Friday, May 09, 2008

Frances Kissling: fetuses might want to die for their mothers

Oh brother

As a fetus I would have gladly given up my chance to enter the world and become Frances Kissling to have given my mother a better chance at happiness. Far too much is made of a mother's obligations to her children and far too little of what a child's love for her mother means. If fetuses could love, I think they would be as passionate in defense of their mothers as born children become.

Does she seriously believe that?

How many of you would sacrifice their existence to make their mothers happy?

It might be nice to think that fetuses, babies, toddlers and sundry other children are that selfless-- to want to die for the sake of their mother. But the truth is, they're not.

The point of the right to life movement is that you have no right to impose death on another. If mothers could ask fetuses permission to abort, that might add some modicum of fairness to the process. But of course no baby wants to die. That's what makes this column such a farce.

Far too much is made of a mother's obligations to her children

Yeah, 'cuz it's perfectly sane to require some balance and expect one's offspring to want to die for you.

She says that she would have allowed herself to have been aborted for her mother's sake.

Then I say she does not value her own life-- her own very self.

There are times when there is no other choice but to die for another-- such as to save their physical life-- or to die for a cause. This is natural.

But you don't give up on your personal existence for something that a person is perfectly capable of doing for himself. Adults are capable of making themselves happy in a myriad of circumstances. They are capable of coping with suffering and struggle. They are able to find meaning and joy in tough situations. A child does not have to die to do this.

If a child has to die so an adult has to be happy, that has very scary implications. Why limit this belief to fetuses? Why not allow mothers to kill newborns, toddlers, etc?

The question "what if your mother had aborted you" is meant to get the person to think about their own existence and feel violated about the possibility of having their lives extinguished. But clearly, someone who believes that someone else's happiness is more important than their own (when they're perfectly capable of creating that happiness) is a person who does not value their own existence.

Maybe that's the problem. People do not appreciate the value of their own lives. Perhaps that's why they're so ready to take the lives of others.

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