Some time ago I was in Canada. You might know Henry Montgantler, a medical doctor. He was practicing abortion. He was arrested several times in Montreal. He was put on trial and he was imprisoned. So I was in Ottawa and I was a guest of the Canadian Humanist Association. Somebody asked me whether I believed in right to life. I said "Yes, I do believe in right to life." Then he said, "If you believe in right to life how can you support Henry Montgantler and abortion?" I said, "For me life is between birth and death. For you life is before birth and after death."
"I believe in right to life here and now as an entity of human beings. You believe in right to life before birth and after death." Then he said "What, what do you mean?"
"You believe in right to life of the foetus, which has not come out into the world, which is still connected to the womb of the mother. If that foetus is removed by abortion from the womb of the mother it has no separate entity, it cannot live, it cannot function.
"But a fellow human being, he is a living human being before you, he is functioning as a fellow human being and you don't mind to kill him.
"So those who believe in right to life they should not allow their children to be soldiers. So you make a war. But I believe in right to life not only the right to life of the foetus, but to the right to life of the living fellow human being. So I shall not kill a fellow human being. You take a vote and then I say how many soldiers from your families who believe in right to life are there? Recall them. Don't put your children in police force. Don't put your children in the Army. Don't send your children. First you do that, then you advocate right to life. Till then advocacy of right to life against abortion is hypocrisy."
Originally published as part of "Unusual Invitation to India" by John R. Edwards, ©1990. This article may be reproduced in any form provided the article is not altered, and proper credit is given.