Althouse highlights an awkward BloggingHeads discussion between two pro-choice women (BH’s idea of “balance” would be to have one person be for late term abortions and the other be pro-abortion up to 2-3 years). This predictably turned into a hell of a comment thread, with the Althouse commentariat (that quote about the commentariat skeletonizing a cow on the masthead is mine, thankyouverymuch) turning out some pretty good and civil stuff.
I wrote a comment as well but it was just way too long, so I’m posting it here.
the deacon said:
There are extremists on both sides of the issue. At least the ones on the left aren’t blowing up other people’s children over it.
You don’t hear about the crimes of the extreme “choicers” much, but they do exist, and in far greater numbers than the more spectacular bombings of the extreme “lifers”.
As we acknowledge that some on the pro-life side are not pro-life so much as anti-sex or anti-choice, let’s acknowledge that some on the pro-choice side are not pro-choice so much as pro-aboriton. These are, e.g., the people who sterilize quietly while performing abortions.
Abortion is a popular tool of eugenicists, including the still honored Margaret Sanger. Sanger, founder of the euphemistically named “Planned Parenthood” was a fan of Ernst Rudin, the philosophical architect of the Holocaust.
Abortions are predominantly done for non-white women, in what may be a coincidence, but not one without demographic implications.
I mention all this as someone who’s pro-choice (even though I agree with almost all of the pro-lifer’s positions).
I’m pro-choice simply because I don’t think the government should or even can police women’s uteri. Every menstrual cycle becomes a potential crime, every uterus a crime scene.
I mean, if you’re going to take seriously that life begins at conception and any attempt to stop that process is murder, you’ll need to investigate the million odd miscarriages that occur every year. Even the ones that aren’t murder–a lot of those are going to be criminal negligence.
You’ll want to monitor all the possible herbal emmenegogues that women have used for millenia, as well.
If you want to directly equate fertilized egg with newborn, that is. You’d investigate an infant who turned up dead, after all, so this is the logical conclusion of that equation.
You’d probably need to regulate women’s activity in general, since any nubile female could be pregnant at any time without knowing it. And certainly society can never be sure.
I say get the gov’t out of it completely. We went 30 or 40 years in this country without any laws on the topic at all. I know it’s fun to scorn Roe v. Wade with its penumbras and emanations, but there is the ninth amendment, remember that?
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
That emanates and penumbrates like crazy. The idea that the state should suddenly be able to regulate this without some sort of Constitutional amendment strikes me as a slap in the 9th’s face.
The gov’t shouldn’t be paying for abortions either, of course. The government relies on a growing population to keep its bureaucracies well fed.
Now, if you want to reduce the number of abortions, then get the message out. That used to be what churches did, and they aren’t what they used to be, so it’ll be harder to get that kind of influence, but it certainly can be done. You have the advantage of facts.
Right now, the pro-choicers can try to suppress exposure of those newfangled baby scans that are so damaging to the “just a clump of cells” theory on the basis of protecting rights. End that battle and return to the one that matters.
And if it were totally unlegislated, i.e., if the gov’t weren’t involved at all, it would be pro-lifers versus who, exactly?
Take laws off the table and the argument goes from “pro-life vs pro-choice” to “pro-life vs pro-abortion”. How sweet is that? Only a few people are actually pro-abortion, and most people think they’re pretty creepy.
Versus the other way: Make it completely illegal everywhere, and not only do you have to fight the battle forever, your victory creates an underground complete with its own economy, criminal exploitation, and a fair number of dead mothers along with the dead babies.
If you have any other perplexing social issues that need resolving, I’ll be in the pool.