By Scott Tibbs, July 7, 2008
The following comment was posted on a friend's blog in response to an entry criticizing abortion:
|So why do you care if the unwanted are dead instead of hungry, neglected, or just plan fucking unwanted. Until all of you prolifers adopt one oh shit baby, no body wants to hear you whine.|
While the fact that the commenter was unable to argue his point without using obscenities is notable, the comment contains a couple fallacies commonly used by those who believe abortion should be legal. These fallacies merit refutation.
Before we address these fallacies, we have to establish what a fetus is. Is a fetus a person, created in the image of God that requires we provide equal protection of the law? Is a fetus an unviable tissue mass? Is a fetus alive, but not yet a "person"? I could easily write 600 words on that topic, but for the sake of argument let's assume that the fetus is a person, especially since that appears to be the assumption the author makes and bases his comment on. (In fact, later in the comment section he writes "I could never have killed my seed.")
First is the idea that it would be better for a baby to be aborted than abused or neglected. How far do we extend this logic? Does it only apply to the morning after pill and RU-486? Does it apply to first trimester abortions only? Second trimester? Third trimester? Would it apply to a baby who was born just a few minutes ago? Would it be better to kill a baby born just a few minutes ago than have him/her be abused or neglected? What about when the baby is one year old? Five years old? Ten years old? Where do you draw the line?
Very few argue that we should allow infanticide, and fewer still argue that killing older children is justified. So what is different about the unborn? If a fetus at three months development has the same moral value as a five year old, then why is it better to kill that fetus rather than let it be born? Why is murder ever justified? Why is an evil act justified if done to prevent more evil? And who is to say that a child who suffers abuse or neglect would be better off dead, especially once that child reaches adulthood?
The demand that abortion opponents must adopt babies in order to validate their anti-abortion stance is also logically flawed. Virtually no one would make that argument if it was a two-year-old instead of a fetus. It is also interesting that the comment was made in ignorance. Many abortion opponents do adopt unwanted children - including special-needs children and children from Africa and the far east.
Many people criticize abortion opponents as wanting to control other people's lives. But what could be more authoritarian than deciding for someone that he/she would be better off dead? How do you know what that baby will think of that decision when he/she gets to be 15 or 20 years old? How do you know that baby will not live past a difficult childhood to contribute to society in a positive way and affect many lives for good? Opposition to abortion is not about controlling how you run your life. It is about preventing someone from engaging in the ultimate act of authoritarianism - taking another's life. Being anti-abortion is fundamentally a libertarian position.