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Wesley writes that conscience clauses should include this principle: “No medical professional should be forced to take, or be complicit in the taking of human life, whether of an embryo, fetus, or born member of the species.”

The principle is sound but the language isn’t. No one can force another to take a life or to be complicit in taking a life. Indeed, no one can force another to violate his conscience. One can only punish another, however severely, for refusing to violate it. If we want robust people, and not merely robust laws protecting people, it’s time we got that straight.

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