I see feminists talking about how awful it is all of the time. According to them, it’s one of the most painful things you can go through. That’s why we need abortion. Contrary to what pro-lifers say, abortion is safe and harmless. In fact, abortion does negative harm, because it alleviates the harm of childbirth. It’s more of a cure.
I’ve heard unwanted pregnancies referred to as a sexually transmitted disease, and so maybe the metaphor of a cure is a good one. Abortion is just the safe removal of what could be a harmful condition, and so it’s definitely not something we should be opposing. It’s a medical force for good.
Now, this disease can be fatal. Even if it isn’t, it causes a lot of discomfort over a nine month period, culminating in a large amount of pain. But, of course, this isn’t the end. At this point a new human being is created. If this human being wasn’t wanted, the disease spreads. The original sufferer, the mother, will continue to suffer after being forced into parenthood. The father will also be affected, and will suffer to the same degree from this point. If either parent is seriously unprepared or emotionally or financially unable to bring up the child, their suffering will be a serious problem. If either parent was raped, forcing them into parenthood seems immoral. I could go on.
As for the child, bringing them into the world is a serious business. If they aren’t wanted, that’s not a good thing to do. If they are themselves ill with a serious condition, that will mean that they’ll live a short life of suffering, then we’re obliged not to force them into such a life. Or rather, the parents are obliged, and as both parents can care equally, both parents are equally obliged to protect their children from harm. To protect their children from catching this disease.
Abortion is, of course, the cure. We’ve shown above that it is a brilliant thing, designed to ease suffering of all three parties, and that it causes negative suffering - even before the suffering of the man and child are taken into account. As it is by far a better option than childbirth in every case except that where both parents have consented to have a healthy child, it should always be the preferred option given any doubt. If - when the doubt is cleared up - the parents do decide that they want a child, they can have one. One-term abortion doesn’t stop that. But if they decide that they didn’t want a child, and they didn’t abort… there is no going back. So abortion is once again undeniably the most sensible and the most painless option for all concerned.
So why, when a woman wants a child, do we hear the same feminists talking about how awful ‘forced abortion’ is? Surely, if the pregnancy is spotted early, this involves little more than taking a pill and having a slightly heavier period. Please explain to me how that is more traumatic than going through pregnancy and childbirth?
Especially seeing as the latter option turns a man’s life upside-down for the worse, forces him into being a father with all of the psychological (you can imagine how being forced into supporting a child you aren’t ready for, or walking away from your own son or daughter, must be devastating), social (‘deadbeat dads’ aren’t exactly loved) and financial (child support isn’t cheap, but it is a legal and a moral obligation) implications that brings. Oh, and we haven’t even explored the possibilities mentioned above. Is abortion still more traumatic if the latter option lets my rapist have my child? Is it still more traumatic if the latter option lets my girlfriend have our child only for it to die a few days later in my arms, screaming in pain, because I wasn’t allowed to spare it from being born? Is this really not worth me being able to ‘force’ her to take a pill? To be ‘forced’ into being spared from suffering?
In the context of all of that, autonomy suddenly seems much less important. Remember: it may be her body now, but it is going to unleash a lot of pain on others in the future, and this can be stopped whilst A) leaving her choices free in the future and B) taking away more of her own pain than it adds. It is a cure. A forced cure is still a moral thing. Remember, this disease is contagious. If I have a contagious disease that will spread to others and harm them, it doesn’t matter if I personally want the disease, or that it is in my body at the moment - those around me have a right to self-defence, and (as it doesn’t harm me) they definitely have a right to cure me. Once they have done so, I am 100% free to go off and catch the disease again, and go live with those who also enjoy it. So no, this doesn’t affect my personal freedom at all, only my freedom to hurt others. An abortion removes the problem, and everybody is happy.
The only way this wouldn’t be the best outcome would be if there was a medical complication, and that the abortion would be more painful than the childbirth would have been. Given the invention of anaesthetics (which I’m guessing are easier to use in abortion than childbirth anyway, because we’ve not worried about brain damage), I find this very unlikely - which is why I’m advocating a pro-choice, pro-abortion stance. Yes, that includes ‘saving people who don’t want to be saved’, particularly if not saving them leads to them hurting others. Even if a suicide bomber wants to kill themselves, we have the right to stop them doing so in a public place. That doesn’t stop them doing it elsewhere later, and so we really aren’t taking away their autonomy or their freedom to do what they like with ‘their body’, only protecting the freedom of the others affected. That’s what being pro-choice is all about.
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