Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
October 27, 2004
Wes on abortion.
Category: Serious

With Dawn's ongoing crusade against Planned Parenthood and her recent tirades against Kerry -- particularly with respect to the topic of abortion -- I figured I'd weigh in on the matter. Yep, it's time for another political post.

As could probably be inferred by previous political entries and whatnot, I'm not a fan of the President. Yes, I think he's a moron. His record doesn't impress me in the least. But more than that, I disagree with him on a number of key issues. A while back I touched on the issue of same-sex marriage -- which I am for. I think the decision to go to war with Iraq was a grave mistake. A nation should only go to war as a last resort, and clearly the situation with Iraq had not yet escalated to that point. (Not to mention that there were no weapons of mass destruction to be found.) But today, let's talk about abortion.

In a lengthy entry entitled "Reeve of Destruction", Dawn writes:

Those who advocate destroying unborn life often seem to believe that there is a gray area between killing and not killing. They know that destroying an embryo or aborting a baby involves something being alive, and then not being alive. Yet they can't believe that something is actually killed in the process.

Okay, I'll bite. Destroying an embryo or aborting an unborn baby entails the killing of that embryo or baby. Of course, that something is killed in the process is not the issue. Every time you get sick and take medicines to recover, you are killing the living cause of that illness. Tons of animals and plants are killed so that you can eat two to three meals a day. A number of living things must be killed for you to function as a healthy human being (or even an unhealthy one who isn't literally starving).

The issue is not merely that something is killed, however, but that the something being killed is -- according to opponents of abortion -- a human being. I'm not prepared to grant that. Some will say that killing an unborn baby is no different from killing a born one -- or a child (or even an adult) for that matter -- simply stating that "murder is murder." But is it murder to kill an unborn baby? With the other examples, while it may be true that a baby and a child cannot survive without the support of someone, the person who cares for them need not be the mother. That is, you could remove the baby or child from the care of its mother, give it to someone else, and still have the child live and mature without encroaching upon the personal and physical liberties of the mother (except, of course, the right to her child -- but we're assuming she doesn't want the child at this point). The same cannot be said of the embryo. Removed from the nourishment of the mother and the sanctuary of the womb, it will die. And if it can't support itself in that way, I have a hard time calling it "fully" human. Yes, we all require the support of others in some measure, but following birth we needn't hide out in the bodies of others and draw nourishment from our hosts via a cord connected to our navels. Though I'm sure I will be attacked by others for this comparison -- and indeed, it does seem harsh -- the unborn baby has more in common with a parasite than it does with a post-birth human being.

Still, I will concede that, because that embryo or unborn baby would hopefully have matured into something that we would recognize as a human being with certain inalienable rights, it may make sense to say that the destruction of that life entails the killing of a human being. So I can't say I'm a fan of the practice. If I were ever partly responsible for a woman's having to make that choice for herself, I hope that she would choose to bring the baby to term. If I were a woman and were in a position to choose, I hope that I would choose to bring the baby to term. If I didn't, it would be a very difficult decision and would involve a lot of complex thinking -- and ultimately, if that were my decision, I would have to be convinced that it would be in the child's best interest not to be born (as opposed to my own, or just my own).

But while I'm not in favor of the practice, per se, I do think that women deserve the right to choose what happens to themselves and their bodies for the next nine months (or more). While it may make sense to say that abortion constitutes murder, unless the unborn fetus can be brought to term outside the womb of its mother -- say, by artificial means, in which case "extractions" could be performed in lieu of abortions -- it cannot be treated as a person with legal rights and standing. And insofar as the government is unwilling to pay for the pregnant woman's hospital bills, see that she receives the best in pre-natal care, pay for her food (after all, she is eating for two now), compensate her for work missed, provide her with monetary reimbursement for pain and suffering incurred during the pregnancy, and even pay for any cosmetic surgery or exercise training she requires afterwards to regain her pre-pregnancy figure, the government has no right to force these costs and hardships on her by making the choice for her and telling her what to do with her own body. And even if the government were prepared to pay these costs, until the government also possesses the awesome power to turn back time and give women back those mornings that they spent vomiting into toilets, those minutes dealing with the stress of pregnancy, that figure they possessed before it was stretched to its limits to accommodate the life within, for the government to overturn Roe v. Wade and force women desiring abortions to carry their babies to term will constitute a tremendous revocation of women's personal liberties and even an invasion of their very flesh. If women are to retain the right to govern their own bodies as they see fit -- an inalienable right, to be sure -- Roe v. Wade must stand. And though he wouldn't say as much -- except that he won't require a litmus test for his judges -- Bush didn't give the impression that he'd like to uphold that judgment.

John Kerry for President.

Oh, and while I'm responding to Dawn, let me give a quick reply to something she wrote in "Be Sorry You Don't Have Gay 'Parents,' Says The New York Times". In response to a quote from the daughter of lesbian parents -- "I think it's cool how critical I am of the heterosexual world... It is sexist and gross." -- Dawn wrote, "Can you imagine how screwed up a child has to be to think that male and female biology, simply by being what it is, is 'sexist and gross'?"

Now, I'm not sure, but it seems to me like Dawn has not only totally misinterpreted the girl's comment, but intentionally so. I've noticed this tactic before -- and Dawn seems to do it a lot -- so my question is, "What's the point?" Yeah, it may make you appear stark raving mad (cf. Ann Coulter), and it may net you a few laughs, but it shoots your argument to shit. It's one thing to do something like that in a Scary-Crayon indictment of Oprah, and quite another to do so in a blog that's supposed to be making a valid and serious point. That girl's comment didn't mention anything about "male and female biology," let alone about it "simply... being what it is." While it's possible that the girl meant to include biology in the scope of her indictment, her problem is with "the heterosexual world" -- which I took to mean a lot of the attitudes and interactions that manifest themselves in silly gender politics and the like. And as I've noted in numerous posts, comments in the blogs of many of the folks linked at right, etc., I, too, find a lot of it to be, if not properly "gross," extremely sexist. You don't have to have two mommies to figure that out. (Though it probably helps.)

I refuse to defend the lesbians for encouraging their sixteen-year-old daughter to have sex, though.

And that's a wrap! Ja.

-posted by Wes | 2:30 pm | Comments (0)
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