Thursday, March 16, 2006

Abortion

It's clear from my site traffic reports that I need to post more often. My public demands it. It's also clear that I need to enhance my revenue stream. But blogging is more fun. So...

Contentious Topic #1: Abortion

My opinions on abortion would enrage anyone on either side. I'm never going to be pregnant or get someone pregnant or personally perform an abortion or personally stop a woman from getting one, so my opinions are more-or-less harmless, except that they might persuade someone else who is in a position to do/not do these things. Nevertheless, I usually keep my universally-enraging opinions about it to myself.

You will see in a moment why.

That moment is now.

Uhhhnnn... No, not yet.

The terms

A philosophy professor I had said people who argue about abortion too often make reference to the need to “define your terms”. This is ridiculous, he said, because the entire discussion is over the definition of the terms and nothing else. Does person  include a fetus? a zygote? an unimplanted cluster of cells? a sperm that's really near an egg? If you can define it the debate is over. Similarly with body, life, freedom, etc.    

He said an abortion arguments often run like this.
Zoe: “I have the right to do with my body what I choose.”

Moe: “Do you have the right to throw your body over my face so that I cannot breathe?”

Zoe: “No, because that would harm another person.”
My professor then rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders as if to say QED.

My opinion on abortion also involves definitions. I come down at a particular point to mark the beginning of a new human life, for example. But my ethical criteria about abortion are pragmatic and don't depend on anybody's verbal definitions, even mine.

So, my long-secret abortion ruling...

 

...will soon follow.

Preventing pregnancy

What's most perplexing to me is that people (other than Roman Catholics) who are opposed to abortion aren't doing everything possible to prevent the pregnancies that result in abortions. They don't want to encourage premarital sex, okay; I get it. But isn't that a lesser offense than (in their eyes) murdering unborn babies?

I, for one, would have no problem with a cultural tradition of temporarily “fixing” all boys and girls until they were, say 21 years old. Lots of other people would object to that, but not, I hope, on the grounds that people under 21 need to have babies. Or even should. Not these days.

Of course the official Roman Catholic position is beyond adequate words. It's one thing for intellectually isolated, officially celebate, monomaniacal prelates to have odd, purely theoretical ideas about sex. But many of those who tout the no-contraception line are healthy, young lay people! Bollocks-lobed, boob-brained, terribly confused, silly-thinking nitwits who believe married-to-each-other heterosexual adults should not use condoms, ever, when having penis-in-vagina intercourse because it's inherently immoral — but pulling the penis out before ejaculation is  moral, although after both interventions the sacred sperm ends up in the same bedroom wastebasket!

Michigan's own pizza billionaire Tom Monaghan is pressuring the pharmacies in his Catholic development in Florida not to carry condoms! He lumps their sale on the side of “evil”! I don't think he really believes that. I think he enjoys bothering people by saying goofy things. The local independent hospital, though, says it will NOT supply birth control hormones to women who go to Monaghan's school, even though they provide them to everybody else. Read it! It's right there in the article!

I remind myself that all people are doing the best they can.

My opinion on abortion

As I said, it would upset anyone. Let me start by saying that it doesn't bother me if (most) teenagers are experimenting sexually with each other, if they've had safety and emotional issues thoroughly explained to them, if it's something they want to do, if they're able to say no, if they have responsible, competent adults they trust and can turn to, if they're using disease- and pregnancy-prevention, and if they realize it's optional, unnecessary, and less cool than current political science. That's a lot of ifs.

I want contraceptives to be as freely available as mints at restaurant cash registers, as pennies in gas station penny cups, as daily junk mail. I want any government program that reduces unplanned conceptions and conception in women 19 and under fully funded.

Now to the hard part.

I think human life begins at
Sorry. I gotta run to the bank before 4:00. I'll pick up here later!

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