Taking on the Abortion Issue

I haven’t made enough political enemies yet. So I guess it’s time to take on the most rancorous, divisive issue of all: the abortion question.

I jest, slightly. Part of me wishes I could avoid the issue entirely, as it divides both the liberal, conservative, and libertarian camps. And it will divide the new Upper Left alliance should it ever get off the ground as well. So should that new political party ever get off the ground, I would enjoin the membership to keep the issue out of the platform entirely — or have an explicit statement that individual candidates vary on the subject. This is an issue where I will ally myself with the social conservative Republicans, the Blue Dog Democrats, and whatever fraction of the Upper Left turns out to be pro life.

But I cannot leave the issue alone, because if legal abortion continues much longer, natural humans may become an endangered species. (And this is without factoring in any supernatural wrath.)

4 Responses to Taking on the Abortion Issue

  1. Mike Bagwell says:

    Yeah, you’ve opened a can of worms with this one. Though I can’t say it wouldn’t be lulzy if the leaders of the religious right started using this argument.

  2. Michael Bindner says:

    Whether abortion should be legal or not depends on how much power you want to give to the state to stop it with the criminal law.

    The law can endorse stopping abortion without actually banning it by funding families adequately, with extra support for Downs Syndrome children and emancipation and paid education for both parents when teens get pregnant. Do all that, and elective abortion will be so rare that facilities will be unavailable.

    Encouraging firms to fund longevity through stock ownership rather than wages and to have the tax system backstop education, child care and child income benefits does most of the job.

    OK with banning non-medically essential abortion after assisted viability, however equal protection under law problems makes banning abortion before that point legally tenuous, as then the state must investigate every miscarriage and malpractice insurers must pay off every family who has one in order to forestall lawsuits (which are cheaper than taking any such case to trial, even those without merit – which would have doctors stop seeing expectant mothers before 22 weeks – hardly good for the whole – and society is right to balance their interests with those whose parents chose abortion, even after tax benefits make most abortion rare).

  3. Michael Bindner says:

    There was recently a movie about a dystopian novel where clones were raised appart to be used for organ harvesting. It touched on their humanity. Clones are simply twins without the benefit of similar astrology. I have a thought experiment about this that you might find interesting.

    Consider stem cell research in reverse. Discard the stem cells and keep the chorion then implant adult stem cells from a donor (assume no rejection problems) and implant the blastocyst into a host mother. When the child develops, whose soul does it have?

    A. The soul of the chorion and discarded stem cells.

    B. The soul of the donor.

    C. No soul, its a gollem.

    D. It’s own soul.

    A would have to be true if Catholic teaching on life begining at conception were true, but that would be ridiculous.

    B and C would turn the child into a commodity. Again, they can’t be true.

    We are left with D. Luckily, such an experiment occurs before gastrulation, which if you are familiar with Aristotelian theory on souls and with modern embryology, is obviously the start of real human life. Indeed, once such a point is excepted, the moral case for abortion falls apart.

    The legal case for abortion is still there, since equal protection rights for the miscarried would demand state action if personhood were recognized in the first trimester. Indeed, the reason no abortion law is even proposed in the US is that meeting the necessary exceptions would make it impossible to keep the pro-life grass roots.

    There is an economic way to fight abortion – finance families adequately (with $1000 of higher pay per child per month), especially teen parents (pay for educations of both) and parents of Downs Syndrome children (which would require assisted housing and 24 hour assisted care for the worst off). Of course, most in the pro-life movement would also blanch at such socialism, even if it is libertarian socialism in the upper left.

  4. Adam says:

    What if there is no such thing as a soul? Not trolling, just wondering about your basic assumptions.

    I think I think that legalised abortion is the worst system, except for all the others that have been tried. But I may be persuadable otherwise.

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