Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Abortion in Hard Cases

I am not impressed by the anti-pro-life argument that makes the exception the rule. Not only is this a bad idea for public policy consideration in general, but abuse and rape cases (the exception) make up a minimal percentage (less than 1 is what I last heard) of all abortion cases. When pro-choicers appeal to this argument as a way of retaining all abortion rights, I want to respond quite simply by proposing a pro-life bill that will allow for abortion in such exceptions. Problem solved.

Well, problem mostly solved. The thing of it is, that would only be a partial victory as far as I see it. It would be a great victory, but a partial one nonetheless, because I cannot understand how abortion is at all helpful in those cases.

Maybe that sounds insensitive. I don't pretend for a second to understand the unbelievable pain of not only being abused or raped, but becoming pregnant as a result. I won't even try to speculate as to what that must feel like, and before I begin to discuss how we ought to react to that, let me first offer the exhortation to Christians to, before anything else, meet women in such horrible situations with overwhelming love and support. And I'm not just saying that so that no one gets mad at me- it's important.

HSAT, why shouldn't abortion be allowable for a rape victim? Because you can really only think that it is ok if you actually don't think that the fetus is fully human. If the fetus is fully human, than s/he is an innocent third party, having never done anything to hurt the mother. There is no self-defense issue, except that a woman would, perhaps understandably but still wrongly, not want to deal with the increased painfulness of her situation. Put simply, how would murdering a fully human and fully innocent third party be a reasonable response? Allowing for abortion in such situations is a tacit (or maybe not-so-tacit) admission that you do not think the fetus is fully human.

Adoption is probably the best possibility for most mothers in this situation, and again, I'm really not trying to minimize the amount of pain such a situation must cause. But pain inflicted upon me does not give me a right, no matter how great it is, to treat an innocent third party unjustly. That's the bottom line.


Anonymous said...

I think the reason for the difference is that you don't think of a baby as punishment, while Obama ("I don't want [my daughters] punished with a baby") and his ilk do. So in their mind you're punishing a woman for being raped.

Anonymous said...

What I've noticed, and thesgc is an illustration here, is that both sides of this debate habitually read the other side in the worst possible light.

Pro-choicers think it is outrageous that the government would dare tell a woman what to do with her body--they don't see a fertilized egg as having the same rights as the woman, and in the case of rape, they would see governmental interference as an extension of the crime. First it's the rapist, and now the government.

I could counter thesgc's analysis with some of the equally stereotyped mischaracterizations pro-choicers make of pro-lifers, but don't see the point in doing so.

Andrew Faris said...


No example makes it hard to take your case seriously. It doesn't mean you don't have one, it just means I'm doubting anyone will listen at this point. Why is there no point in an example?

For that matter, I need an explanation of how the Obama quote that sgc gave should not be read as a statement about a punishment.

Anonymous said...

"I'm really not trying to minimize the amount of pain such a situation must cause. But pain inflicted upon me does not give me a right, no matter how great it is, to treat an innocent third party unjustly. That's the bottom line."

So treating an unborn baby unjustly should be criminalized in any circumstance? What if a woman drinks or smokes during a pregnancy that results in the death or injury of the fetus? Would that be grounds to throw her in jail as well?

Just wondering where you'd draw that line.

Anonymous said...

My mother got pregnant when she was sixteen. She got an abortion.
Do you know exactly how much that tormented her? She had gotten pregnant, not because of rape or incest, but because she chose a certain direction to go, and then she had chosen to undo it all.
But you can't undo things. When she got an abortion, she felt immediately guilty. She later began to be counciled through it all, and she is better now. But she can never forgt it.
Now, with the rape or incest thing. I believe you shouldn't get an abortion there either, unless something in the rape or incest ENDANGERS YOUR OWN LIFE, AND IT IS FOR SURE THAT YOU WILL DIE IF YOU CARRY ON WITH THAT PREGNANCY. Yes, i would rather you still not get an abortion. Why? Because even though this is ill-fated, I would wait until the last minute, when it is absolutley negative. I would not immediately get an abortion three months into a pregnancy. That, too me is too early. I would rather try and go to hundreds of other doctors who might be better, who could give me alternatives. Not all doctors can be trusted. I know it might cost money, but i would be desperate enough...
And then, after reading harry potter 7, when harry says "Parents shouldn't leave their children unless.... unless they've got to."
That to me is a good arguement in even this situation.
I think that schools and churches should be more active in this area. They should help provide health care to pregnant women.
Yes, i am 13. But my dream is to be a lawyer or a senator or something, mainly for this cause. I want to get rid of abortions that christians like me deem "illegal". I want to fight for the innocent lives. I want them to be FREE!

Anne Mary Dolnar

-there is another option. Adoption-