Sunday, October 14, 2007

We can agree on who is or is not human (right!)

Sometimes, I wonder if proponents of legalized abortion really think through their arguments.

Take this op-ed for instance.

It's another article that says: we shouldn't acknowledge unborn victims of crime, otherwise will lose their sacrosanct "right" to abortion.

Once upon a time, proponents of slavery made similar claims: do not acknowledge the rights of black people, otherwise white people will be unable to live their lives as they see fit.

The debate was never about the black person. He was seen as irrelevant.

Just as today the debate is not about the unborn child. He is seen as irrelevant, too, either though, intellectually speaking, he's at the crux of the debate.

In a pluralistic society like ours, citizens can reasonably disagree about when an embryo or fetus takes on the moral status of a person.

Let's rephrase that. In a pluralistic society, we are free to believe and disagree on who is an equal, and who is not.

Um, we can BELIEVE IT, but legally, we have no right to disagree on who is a legal and who isn't.

That's what the debate about fetal rights is about. You cannot disagree on who is an equal, as far as human beings are concerned.

We think it is morally wrong for a woman to take recreational drugs that can harm her fetus.

And it is also wrong to smoke in the presence of a baby. But we don't take babies away from smokers, right?

But if we align the law with this moral intuition, we may have to accept punishing a woman for harming her unborn baby through smoking or undereating or taking a reckless and dangerous hike. This is narrow end of the wedge that ends in the outlawing of abortion.

But if we align the law with our moral intuition, it might mean black people may some day attain to positions of authority over us and make us live in ways we don't want to.

It's never about those who are oppressed. It's always about the oppressor.

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