What an Abortion

Oh boy what an emotive subject this one is!

I think it is fair that I lay out my views on abortion at the start. Hopefully they’ll be clear but I already suspect that someone will see something in the next paragraph that they can use to call me inconsistent or bigoted or immoral, let’s see.

I am pro choice but I am not pro abortion. I think a world in which abortion is never an option is a better world. However, I do not subscribe to the view that restricting access to abortion is the way to achieve that. My view is that an environment where access to education, health and whatever else is necessary so that an abortion never needs to happen is how that goal is met. When a woman gets to the point that abortion is an option then it means that something else has not gone right and removing abortion as an option should never be considered as the appropriate way to fix that. I refuse to hold judgement over any woman who finds herself in that situation and I will defend her right to have an abortion.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to the meat…

New president Donald Trump has signed a ban on aid money going to international groups who provide any information on abortions, not just those that get involved in providing them; they can’t even talk about abortion.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38729364

The recipients of this aid are now gagged with respect to abortion information. This is precisely why I oppose religiously motivated morality. Don’t like something? Then prohibit everybody from being able to have anything to do with it. That’s nuts, but not the subject of this post.

In an ideal world, contraception would be equally available to all citizens and there would never be a case when a woman finds herself unwillingly pregnant. This isn’t the case though. Rural areas don’t have easy access to contraception. Rural areas are also the poorest areas, so a woman who finds herself pregnant is more likely to be part of a family which can ill afford another mouth to feed. Is reducing the chance of her having a safe and legal abortion the right option here? A woman in a poor, large rural family is more likely to find herself unwillingly pregnant. She’ll also be more likely to seek an abortion than her relatively wealthier city dwelling fellow citizens. Where is the justice in mandating that she, her family, her children and her community all must bear the cost? I don’t just mean financial.

This is precisely the scenario where a desperate woman will seek out the most convenient abortion she can. If you remove the safe option through aid banning, you effectively force her into an illegal and less safe one. A dead woman is of no use to her family.

Among my facebook friends is a very vocal Christian who I’ve known since school. Like most of my friends from that era, she has retained her faith and it is very literal. She is rabidly against abortion and in her defence of this action by Trump she has used the phrase ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. I’m not sure which is the first wrong she is referring to, but it’s clear the second wrong is the act of abortion. I argue that in this situation the woman taking home a baby to a large and poor family and increasing their level of poverty is also wrong. There is no ‘right’ solution here, every option is ‘wrong’. Yes I am sad that a woman has felt the need to seek an abortion, I am pretty sure she is too; there is no joy in this scenario. If the alternative was better she would not be considering abortion.

The reason the woman is seeking an abortion is because she knows it’s worth it over the alternative. It is the utmost arrogance to decry her actions as morally reprehensible from the comfort of another country where the level of education, medical care and contraception are better in every conceivable way.

Abortion Stats

In checking facts about Mexico, I was surprised to read that contraception is used by about 70% of women in Mexico (http://www.d.umn.edu/~lars1521/BC&Mexico.htm). I understand that Catholicism is the dominant religion, and therefore that means that contraception is shunned doesn’t it? Well apparently not. Adherence to Catholicism is declining and commitment to contraception by those Catholics is very low (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/10/a-snapshot-of-catholics-in-mexico-pope-francis-next-stop/).

The state of women’s health regards to childbirth in South America and the Caribbean is depressing (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673241/), restricting abortion does not solve it, it exacerbates it. In this action, Trump has condemned thousands to greater poverty and health risks and criminalized those who work hard to against poverty and illiteracy.

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33 thoughts on “What an Abortion

  1. Comment 1:

    “I am pro choice but I am not pro abortion.”

    In this context you are saying I believe women should have the right to euthanize infants but I do not think the euthanizing of infants is a good thing. Right? That’s essentially the propositional content of saying I am pro choice not pro abortion right?

    • An infant is post birth. Twisting my words into something that I did not say and did not mean is dishonest to the extreme. Please don’t do that.

  2. Comment 2:

    “I think a world in which abortion is never an option is a better world.”

    You mean a world where infant euthanasia is not necessary right? I mean no one thinks aborting a pregnancy from coming to term is never the right thing to do. The western view has consistently been that when the life of the mother is at stake the pregnancy should be aborted, and if possible the life of the child should be preserved. It is ambiguous to refer to infanticide as abortion. Abortion is supposed to refer to the pregnancy. Abortion has always been and will hopefully always be legal in the US according to this understanding.

  3. Comment 3:

    “However, I do not subscribe to the view that restricting access to abortion is the way to achieve that.”

    But that’s contradictory. Unless in the previous sentence when you said “option” you meant “would not be needed.” Restricting access to abortion is the best way to remove it as an option.

  4. Comment 4:

    “My view is that an environment where access to education, health and whatever else is necessary so that an abortion never needs to happen is how that goal is met.”

    These conditions are met in the US and we average a million abortions a year. That environment clearly is not conducive to reducing abortions. Prior to the legal decisions of the late 60s and early 70s infanticide was extremely rare.

  5. Comment 5:

    “When a woman gets to the point that abortion is an option”

    Legally it is always an option in the US. By option in this context you mean something she needs to do, but that is the opposite of an option.

  6. Comment 6:

    “then it means that something else has not gone right and removing abortion as an option should never be considered as the appropriate way to fix that.”

    A moral argument needs to be made here. Stating that it is inappropriate makes no sense because appropriate isn’t a moral category. It is a cultural/social category. But the claim clearly is that it is immoral to restrict abortion. Unless you mean illegal? Unless the claim is that it is illegal or immoral to ever restrict abortion then it doesn’t have any bearing on the discussion.

  7. Comment 7:

    “I refuse to hold judgement over any woman who finds herself in that situation and I will defend her right to have an abortion.”

    No one (at least no one who understands the debate) is claiming that the mothers of euthanized infants should be “judged.”

    Everyone wants to defend the traditional understanding of abortion. But the right to euthanize an infant requires an actual defense. If you are defending the right of a woman to seek to have her infant euthanized then you need to present an actual argument with premises and a conclusion in a valid argument form.

  8. Comment 8:

    “New president Donald Trump has signed a ban on aid money going to international groups who provide any information on abortions”

    Yes like Reagan and W. Bush Trump has followed normal Republican practice. This was expected and it is barely newsworthy. It would be newsworthy if he did not do this.

    Whenever US tax payer money is used overseas an argument needs to be made. Even if the thing the money is used for is moral that doesn’t automatically mean we should be doing the thing. But since most US citizens do not think infant euthanizing is moral and since infant euthanizing is unconstitutional (this was admitted in Casey because the understanding of the 14th amendment used in Roe was shown to be false but SCOTUS knowingly decided to uphold an unconstitutional decision in Casey which means that Casey is constitutionally an unconstitutional decision, SCOTUS cannot admit something is unconstitutional and then claim it is constitutional) foreign financial aid for such things is both a misuse of tax payer money and an illegal use of it.

  9. Comment 9:

    “not just those that get involved in providing them; they can’t even talk about abortion.”

    Would it be alright if the situation only involved defunding the actual euthanizing?

    More importantly this argument is false. It’s also irrelevant to the discussion because I showed in the previous comment why US money should not be used for funding foreign infanticide.

    But your argument here goes:

    P1: US money is required to do the thing in question.
    P2: US money has been removed.
    C: The US is preventing the thing in question.

    Similarly

    P1: Access to oxygen is required for a human to continue to live.
    P2: I turned off my grandmother’s respirator.
    C: I killed my grandmother.

    If P2 is changed to I stopped feeding my grandmother then C is true. Otherwise C is simply I allowed my grandmother to die.

    Your conclusion mildly follows. The true conclusion is something like the US no longer enables or supports the thing to happen. Or more precisely the thing in question no longer happens. But the bigger problem is P1 is false, other funds are available. Also it isn’t true that funds are required to disseminate information or education, at least not in the relevant way. Your claim is that “they can’t even talk about it.” But “they” still can “talk about it.” They aren’t suppressing they simply aren’t aiding. Defunding something does not prevent information to spread or speech to be made. By this logic anything non funded by US money is essentially being prevented from happening. Which means that the US is actively trying to prevent almost everything. Admittedly these are “soft” points on my part because the hope is of course to prevent infanticide. Which as I’ve shown is a good thing from a US perspective.

  10. Comment 10:

    “The recipients of this aid are now gagged with respect to abortion information.”

    That conclusion is false and designed to create an emotive rather than responsible reaction.

  11. Comment 11:

    “This is precisely why I oppose religiously motivated morality. Don’t like something? Then prohibit everybody from being able to have anything to do with it. That’s nuts, but not the subject of this post.”

    This conclusion makes no sense. “Religious” opposition to infanticide has nothing to do with “like” but rather the idea that infanticide is wrong. Straw man fallacy. Especially since you stated quite explicitly that you also don’t “like” the euthanizing of infants. In this context it’s also not prohibiting anything. Saying that is “nuts” is also incorrect since mental illness has nothing to do with the belief that euthanizing infants is evil. So that’s good that it’s not the subject of this post.

  12. Comment 12:

    “In an ideal world, contraception would be equally available to all citizens and there would never be a case when a woman finds herself unwillingly pregnant.”

    Contraception has nothing to do with unwilling pregnancy. Unless rape is involved or you do not know that sex can lead to pregnancy. In an ideal world people would be sexually responsible all the time and wouldn’t need contraception. In an ideal world no one would be obese or have heart disease due to irresponsible behavior regarding food. Contraception has nothing to do with an “ideal” world and everything to do with human frailty regarding sex.

  13. Comment 13:

    “This isn’t the case though. Rural areas don’t have easy access to contraception. Rural areas are also the poorest areas, so a woman who finds herself pregnant is more likely to be part of a family which can ill afford another mouth to feed. Is reducing the chance of her having a safe and legal abortion the right option here? A woman in a poor, large rural family is more likely to find herself unwillingly pregnant. She’ll also be more likely to seek an abortion than her relatively wealthier city dwelling fellow citizens. Where is the justice in mandating that she, her family, her children and her community all must bear the cost? I don’t just mean financial.”

    Then why was infanticide extremely rare prior to Roe? The premises in this argument are false making the conclusion false.

    Rural areas are not the poorest. Urban ghettos are. People in rural areas are far less likely to seek abortion. Your “facts” are false. Poor people in urban areas are far more likely to seek to euthanize infants. Partially due to eugenics foundation of the evil organization known as planned parenthood. The majority of infanticide prior to Roe took place amongst the wealthy classes. And plenty of them still do. Worldview has far more to do with the procurement of euthanasia than demographic.

    Since you deny the existence of justice asking where is the justice in any action is absurd. No one is mandating anything for people who become pregnant except for themselves (unless rape or extreme ignorance is involved). Pregnancy isn’t an accident. It’s a choice. It may be a bad choice. A mistake. Or an evil action such as rape but choice is always the precursor from somewhere.

    But denying justice is usually connected to denying free will and that’s really what this reasoning looks like: people are merely physical processes that must be contained by physical restraints. In which case this whole discussion is meaningless because no decision (like Trump ending an unconstitutional use of money) is actually a decision but rather the end of a physical process. Including this conversation which means it’s determined and nothing we’re saying or doing means anything at all.

  14. Comment 14:

    “This is precisely the scenario where a desperate woman will seek out the most convenient abortion she can. If you remove the safe option through aid banning, you effectively force her into an illegal and less safe one. A dead woman is of no use to her family.”

    No she isn’t forced into anything. That’s simply incorrect. You are telling a story designed to emote a response. This is not an argument.

    Also these “coat hangar” abortions are a myth. As I’ve said numerous times prior to Roe infanticide was extremely rare. After Roe we average 1 million a year. And America is the richest country in the world. So the connection is purely between legality and choices. Poverty has nothing to do with it.

    “No use” isn’t a valid moral argument regarding the wrongness of a death.

    • I admit I am surprised at your barely hidden bias.
      —You say: “she isn’t forced into anything. That’s simply incorrect. You are telling a story designed to emote a response. This is not an argument.”

      I can’t even begin to tell you how bad this comment is. By saying a woman is not forced into anything, you are judging, simply put. As to telling a story designed to emote a response, I would look at your own article equating abortion to eugenics, which is purposely misleading and ultimately false.

      I answered you on this, and I’ve gotten no response as of yet. I’ve written what I consider an arguably reasonable article on abortion. But, I expect from you a dance of semantics you don’t apply to yourself… and that’s too bad because I enjoy the exchange. I am open to correction, but I need solid evidence and coherent context, not just sentimental platitudes.

      This is not an easy issue. I fear passions run high on both sides, avoiding ethics on both sides.
      I am not closed on any of the arguments, and I usually try hard to analyze the forest rather than the trees, because I believe context is everything. Again, I’m in a process, not a conclusion. We do well to have intelligent conversations on this, instead of biased debates that are pointless in advancing our understanding.

  15. Comment 15:

    “Among my facebook friends is a very vocal Christian who I’ve known since school. Like most of my friends from that era, she has retained her faith and it is very literal. She is rabidly against abortion and in her defence of this action by Trump she has used the phrase ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. I’m not sure which is the first wrong she is referring to, but it’s clear the second wrong is the act of abortion. I argue that in this situation the woman taking home a baby to a large and poor family and increasing their level of poverty is also wrong. There is no ‘right’ solution here, every option is ‘wrong’. Yes I am sad that a woman has felt the need to seek an abortion, I am pretty sure she is too; there is no joy in this scenario. If the alternative was better she would not be considering abortion.”

    Most of that is irrelevant. The Christians you normally discuss with are not intelligent.

    But the final line is simply false. Women choose to euthanize infants for a variety of reasons. But saying that there are no “right answers” here and then saying that infanticide is better than the alternative is contradictory. This poverty story you are telling is not logically relevant. It is clearly an extension of the eugenics basis of planned parenthood. The lives you are determining should be euthanized are going to be mostly poor non American minorities.

    • “Most of that is irrelevant. The Christians you normally discuss with are not intelligent. ”

      I am discussing with you and you are a Christian. Hmmmm.

      You also have no knowledge of the education level of any of the other Christians I discuss anything with. Judgmental condescension drips off you with no sense of irony.

  16. Comment 16:

    “The reason the woman is seeking an abortion is because she knows it’s worth it over the alternative. It is the utmost arrogance to decry her actions as morally reprehensible from the comfort of another country where the level of education, medical care and contraception are better in every conceivable way.”

    Continuing the emotive story. None of this is relevant. No one is decrying a woman’s actions. The claim is that the action is wrong. Bringing up personal judgment is simply codependent reasoning. This isn’t relevant.

  17. Comment 17:

    “In checking facts about Mexico, I was surprised to read that contraception is used by about 70% of women in Mexico (http://www.d.umn.edu/~lars1521/BC&Mexico.htm). I understand that Catholicism is the dominant religion, and therefore that means that contraception is shunned doesn’t it? Well apparently not. Adherence to Catholicism is declining and commitment to contraception by those Catholics is very low (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/10/a-snapshot-of-catholics-in-mexico-pope-francis-next-stop/).”

    This undermines your argument. And is a not so veiled and irrelevant attempt to bring up your anti religion.

  18. Comment 18:

    “The state of women’s health regards to childbirth in South America and the Caribbean is depressing (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673241/), restricting abortion does not solve it, it exacerbates it. In this action, Trump has condemned thousands to greater poverty and health risks and criminalized those who work hard to against poverty and illiteracy.”

    Since infanticide was extremely rare prior to its legalization this conclusion you keep arbitrarily reaching (begging the question) is simply false. It’s clear you think infanticide is fine and people are animals with responsibility for their lives. That’s why you keep demonizing Trump and begging the question that the US owes any of these countries any aid at all. You cannot deny right and wrong or free will and then claim Trump is condemning people out of moral outrage. This is completely fallacious.

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