Respected conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer passed away today at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer. Though he was not pro-life, an article of his in newspapers across the nation previously called on the Supreme Court to reverse its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling allowing abortion on demand.
Krauthammer doesn’t want the decision reversed because he thinks abortion is a travesty or sympathizes with the plight of unborn children who see their life snuffed out.
Instead, he thinks the high court took away the right of people to voice their views on abortion on a state by state basis through their legislatures.
“Legalizing abortion by judicial fiat instead of by democratic means has its price,” Krauthammer writes. “One is that the issue remains socially unsettled. People take to the streets when they have been deprived of resort to legislative action.”
“The other effect is to render the very debate hopelessly muddled,” he says.
“Instead of discussing what a decent society owes women and what it owes soon-to-be-born infants, and trying to balance the two by politically hammering out regulations that a broad national consensus can support, we debate the constitutional niceties of a 35-year-old appallingly crafted Supreme Court decision,” Krauthammer said at the time.
The columnist said he “hope[s] for the day when Roe is overturned,” but not because he supports the aims and goals of the pro-life movement.
In fact Krauthammer admitted that he once voted in Maryland to pass a referendum to keep abortion legal if Roe is ever reversed.
Instead, he favors allowing the people of the United States to determine the outcome of abortion for themselves — ironically something the pro-life movement has called for since 1973, when the court handed down the ruling.
“Abortion is already so contaminated with legalisms, why not turn the issue into one of simple democracy? Let the people decide,” Krauthammer concluded.
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“Let them work it out the way everything else in this country is worked out — by political argument and legislative accommodation.”
Although Krauthammer was not pro-life on abortion he understood that Americans have a strong repulsion to late-term abortions and that unborn babies developing in the womb are not just a clump of cells.
He once talked about the changing attitudes toward abortion on the Fox News Channel as the “story of the year, culturally.” He explained why the nation has become more pro-life. “The fact that people are becoming aware of how late-term abortions are so near to infanticide. And also how the new technology and the ultrasounds are giving people awareness of how much an infant has developed in the womb. So the movement has stopped, and I think reversed, especially among young people.”
Although he made some reasonable comments about about despite his abortion support, Krauthammer also made foolish ones — such as when he called the efforts to save Charlie Gard from being killed despite his parents’ wishes a “cruel hoax.”