Time Essay: Of Abortion and the Unfairness of Life

"Life is unfair," John Kennedy observed at a press conference one day in 1962. The thought had a certain stoic grace about it: its truth was brutally confirmed the following year in Dallas. Life is unfair. Kennedy was talking about citizens' military obligations, about the restive Army reservists who were being held on active duty even after the Berlin crisis had subsided. Now Jimmy Carter has brought up the unfairness doctrine to explain his policy on abortion. Somehow the dictum comes out this time with a mean-spirited edge, like something from the lips...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!