I am concerned for the murder of the Kansas abortionist for the same reason that I am concerned when drug dealers, prostitutes, and other unsavory people are murdered: such murders are a symbol of lawlessness and disorder, even if the victims have forfeited their standing to claim any right to preserve their own life. This last point should not be news to the abortionists; it’s been known from time immemorial: “and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a wanderer and fugitive on the earth; and it will come to pass, that every one who finds me will slay me.”
I’ve long also been opposed to so-called “civil disobedience” for this same reason. So long as there are legal and peaceful means to combat various injustices, those means should be used, because the ultimate judgment of the community as defined in law should be respected. Of course, our friends on the left may not agree. They made heroes of Vietnam era draft dodgers, as well as the “insurrection” in Los Angeles in 1992. Even now, we hear threats of a “long hot summer” from Democratic presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
Even so, we on the right should not countenance the ridiculous principle that people should only follow the laws they agree with. Since the whole point of law is to address the age-old problem that “man should not be a judge in his own cause,” the folly of the solipsistic alternative–often espoused by extremists of one kind or another, including libertarians–should be obvious. Just to make it plain: people disagree about right and wrong, including the nature and extent of “rights.” Any general principle of unguided “conscience” as a measure for action would lead to anarchy. It seems that so long as one is willing to concede the moral authority of a government in general, then one cannot “pick and choose” which laws he will follow. By contrast, if a society were actively to coerce one in to engaging in wrongdoing or to strangle ones very means of resistance, there would not only be a moral right, but a moral obligation to disobey certain laws, and the possibility of violent resistance to the entire political order would have to be considered. This is the essential meaning of the Declaration of Independence.
Today legalized abortion is simply the permission of evil on a massive scale; it is not a mandate or directive to do what is evil. No one is forced to have an abortion today (other than perhaps by parental pressure), and this contrasts sharply with the “forced oaths” and other evils of pagan regimes and 20th Century totalitarianism.
There is one wrinkle in the abortion saga, however, and that same problem presents itself in other areas of “judge made” civil rights: abortion has effectively been removed from the political process by Roe and its, ahem, progeny. It’s one thing to demand critics of abortion use the political process, but quite a bit bolder for those on the “pro choice” side to demand this after having taken away any normal availability of that process through various judicial mandates only reversible by super-majority in the amendment process. These judicial mandates are treated by the pro-abortion activists as having the same authority as laws made through the ordinary legislative process, even though the tortured, results-oriented reasoning by which they are derived from the Fourteenth Amendment is pretty obviously illegitimate, even to laypeople and pro-abortion advocates. As long as this judicial supremacy persists in this arena, a certain number of zealots can be expected to shoot themselves out of the box in which they and their fellow believers’ political power has been contained.