Appeared in Fall 1995, Vol. XXI, No. 3

Why is the abortion battle so persistent, whether as wordy debate, or as street demonstration? There have been many political, social and economic issues which have become lost or forgotten within a matter of a very few years after they raged in the public fora of newspapers, speeches, radio, and television; these have included arguments over the gold standard, over personal income taxation, and over the conscription of soldiers, indeed no small matters. Yet, as those on both sides know and readily admit (mere rhetoric aside), this battle has been boiling for over twenty years, and shows no sign of cooling down, and much less of being forgotten. Religious contra secularist conflict at the recent population conference at Cairo alone suffices as evidence. Again, why is this so?

The purpose of this paper is to reach an explanation of the face en face over abortion (with allusions to several other related and ongoing social conflicts) and to find that the abortion set-to is the logical and existential opposition between the consequences of two radically opposed and irreconcilable philosophical stances, stances themselves which are the marshalling principles of a culture war.

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