those deaths be worth it, no matter the cost?
Put aside the problem that certain things about "personhood" are proven biological facts. We know that each human person has a distinct genetic code, which exists from the moment of conception, and that the Human Genome Project can increasingly predict aspects of what a human person will be like from the code. We also know that viability has been pushing back further and further from "birth" due to advances in medical science. We also know because of advances in ultrasound technology that babies start looking like, well, babies, pretty early on. Here's a child at 12 weeks:
Pro-choice arguments always try to make the case that pro-Life is a "religious" position, a superstition, something irrational, when the science is actually increasingly all on the pro-Life side. But put all that aside. Let's assume that the question of when "personhood" begins is, in fact, "not a provable biological fact." But we know it does begin, and we know it does begin at some point on the continuum from conception (my position) to live birth or perhaps some point thereafter (noting that President Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act when he was a state senator).
The point is this:
If we don't know when personhood begins, shouldn't we err on the side of assuming that it begins at the earliest possible time?
There are something over 1 million babies aborted every year in America. Let's say you really are an open-minded liberal. Wouldn't you have to concede that there's at least a chance that Catholics are right on when personhood begins? Would you agree that Catholics might be right 1 out of 100 times? 1 out of 1,000? 1 out of 1 million?
But if Catholics have a chance of being right on Life 1 in 1 million times -- statistically for one of the million babies aborted every year -- shouldn't you be on the pro-Life side because, according to Biden, "if our actions result in saving only one life, they're worth taking"?
And if you don't believe that there's a 1 in 1 million chance that the 1 billion Catholics around the world might just be right on the issue of Life... well, just exactly how open-minded are you?