Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A not-so-new viewpoint on abortion

My old friend Gamelot has made a recent post on abortion. He means well but is experiencing muddled thinking.

My response:

Hey Gamelot,

A few counterpoints to cloud your thinking. ;-)

1) The ***VAST*** majority of abortions are not due to rape or incest. To make laws for the exceptions rather than the rule is generally (though not always) foolish.
2) It's still murdering a baby. The baby is not responsible for who his or her father was.
3) Adoption.
4) You say that you don't want the rape victim to have to relive the rape by talking about it. So instead she'll murder her baby. There is a very small chance that she will escape a much bigger scar from murdering her baby than from the rape alone.
5) Rape is a violence in the body - the application of often nearly-lethal force. Abortion is the application of not nearly-lethal, but fully lethal force. Against an unwilling victim. Sounds just like rape, only worse. Is that the way we try to cure, to help, to heal?
6) Forget rape victims - many women who have had abortions for convenience' sake struggle with feelings of depression, guilt and suicide. To compound it, the murder of their child is their fault, in contrast w/ a rape victim.

You end w/ this:
All human life is precious, and that includes the life of the mother as much as of the child.

How then would it be justifiable to murder that child? This is not a question of "the life of the mother" (whatever that means). Your position fails to take into acct the gravity of murdering a baby. In that regard, it is just like all the other pro-death positions out there - nothing new under the sun.

10 comments:

Lucian said...

Hmmm ... that's funny ... I've just recently posted on a similar topic also.

mystificator.blogspot.com/2007/07/degrading-is-in-eye-of-beholder.html

Gamelot said...

Every unwanted pregnancy has the following possible outcomes:

#1: Giving birth to the child and keeping the child.
#2: Giving birth to the child and giving the child up for adoption.
#3: Having an abortion.

Now, you and I personally would prefer the first two options, and that's fine. But for some women, the first two options are the more painful two options. Don't get me wrong, I think that every child is precious, but if, for those women who cannot bear to live under options 1 or 2, they were to give birth and only be able to choose options 1 or 2, then what kind of life would the child have?

Adoption is a wonderful thing. One of the most important women in my life was an adopted child, my grandfather was an orphan, and two of my cousins are adopted. I'm pretty happy about the whole institution. But the sad reality is that many Americans these days don't want to adopt, and the majority of children end up not in adoptions but in foster care, where they live in rather bleak conditions. When 12 kids live in the same home, and only one of the parents work because the other one has to take care of all the kids, it's a horrible life for the kids. Chances are, they'll be abused, neglected, malnourished, etc. Some women, when having to choose between the options, will be painfully aware of that.

And if a woman who has been raped is going to have the child and keep it because she feels she has to, she may never love it. What kind of life can a child expect being raised by parents who do not love it?

Yes, there are a lot of mights and mays in my argument, but I continue to say that if even one true need exists for it, then it should not be illegal. That doesn't mean we can't actively attempt to help the women who may be thinking about having an abortion, but we need to be able to provide the financial and emotional support to those who need it.

Lucian said...

This is also spot on:

pithlessthoughts.blogspot.com/2007/05/almost-arrested.html

Rhology said...

There is one single, absolutely vital factor missing in your analysis. It is so foundational that its misapprehension distorts the abortion debate beyond reality.
That factor is: Is the fetus a human being or not?

If so, abortion is murder. The motivation and surrounding circumstances don't matter.
If not, abortion is an appendicitis. Nobody questions the morality of an appendicitis.

So which is it? When do you believe the baby is a human being? After my own analysis, I don't think any view that says the baby becomes a human being at some time between conception and 2 years of age is viable. Unless the view is that the baby is a human being from the moment of conception, it doesn't make sense.
Of course, that's the main question. Let's keep that in mind as we analyse what Gamelot said.

I think that every child is precious, but if, for those women who cannot bear to live under options 1 or 2, they were to give birth and only be able to choose options 1 or 2, then what kind of life would the child have?

The child will have A life.
Who are you or any of us to be the judge of whether a child would prefer a "terrible" life over being dismembered while in the womb?

But the sad reality is that many Americans these days don't want to adopt

It is sad, yes. But even if the demand for adoption were nonexistent (which it is certainly not), we're talking about the option of murdering the baby versus being unsure about how the baby will be provided for.

When 12 kids live in the same home, and only one of the parents work because the other one has to take care of all the kids, it's a horrible life for the kids.

So we'll just kill them since their quality of life is so bad; surely they won't mind.

And if a woman who has been raped is going to have the child and keep it because she feels she has to, she may never love it. What kind of life can a child expect being raised by parents who do not love it?

It will be A life. As opposed to murdering the baby.

I continue to say that if even one true need exists for it, then it should not be illegal.

What possible need could exist for a society to legalise the murder of innocent people?

Gamelot said...

I argue that by not allowing abortion, you also kill innocent people. The question is: who would you rather kill?

Rhology said...

Hold on now, anyone can see the stats related to how many abortions are considered due to life-of-the-mother considerations. They are a tiny, tiny % of the abortions conducted in the US. Less than 1%.
I would add that life-of-the-mother considerations were the theme of neither your nor my post, so you're changing the subject. Why would you do that? Do you have no counter-argument?

At any rate, you'll find the arguments supporting what you say are equally lacking here. In some of the relevant cases, the parents refuse to murder their child and the mother and baby come thru just fine - doctors can't see the future.
In others of those cases, the baby and mother have a very difficult time and both eventually come thru OK. Two lives rather than a murder.
In others of those cases, either baby or mother die in childbirth. In others, both die.

In those latter 2 cases, what can I say? It's terrible, hardly thinkable. Yet to leverage so few cases against the avalanche of convenience-based baby murders that occur b/c of the law, it's far better for society that the law not allow abortion.

Gamelot said...

I wasn't talking about life of the mother in the literal sense, but in the figurative sense. We don't have stats on how many women commit suicide due to their pregnancies, for instance.

Gamelot said...

oh, and read my new post on my blog about legality. I think it answers the last part of your post well. Of course, I also bring up a new question there...

Rhology said...

Gamelot,

Not trying to be harsh here, but don't be so obtuse.
The life of the mother in the "figurative" sense? What amazes me is that you don't consider that we ***ARE** talking about the life of the CHILD in a LITERAL sense.
This isn't rocket science.

But, but, but...having my baby will RUIN my life!!!

Oh, well, if it's going to RUIN your life, just go ahead and kill her. I'm sure she won't mind, and that's the best way to take care of inconveniences in life anyway.

Paul said...

Interesting that society is for murdering the innocent child of rape but against a death sentence for the guilty rapist.