I have heard some horrible things said over the past few months, and some even more horrible things proposed, such as abortion up until the moment of birth, or even afterward. I won't dignify such abhorrent people and their ideas with a link, as anyone reading this is more than capable of finding them without my help. The vast majority of abortion proponents find the concept repellent anyway. However, it did get me thinking about the main argument that supporters use, and why it's utterly fallacious.
Abortion "rights" supporters like to argue over when that little blob of dividing cells actually becomes human, but there's a huge problem with that viewpoint. Before conception, before sperm enters egg, it's true, it's just biological material. Potential without promise. After conception, the whole debate over when it becomes a sentient human being is irrelevant. The fact is, once that blob of cells is growing and dividing, its genetic program will produce only one end product. It isn't suddenly going to decide it would rather be a redwood, or a puppy. Barring disease, accident or act of violence, it will be, and therefore already is, a human being, and entitled to all the rights any other person is entitled to. When a person is killed, everything they might have experienced, everything they may have accomplished, all impact they may have had on the world for good or ill, is taken from them. Be they still in the womb, five minutes old or five decades, that still holds true. The claim that a fetus isn't human yet at two days, two weeks, three months, or whatever number we want to pluck out of the air is pure fallacy, designed to salve society's conscience and sidestep the issue of rights.
The classical Greeks and Romans didn't even try to make this argument, but they had very different ideas than we do regarding the sanctity of life, the value of the individual and what constitutes human rights. In early Rome, it was legal to kill a deformed or disabled child until the age of three, so long as the parent could get five neighbors to agree with the decision. Few people would condone such a law today, but we supposedly enlightened modern people have bought into the idea that abortion is some sort of right belonging exclusively to women, and that it's an acceptable form of contraception. The ancient world practiced slavery and infanticide, but they did not condone the practice of killing a child, unborn or not, simply because it was an inconvenience. So why do we?
Those ancient societies also recognized that fathers have rights and a say in what happens to their children, which should be self evident, yet until quite recently we in today's supposedly more advanced world have treated fathers as nothing more than sperm donors. I blame feminists for this. The Feminist movement began for all the right reasons, and did some good, but it also became an excuse for women to abandon sexual responsibility, when women should have instead been demanding that men take up their fair share of that responsibility. Instead of attacking the tired meme that "boys will be boys", they burned their bras on the alter of "the pill" and bought into the idea that men are just some sort of expendable fashion accessory. Ladies, you need to get over that one right now. It isn't "your body." That fetus isn't a spontaneously generated growth, it isn't a parasite. It's a child, and a man was involved in it's creation. He has just as much of a say over what happens to it, and just as much responsibility for its welfare, as you do. Now that paternity can be easily determined with a simple DNA test, it's past time that our society started demanding that men, as well as women, take these responsibilities seriously.
Abortion on demand is immoral and should be illegal, simply because it violates the rights of the child, the father, and even the extended family. However, there is one, and only one, case where it should not be illegal, that being medical necessity. There is a very old concept in English common law (it's probably even older) that holds that no person can be forced to risk life and limb to save another person. I have to agree with it. If we can't hold a parent criminally responsible for not rushing in to save their ten year old from the bear, regardless of what we may think of that person's character, then we certainly can't demand that a mother carry a baby to term if it will place her life in imminent danger. In this one and only case, it really is her body, and ultimately, her decision.
As for those who see abortion as a necessary evil to avoid overpopulation, that's a very weak argument, but it's also the most dangerous, which is why I left it for last. It's dangerous because of the other conclusions it inevitably leads to. If we decide it's OK to kill unborn babies because they're excess population, then why not the elderly? They're no longer productive, and have become a financial burden, have they not? What about the disabled? Why expend resources that could go to healthy, productive members of society? See where this leads? Welcome to the Fourth Reich. Besides, humanity has all the space and resources it will ever need at its fingertips. We simply haven't made the effort to reach it. Where are all these resources, you ask? Look up. Disagreeable technocrat he may be, Jeff Bezos is right about this one. It's past time we left the cradle. That's a topic I'll get to another day.
I am, and have always been, unafraid to voice my opinions. In fact I believe everyone needs to vent now and then, and we all have a God given right to do so. I despise willful ignorance and intellectual dishonesty, and take a perhaps perverse pleasure in puncturing the politically correct proclamations of those who have anointed themselves as our betters. I could be described as a contrarian and a bit of a curmudgeon, having now reached an age at which those labels no longer sound odd. Not everything I'll address here will be controversial. In fact, I would rather keep that sort of thing somewhat limited (and it should surprise no one that I probably won't succeed in doing so). We already have our fill of whining talking heads on the 'net. However, if you are easily offended or thin skinned, you might want to skip this blog. You have been warned.