If one watches the forced birth / “pro-life” talking heads long enough, one starts to notice something a little strange.
Get them on the subject of women seeking out and receiving medical procedures, and they bray and stamp about “unborn children” and the horror that such sacrosanct beings are being killed for something so prosaic as parasitizing a woman’s body against her will.
Which is kind of odd, since contraceptive availability is the most effective prophylactic against abortions at the societal level. One would think that the “pro-life” crowd would be the most obsessively enthusiastic promoters of birth control by far, dumping truckloads of condoms and pamphlets about pills and IUDs everywhere they imagine semen might encounter a cervix to make absolutely sure that every zygote that comes to be does so intentionally.
But that’s not what we get.
One would imagine that people who define themselves by wanting to reduce the number of embryos that aren’t brought to term would be passionate opponents of rape, harping on consent and demanding that rapists be prosecuted aggressively in the name of making every fetus wanted.
But that’s not what we get.
One would imagine that people who want to restrict women’s bodily autonomy in the name of protecting children would want to make the world a more welcoming place for children, by advocating for healthcare availability, child-care services, maternity and paternity leave, assistance for low-income households with children, and funding for education at all levels.
I had an anthropology professor years ago (1990s) state that the anti-abortion movement in this country wasn't about saving babies, it was about controlling women's reproductive rights. According to him, history has repeatedly shown that whoever controls women's reproductive rights within a society controls that society.
Your professor is exactly right. Once a society decides to stop treating a whole class of people as people because of religious dictates, they've already given that religion the keys to the proverbial house, to do with as they please. That's why this fight is so important.
So glad to be back! Wondering how you feel about second and third trimester abortions.
Someone who is pregnant should face no restriction whatsoever on hir ability to stop being pregnant with medical assistance. I do not, however, see why that right should necessarily require that the embryo/fetus/etc be killed. If the lethal and nonlethal options for terminating pregnancy are comparably invasive and/or offer similar levels of risk, I say err on the side of removing the entity non-lethally. If removing the entity lethally is even a little bit safer or more convenient, however, it's within hir right to have it removed lethally, since it's hir body and xe's the only person involved. See my last two posts on abortion for a more thorough discussion of this idea.
For very late-term abortions, this is in practice how it currently happens. A late-term abortion is functionally more-or-less the same as inducing labor, except for how it ends. But if technology reaches the point where a conceptus of any gestation length can be viably removed in a procedure that is no more invasive than a current abortion, I hope that this leads to abortion becoming obsolete. Of course, this would require that the host have no legal obligations whatsoever toward the entity being removed from her once it is removed. Then, what to do with the removed conceptus becomes a separate question, likely tied into the question of euthanasia.
“If removing the entity lethally is even a little bit safer or more convenient, however, it's within her right to have it removed lethally, since it's her body and she's the only person involved.”
I am not sure I agree with this statement. The entity is kicking, it gets hungry, it must be living… no? Then again, I am not a woman and I am not an expert. I should probably read your previous posts on abortion again.
Notice also that, a few weeks ago, there was a big week-end pro-life protest in Ottawa. Can you believe that it got 6 hours of live coverage here on TV in the Midwestern U.S.A? It also focused on gendercide, something I brought up on one of your posts just to play Devil's advocate for an afternoon. Spooookieee!!!
We kill all sorts of living non-persons for inconveniencing us. Fumigating a house for termites has thousands of casualties' worth of collateral damage. So does taking antibiotics. Boring a foundation for a house kills a city's worth of centipedes and pill bugs.
I say we have an imperative of sorts to figure out ways to do all of these things without killing nearby creatures, if at all possible, but no one sane seriously argues that we have to stop building houses until we can do so without damaging any anthills. And a person's right to control what happens inside their bodies is FAR more inviolable than a person's right to build a house.
Thanks for your insights, but…
till your next post.