Sunday, May 17, 2009

Abortion: With Obama speaking at Notre Dame's graduation today, a word on abortion is apropos. A typical Democratic talking point is that nobody is pro-abortion. Liberals want fewer abortions, too.

But that raises a question. If an embryo/fetus is not a human being, and abortion is just a simple surgery, why shouldn't we encourage it? An abortion by definition was a pregnancy that was not wanted. A unwanted child is an undesirable situation and likely to impose a cost on society. Shouldn't we do everything we can to help a women get an abortion? In addition to maximizing access and moral support, shouldn't we pay for it, and perhaps even pay her a stipend so as to reduce the cost to taxpayers in the long run? How about a campaign of public announcements showing women that abortions are good? Shouldn't we convince a pregnant woman who doesn't desire a child but who also doesn't want an abortion because of moral reservations that she is wrong? Shouldn't we punish mom for the cost she is inflicting on the taxpayer? Perhaps she should pay a fine if she has the child.

12 comments:

Jokah Macpherson said...

I know you're trying to perform a reductio ad absurdum here but I think there's a large contingent on the radical side of the pro-choice group who would answer "Yes" to most of these questions. Be careful.

Jason said...

"Yes."

Anonymous said...

It depends on quality of the parents. If the parents are poor and have bad genes and low IQ, then we should encourage abortion. If the parents are smart and productive, then we should discourage abortion.

Anonymous said...

Liberals don't want less abortions. They want less unwanted pregnancies.

Jewish Atheist said...

Um, you're looking in the wrong place. It's atheist conservatives like Half Sigma who are in favor of abortion (for blacks, etc.) Atheist (and other) liberals have compassion.

Abortion is generally not without it's downside for the mothers. Avoidable surgery (even if "simple") is never a good thing, of course, but it can also be quite traumatic psychologically, especially with the "pro-life" contingent shouting obscenities and calling innocent women murderers and baby-killers.

I don't think there's anything remotely questionable morally with early-term abortion. Yet obviously even I would argue it's much better to avoid pregnancy than to have to go through that.

Jason said...

"I would argue it's much better to avoid pregnancy than to have to go through that."

Well of course. But if they were smart and conscientious enough to effectively use birth control in the first place, they might actually be smart and conscientious enough to trust with a child. But they weren't, and they aren't. We're better off if they abort rather than continue the cycle of ignorance, crime, and abuse.

William James Tychonievich said...

Being a person and having rights isn't necessarily a simple on/off thing. There's a continuum from non-person to person, both in human development and in the animal kingdom. The spectrum from single-celled zygote to fetus to child to adult is similar to that from amoeba to fish to monkey to human. (The ontogeny recapitulates the phylogeny.)

Most people would agree that a dog doesn't have a right to life, or at least not in the same sense that a human does. We accept the right of animal shelters to euthanize unwanted puppies, for example. But only the most hard-hearted would say that we should actively encourage the killing of unwanted puppies, and the more we kill the better.

A dog (fetus) may not be a "person," but neither is it an inaminate object. It may not have a right to life, but neither is its life of no moral consequence at all. In both cases killing, while it may sometimes be the least-bad available option, should be a last resort. Adoption would much better, and better still would be neutering your pets (practicing birth control) so that fewer unwanted puppies (fetuses) are created in the first place.

How does that analogy work for you?

William James Tychonievich said...

I should clarify that only a late-term fetus would merit the same moral consideration we give to higher animals like dogs. As the fetus is aborted earlier in its development, it becomes less like euthanizing a dog and more like setting a mousetrap, then like swatting a mosquito, and finally like taking an antibiotic. The morning-after pill, unlike a late-term abortion or infanticide, calls for no soul-searching or remorse.

Anonymous said...

---Avoidable surgery (even if "simple") is never a good thing, of course, but it can also be quite traumatic psychologically, especially with the "pro-life" contingent shouting obscenities and calling innocent women murderers and baby-killers.---

Sticks and stones...Yep, those fuckin' Christers must be the cause of all that hurt!

Jewish Atheist said...

Sticks and stones...Yep, those fuckin' Christers must be the cause of all that hurt!They sure as shit don't help.

Anonymous said...

"They sure as shit don't help."

Yeah? Tough shit. Grow a fucking spine, pussy.

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact, I do actively encourage abortion to teenage mothers, unwed mothers, and those who are carrying mentally retarded children. This helps out everyone in society, I promise.