It doesn't matter to Mr. Ponnuru that (his) argument flies in the face of a complex intuition that seems to underlie the American ambivalence: Invisible to the naked eye, lacking body or brain, feeling neither pleasure nor pain, radically dependent for life support, the early embryo, though surely part of the human family, is distant and different enough from a flesh-and-blood newborn that when the early embryo's life comes into conflict with other precious human goods or claims, the embryo's life may need to give way.
Notice that the WSJ talks about “precious human goods or claims.” I can’t tell if the reviewer means ‘goods’ in the sense of values or material wealth. I read it as wealth: That we must balance the rights of an embryo against property rights, a very WSJ thing to say.
That aside, this is a good comment. However, we should not assume that the WSJ has become our friend and ally. On most issues, the people there are wrong and mean.
[Eleanor Arnason sent on this quote to us. It certainly is an interesting way to view the issue of choice and abortion – Diane]