It's so funny to hear people all up in arms about the "constant fight to chip away at the right to abortion."
The reactions are the exact same ones you read about from the 19th century: "They are constantly chipping away at the right to own slaves."
The same old argument, but with the actors reversed: "You can't let them be considered people the same as us! That completely takes away our right to do with and to them what we want!"
Perhaps it helps those who uphold the right to abortion to better understand why getting rid of slavery was so hard and took so long: A lot of people, defending their "rights" (= self-interest), were making the same kinds of arguments you are, and invoking the same financial, personal and philosophical reasons.
And perhaps it helps those who oppose abortion, also, to understand that a long fight to see people's rights recognized is still worth it. It was a couple of centuries from the time some progressives actually said that those of African descent were as much human beings as those of European descent, until that was widely recognized, with all its legal implications, in Western cultures. The generation that started it never saw the end of it. In fact, in some ways, the battle still isn't over. But the tide is clearly in favor of recognizing the rights of all human beings, regardless of their color, sex, or ethnic origin. The fight was worth it, no matter how long it took.
The next step, for that humanity to be recognized regardless of age, is not won. But it is worth it.
I will say it very openly: Yes, I want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. From a legal point of view, it was very bad law. From an ethical point of view, it was very bad policy. From a philosophical point of view, it was very bad reasoning. It should be overturned.
Dare I say it? I think I will:
I have a dream. A dream that one day, even the very youngest human beings, even those still in need of the protection of their mother's womb, will be seen as precious lives, lives to be cared for, not dumped in the trash because they are in someone's way. The battle may take centuries, just as the battle to recognize humanity regardless of skin color has, but it is still a wonderful dream.
The irony is that many of those who will carry on that fight are in their mothers' wombs right now. It's no wonder that, one day, they will fight for the rights of others in their mothers' wombs to get a chance to live their lives.
The every greater irony is that many of those who will continue the fight to protect abortion are also in their mothers' wombs right now. And those of us fighting against abortion are fighting for their right to life, too.
How many of those who, given the chance, would have taken part in the battle on both sides won't get that chance, because someone will decide that they didn't have the right to live? And our law protected that "right" to deprive someone else of the right to live, just because they were in the way...
(Let the insults and negreps from those who want to show their moral high-ground in the debate begin!)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Interesting Take on Abortion
This is nothing new, but it's well phrased. It was posted on a bulletin board I frequent. Here is a link to the original post.