In a column published a month before his death, the revered film critic stated his opposition to abortion:
My choice is to not support abortion, except in cases of a clear-cut choice between the lives of the mother and child.
A child conceived through incest or rape is innocent and deserves the right to be born.
That first sentence leaves something to be desired, but Ebert was a film critic, not an ethicist. May he rest in peace.
Update: A commenter writes below:
The first sentence of Ebert’s observation indeed “leaves something to be desired.” But look way down in the comments to his original post. There, a reader confronted him with the story of the reader’s own wife, who was raped by another while they were married. He asked Ebert how he would explain making her carry a child to term, had she become pregnant, and making them both care for the child.
“I am silent before your words,” Ebert replied. “Who am I to say? Yet what are you to say about the rights of the unborn child?”
Who else admired left of center has recently said anything at all like that?
Wise, both what Ebert says and what he doesn’t.