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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Abortion Should Be Between the Woman and...

While on a subject as conducive to reasoned and congenial debate as abortion, one might contemplate a position very commonly expressed by ostensibly moderate Pro-Choice politicians and commentators:

Now, I am not saying that abortion is a good thing. I just think that we should keep the heavy hand of the state out of it. The decision to have an abortion really should be between the woman, her partner, her doctor, and her priest.

This is apparently a position often taken to great success by politicians with mixed constituencies because it pleases the dimmer sorts of both libertarians (who applaud the denial of state authority) and communitarians (who appreciate the involvement of local groups, instead of mere atomistic individuals).

Yet one might imagine oneself having the following conversation with such self-proclaimed moderate pro-choicer:

SSA: So you are saying that if a woman wants to have an abortion, but her partner says no, she can't?

MPC: Oh, of course not. It would be barbaric to allow a partner to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term.

SSA: Ok. But you mean the woman's regular doctor has a veto?

MPC: Not at all! As long as there is any doctor who will perform the abortion, she can have it.

SSA: But what about the priest at the woman's regular church?

MPC: Be serious. We don't live in a theocracy.

SSA: What if the partner, the doctor, and the priest are against it?

MPC: It would still be the woman's prerogative.

SSA: So what if the woman does not want to have an abortion? Can her partner force her?

MPC: No! That would be just as bad as the partner forcing her not to have an abortion.

SSA: The doctor? The priest?

MPC: Why do you keep asking such stupid questions. Of course, they cannot force the woman to have an abortion.

SSA: And all of them together, could they force an abortion on an unwilling woman?

MPC: You need to ask? No!

So it is readily seen that this ostensibly moderate pro-choicer is taking the position that abortion should always be within the sole and exclusive discretion of the woman. Nothing in this post proves that this position is incorrect. What this post proves is that those who employ such verbiage are by no means moderate and use this wordy obfuscation—which adds nothing except perhaps the proposition that the woman is free to consult anybody willing to offer advice, something so obvious and uncontroversial as not to need speaking—to gull the gullible.

PS: None of the above is to suggest that using this verbiage is a dumb thing to do. To the contrary, that so many apparently intelligent and successful politicians use it, strongly suggests that it a smart thing to say, if one believes one's audience to be dumb.