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February 22, 2005

Safe, legal, and huh?

Those who favor legal abortion always hasten to tell you how icky they find it. "We're not pro-abortion!" is their rallying cry. "We're pro-choice!" Bill Clinton, among others, has declared the need to make abortion "safe, legal, and rare". His wife recently suggested that abortion was a tragic, heart-wrenching choice.

Why?

Either the fetus has the human right to life, or it doesn't. There's no middle ground. Therefore, either abortion is the moral equivalent of murder... or abortion is the moral equivalent of clipping one's toenails. If the latter, why all the hand-wringing? Why should it be rare? Why should it be heart-wrenching? Why should those who favor legal abortion be even the least bit apologetic about the act itself? Why should they think there's any sort of difference between a woman getting her legs waxed and a woman getting her uterus vacuumed?

February 22, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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Comments

Well, maybe it has something to do with all those studies showing Women getting depressed and such after getting abortions, even if they don't think it's murder.

This is understandable, as it's probably closely related to all the crazy hormones associated with pregnancy. Hence, there's a health reason to avoid pregnancy even if you get clean and safe abortions.

Posted by: ShadowHawk | Feb 23, 2005 4:11:30 PM

I thought about that, as well as the fact that it's never a good thing to go in for surgery. The problem is, the pro-choicers never talk about it in those terms. They never talk about it in terms of negative health consequences or expense. It's always about how "tragic" abortion is, what a "heart-wrenching" choice it is. That doesn't sound like someone concerned about potential side effects from a surgical procedure.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Feb 23, 2005 6:32:29 PM

I feel the same way, VoR. Either abortion is destroying a life or it's just another form of elective surgery, stop straddling the fence.

Posted by: Mach Won | Feb 24, 2005 11:32:05 AM

I think most women who get abortions DO equate it to clipping toenails. But my question to you, VoR, is this: why can abortion have no moral middle ground? Why does it have to be morally equivalent to murder or morally equivalent to clipping one's toenails? I ask because it seems unnecessary to classify it in those two extremes.

Think of amputations and the people who are forced to lose an arm or a leg in order to save their life. You could say that having that amputation is morally equivalent to clipping one's toenails, but most people feel devastated by it. I think that abortion, for many people, is the same.

Posted by: William | Feb 25, 2005 2:50:16 PM

"Think of amputations and the people who are forced to lose an arm or a leg in order to save their life. You could say that having that amputation is morally equivalent to clipping one's toenails, but most people feel devastated by it. I think that abortion, for many people, is the same."


My leg doesn't have a fully-functioning set of organs that are capable of providing it with independent life unattached from my body. Can you say the same about a third-trimester "Fetus"?


Oh, by the way VoR, nice Blog, Mach Won led me to it. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Kade | Feb 25, 2005 3:14:21 PM

"My leg doesn't have a fully-functioning set of organs that are capable of providing it with independent life unattached from my body. Can you say the same about a third-trimester 'Fetus'?"

No, I can't, but that's not the point. The point is that some things are morally equivalent to clipping one's toenails but still carry emotional weight.

Posted by: William | Feb 25, 2005 3:20:50 PM

Old habits die hard. I forgot to clarify my point to Mannequin: You're trying to attach two different events with different repercussion. I submit that leg amputation is no different than any other form of voluntary mutilation, though it is sometimes can be necessary for the survival of the individual. Any implied "Guilt" over hacking off your leg is purely in the mind of the individual however, whereas the vacuuming of a fetus from between a woman's legs is a violation of a moral universal, instead of an arbitrary decision on the part of one person with no other parties.

Posted by: Kade | Feb 25, 2005 3:20:57 PM

Medical Procedure A (abortion) and Medical Procedure B (leg amputation) are the same in that having either one performed violates no significant moral standard. But both procedures can inflict emotional pain on the person receiving them.

You wrote: "Any implied 'Guilt' over hacking off your leg is purely in the mind of the individual"

They might not be experiencing guilt; they might be experiencing sadness over the loss.

Posted by: William | Feb 25, 2005 3:54:17 PM

I'm actually against abortion, but I'm arguing from the perspective that it's morally acceptable.

Posted by: William | Feb 25, 2005 3:57:05 PM

William, amputation is tragic and heart-wrenching because it involves the permanent loss of something valuable. Nobody describes an appendectomy as tragic or heart-wrenching. If a fetus is truly a valueless clump of cells, why should abortion be tragic?

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Mar 4, 2005 8:48:40 AM

It's ok to kill thousands of Iraqis but not ok to have an abortion? The death penalty is acceptable but abortion is not? make up your mind, idiot.

Posted by: Libertarian pig | Mar 4, 2005 7:20:14 PM

Sorry, when exactly did I say the death penalty was acceptable?

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Mar 4, 2005 10:23:34 PM

"If a fetus is truly a valueless clump of cells, why should abortion be tragic?"

Because human emotion isn't required to follow a logical set of rules: one can feel pain when one doesn't have to feel pain.

Posted by: William | Mar 5, 2005 11:08:15 AM

"Because human emotion isn't required to follow a logical set of rules: one can feel pain when one doesn't have to feel pain."

Do you mean to say that negative feelings about abortions are irrational among the pro-choice, but still present?

Posted by: ShadowHawk | Mar 7, 2005 12:04:20 AM

I think it tends to matter when you kill the fetus / embryo. A third trimester abortion, when the baby could survive outside the mother, is different than a first trimester abortion, and I'll state why.

First off, our own bodies regularly kill human embryos. After the egg has been penetrated by the sperm, there's only about a 10% chance that that zygote will develop into a baby; the other 90% of the time, the woman's body reabsorbs the cells into the uterus. According to those who wish to outlaw abortion, this too should be illegal, regardless of the fact that our bodies do it without our consent. Is an accidental murder or an impersonal murder, when the murderer cannot see the victim, any less bad than a maliciously planned out murder? Of course not. Equally, an automatic abortion is no different than a doctor-assisted or pill-assisted abortion, morally.

As we move into the 2nd trimester, the chances for survival rise quite quickly. I'm not sure where the line should be drawn for abortions, however I would probably state that near the beginning of the 2nd trimester should be the latest allowed by law, as after that the likelihood of the baby being carried to term is very high.


Anyway, as another poster said, why does it have to be either nail clipping OR murder? At the beginning, it's no more than nail clipping, but as time goes on the viability and relative humanity of the fetus grows, to a point to where it is no longer nail clipping.

Posted by: Frank Thomas | Mar 7, 2005 9:18:01 PM

"Do you mean to say that negative feelings about abortions are irrational among the pro-choice, but still present?"

That's a good question. First of all, yes, I think we would both agree that it's present. Second, yes, in some ways, of course it's irrational. But that's the nature of human emotion and I don't think it's fair to condemn it.

Posted by: William | Mar 8, 2005 2:37:38 PM

There's a difference between an irrational emotional response and an emotional response without reason. For example, suppose I have an irrational fear of spiders. There is a spider near me, therefore I am afraid. My fear may be unreasonable, but it still has a reason: the presence of the spider.

In the same vein, one can argue that emotional trauma over abortion might be irrational, but it still must have a reason. The only reason for a pro-choicer to be conflicted about abortion is that somewhere, either consciously or unconsciously, he is cognizant of the possibility that abortion equates to murder.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Mar 11, 2005 11:13:35 PM

Abortion is sick and after I read about ways to conduct an abortion I wanted to throw up. I don't understand how some one could sit there and watch themselves kill a child that could have changed the world today. They could've been a Pope or the President or maybe just that person that smiles at you when you walk by that makes every day worth getting up for. It's sick and no one should think that they have the right to play God.
I'm 13 and have been to scary movies before but this is by far the most disgusting and scariest thing I have ever heard of!

Posted by: natalie | Apr 28, 2005 7:27:58 PM

you confirmed you acceptance of the death penalty when you cast your vote for bush.

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