Thursday, May 15, 2008

Phillies on Abortion

Decades ago, in Windsor, Connecticut, an older woman took in boarders and allegedly poisoned them for their pensions. American playwright Joseph Kesselring turned the events surrounding this serial murderer into a comic play, "Arsenic and Old Lace," eventually adapted for film starring Gary Grant.

Wikipedia describes the plot:

The play is a farcical black comedy revolving around Mortimer Brewster, a theatre-hating drama critic who must deal with his crazy, homicidal family and local police in Brooklyn, New York, as he debates whether to go through with a honeymoon with the woman he loves and has recently agreed to marry. His family includes two spinster aunts who have taken to murdering lonely old men by poisoning them with a glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, cyanide and "just a pinch" of strychnine; a brother who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the cellar of the Brewster home (which then serve as graves for the aunts' victims); and a murderous brother who has received plastic surgery performed by an alcoholic accomplice, Dr. Einstein (a character based on real-life gangland surgeon Joseph Moran) to conceal his identity and now looks like horror-film actor Boris Karloff (a self-referential joke, as the part was originally played by Karloff).

George Phillies is a candidate for the Libertarian Party's Presidential nomination. His campaign has released this statement:

Phillies Reiterates Commitment to Keeping Government out of Abortion Question
Worcester, Mass., May 13: In a statement issued earlier today, Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies reiterated his commitment to keeping government at all levels out of the abortion question. "Government, no matter whether state, Federal, or local, has no legitimate right to interfere in your private life or your medical decisions," he said. "You will not hear me talking about making abortion obsolete, banning abortion, or encouraging abortion."
Phillies said that he completely supports a woman's right to choose, but added that he believes the government should likewise respect individuals' beliefs. "Remember, no matter your side on the issue: Once you agree that our government can intervene in these decisions, you have agreed that a future government that disagrees with your stands can compel you to take actions that you find morally repugnant."

Does the federal government of the United States, the state government of Connecticut, the government of Hartford County, Connecticut, or the city government of Windsor, Connecticut, have a right to "interfere in your private life or your medical decisions" if you're an insane woman poisoning boarders for their pensions? What if this woman's most intimate personal decisions, made in the privacy of her own home, are also made with the professional aid and counsel of "Dr. Einstein," her personal physician?

If the civil magistrate does not have the right to prevent a mother from killing her own defenseless children, does a civil magistrate have a right to do anything?

What I find "morally repugnant" is anyone, but especially "the government," telling mothers they have the "right" to kill their children if they find their children to be a temporary inconvenience.

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