In his column of November 14, Greg Lipper casually remarked that for every photo of a dismembered fetus, there’s another photo of a suffering baby who should have been aborted. Accepting for sake of argument his claim to know whether a person’s life is worth living, I’ll point out that Mr. Lipper overlooks a key distinction between life and death: life is fleeting, death is forever. The harm done to the aborted fetus can’t be undone, she is dead and can be alive no more. But the putative cause of the suffering baby’s pain – that she’s wasn’t killed and is still not dead – can be remedied. If it’s really better that the baby not live, that can be arranged. No reason to fret.
Of course, I don’t believe anyone knows which lives aren’t worth living. We all react differently to seeing a victimized or despondent child, but regretting the child’s existence is brutal. Instead, our response should be to remove them from abusive homes, relieve them of physical pain, surround them with love, and celebrate their priceless, inherent beauty.
Matt Evans, ’01