The conservative position should be this: we cannot be free as radically autonomous, self-created individuals. If we are to be free, it will be as men and women, as husbands and wives, as fathers and mothers and as members of distinct human communities and traditions.
Note the word "autonomous".
Autonomy is the concept used to oppress the unborn. Because they are not "autonomous" they are nothing.
One final, important point. If we do not do battle on these grounds, then it is likely that an older concept of rights, one focused on limiting state power, will give way to state interference and coercion.
Why? If it is accepted as true that we become human through the power to self-create our own autonomous lives, then it will be thought terribly unjust for there to be any inequalities in this power of autonomy. It would mean accepting that some people were more human than others - a serious breach in human equality.
Exactly. And this is the philosophy that justifies killing the unborn. They are not autonomous, therefore, not human.
For instance, if careers help our autonomy by making us financially independent, then how can we justify men spending more time in careers than women. If the liberal view of personhood is true, then this would mean that women were being relegated to a less human status than men.
And since women are less autonomous than men when pregnant, the right to kill one's fetus must be upheld in the name of female equality.
This will seem so immoral and so unjust to liberals, that it's unlikely that the state would not interfere coercively to achieve "gender equity".
Which is exactly what Status of Women and their Gender Based Analysis want to achieve.
At the very least, we have to make sure that a new generation of conservatives is brought up to reject not only the particular forms of coercion enacted by the liberal state, but also the underlying principles justifying them.
I agree. Our worldview can be Judeo-Christian, but it cannot be uniquely religious or biblicist. We must be able to contend on the philosophical level.