A Contradiction I Cannot Ignore

I do not much want to get involved in abortion arguments. My instinct as some kind of Gnostic is, in the Paglian manner, to regard it as self-defence against a Mother Nature who does not have our best interests as individuals at heart. And if reproduction is, as I truly believe, an ethical atrocity, then whatever upsets the “quiverful” movement, and its moderate cousins the Catholic breeders, has to be a good thing.

And yet lovers of truth are faced with some appalling contradictions here. Pro-choicers like to mock the other side for believing in the right to life only of the unborn, not of the born; fast-forward the sacrosanct foetus eighteen years and we may give it lethal injections or send it to war. But this sword has two edges; those who oppose capital punishment for the born are only too happy to apply it to the unborn, with an interested party as sole judge, jury and executioner. I cannot see how the one howling contradiction is any less or more nonsensical than the other.

I recently came across a subset of this position, somebody calling for the coercive detox of pregnant drug addicts. Given the source among the bien-pensants, it was reasonable to assume that the author supported free abortion. So, then, a woman must be forcibly prevented from damaging her foetus by the recreational ingestion of scheduled substances, but if she wants to scrape it out entirely and bin it, this is quite all right. There is only one way of squaring this particular circle, and that is to posit that above position is driven entirely by the wish to save public money, coupled with the assumption that all future individuals will be consuming public services as various kinds of victim rather than paying taxes to fund them. But hey, such a world-view increases employment among the bien-pensants, the budget for whose salaries grows on trees.

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  1. Written by urban
    on June 18, 2015 at 12:49

    Yes indeed, incoherence all the way around. I am often struck by the framing of opposition to abortion in terms of a “right to life.” I cannot square such a right with the inevitability of death.

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