I found myself writing far too much in response to a comment to this post that I thought I might as well make it a post of it’s own. The comment was from ReligionVsAmerica. It’s mostly all concerning that fun topic of abortion. RVA’s comments start in response to my objection to Hillary Clinton’s stance on abortion being that it should be made “safe and rare”. I wrote, “Safe is fine, but rare? Rare sounds like concession, like agreeing to actively limit it. How? And of course, why?”
Concession? As in abortion is a form of birth control that we should feel good about? We need to actively encourage other forms of birth control that do not result in termination of the life of a fetus.
That’s very cheeky to try to equate abortion as merely birth control. I especially like the little “life of a fetus” bit.
Just because there may be legal decisions about when that becomes a human life, does not mean that until that point the fetus is not human or alive. This is a legal distinction, not a moral, medical, or scientific one.
It’s not just a legal issue, but also a medical and scientific decision that has not been made 100% clear yet. Very true. No one doubts whether the fetus is alive, but so is the bacteria in our yogurt now to allegedly ensure we have nice poops, but of course we know that’s not going to ever become human so no one gets upset if you chuck a container of it in the bin like a fetus (well maybe the one who paid for the yogurt would since it’s grossly overpriced). But then potential for being human isn’t a legal statute either, since millions of “potential humans” are disposed of daily via in vitro fertilization but no one gives a shit about that.
Also, to go back to your specific comment, the lack of a decision also does not mean that until that point the fetus is human either. One of the roots of the argument is what is human? At odds is the issue of dualism, whether we are more than physical. Clearly religious people think so and believe we have souls so any rational argument about say ‘at what stage of development does a fetus have a brain formed to the point where it might think or sense pain’ is irrelevant. Likewise, when a rationalist asks for proof of this soul, or when this thing manifests, the resulting answers from the religious are irrational and therefore, to them, irrelevant.
To me, the moral issue of abortion would be when the fetus might start thinking or sensing pain and even then the question of abortion has very real external factors so numerous I couldn’t possibly list them all, but to weigh in on the matter of abortion based solely on what one feels or what one’s religion tells them is so, completely ignoring both laws and, more importantly, scientific evidence, is ridiculous.
One way to actively limit abortion is to make contraception better understood and more acceptable. To recognize that our children are making these decisions and encouraging them to understand the consequences of their actions. To get the religious prohibitionists to stop encouraging abortion by discouraging contraception and acting as if abstinence is a practical alternative to premarital sex. So far, we have not been successful in educating our children.
Once again, you’re focused on abortion as merely birth control and it’s more than that. However, in cases where it is seen as birth control, I agree that sex education and proper birth control availability would certainly curb that. I also agree that abstinence only programs are nonsense and counterproductive.
Look at the example the Catholic priests set – clearly abstinence is a fraud that discourages sensible alternatives and encourages the rape of children the priests are supposed to protect and educate.
How many abortions are the religious abstinence set causing. We need to start making it clear that abortion is brought to us by the religious right.
Well I won’t disagree with your first point. To the second, I don’t think they’re that upset about the rise in teen pregnancy. Heck, it’s all god’s will, right? If your daughter is knocked up, it must have been meant to be! Sure the result is more abortions, but that’s reality, and they’re not about that so much. There are three fantasies at play here:
1) Abstinence programs will stop kids from having sex
2) If it doesn’t and they get knocked up, it’s god’s will and meant to be
3) Those knocked up kids will put their babies up for adoption, where a good christian family who might not be able to have their own kids will adopt them (see “god’s will and meant to be” above)
The reality that these kids will just go get abortions instead of putting their babies up for adoption isn’t part of the fantasy. Still, to ensure this triple-play fantasy (and it has to be valid, because, you know, when things come in threes…), it’s important to eliminate abortion as an option.