Thursday, April 08, 2010

More Poor Choice Cluelessness

Nicholas Fogelson tries to explain why the Pro-Choice side of the abortion debate is losing in the United States:

Pro-life has been very successful in merging two question that should be separated, and by doing so have taunted the pro-choice side into addressing the wrong one. These questions are 1) is abortion unethical / immoral? and 2) should abortion be illegal? The vast majority of pro-life rhetoric is based on the belief that termination of pregnancy is immoral.

It appears that some people have not pushed their analysis of the pro-life cause to its logical conclusion.

Of course pro-lifers understand that just because something is immoral it doesn't have to be illegal.

What pro-lifers advocate is the recognition of the personhood of the unborn child.

It's not a morality/legality issue as the columnist seems to believe.

It's a philosophical one, that isn't ultimately about actions but about people.

Pro-choice must separate these two questions.

They can do that. But that doesn't address the main point: the unborn child is an equal human being with human rights.

See, the official pro-choice movement has always run away from this question. It based its push for legality on relativism, that we can't really settle on the issue of the moral status of the fetus. Different people have different ideas. We can't impose our morals on others.

It's a whole other kettle of fish when the premise being advanced is that fetuses are persons and that abortion is a form of discrimination against them.

It's not the old morality/legality paradigm.

It's almost a different debate. Because now the debate is not about an act, but about the fetus.

Pro-choice needs to stop addressing the question of morality question all together.

Sure, evade the ultimate question.

Prior to Roe v Wade hospitals had entire wards full of women injured or dying from illegal untrained abortion. This is incredibly compelling, yet Pro-choice gives it a back seat to a pointless argument about morality.

That argument worked in 1970 because women were seen as victims.

In the 21st century, that is less compelling.

The truth is: a woman who doesn't want to die from an abortion shouldn't have one.

The fetus has no choice.

There's something about adhering to evil that makes you unable to understand. If they truly understood the pro-life argument and tried to argue effectively against it, they would in effect have to go back on a whole bunch of ideas they've already banked on (e.g. ideas on the fetus vary; the fetus is not a human being; etc) and they would in effect indirectly make the pro-life argument.

It's like when communism made the argument that capitalism was evil because it allowed such great disparities and oppressed its poor, and yet store shelves across Communist countries were bare. There was a credibility gap that eventually led to communism's implosion. The people who ran communist countries couldn't come to grips to the truth, otherwise it would mean the end of their system. Which is exactly what happened. When the pro-choicers try to argue against the pro-life cause, they expose their own credibility gap, their own lack of understanding.