Compromise

ViaTbogg, we findanother disingenuous argument:

Meanwhile, Schwenkler’s larger point is especially worth keeping in mind when confronted – as pro-lifers often are – with arguments like this one, from P.J. O’Rourke:

Take just one example of our unconserved tendency to poke our noses into other people’s business: abortion. Democracy–be it howsoever conservative–is a manifestation of the will of the people. We may argue with the people as a man may argue with his wife, but in the end we must submit to the fact of being married. Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up. What if it’s rape? Some people truly have the courage of their convictions. I don’t know if I’m one of them. I might kill the baby. I will kill the boy.

If we take O’Rourke’s hypothetical on its own terms, it reads as an argument for, say, a legal regime that makes abortion available to women/girls below the age of consent – and I think I speak for many pro-lifers when I say that I would gladly entertain that sort of compromise, as part of a broader package of restrictions, if we were drawing up abortion law from scratch.

No you don’t. You don’t speak for many pro-lifers. You don’t speak for anyone who’s currently causing the stalemate in our debate on this issue by standing on a clinic doorstep screaming at women that they’re murdering whores. The hardcore, one-issue-voter, all-or-nothing pro-lifers state (whatever you may think of their motivations, let’s take them at their word for the sake of argument) that abortion is murder of an innocent child.

So you can’t make it okay to murder because the pregnant girl is 15 and not 18, you can’t make it okay to murder in the case of rape, you can’t make it okay to murder in the case of irreparable damage to the mother’s health or even her life. If it’s murder of an innocent to them, this isn’t going to fix it all up nicely. And the continued attempt to find some way around having to declare that you don’t, in fact, believe that women should be forced by the state to bear chlidren against their will is in fact more repulsive to me than outright opposition to abortion, because you’re trying to find a way out of having to state your convictions and that’s just weaselly bullshit.

You may speak for the mushy middle here, for the people who are uncomfortable with women’s autonomy and with sex and with theidea of abortion, but this mealy-mouthed crap doesn’t speak for anybody holding the line on the tightrope we’re presently walking.

A.

5 thoughts on “Compromise

  1. Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up. What if it’s rape? Some people truly have the courage of their convictions.
    …one of which is apparently that fathers own their daughters, since the only person making the decision about what to do if a 14 year old gets knocked up should be the 14 year old herself (with the assistance of her doctor), not her father. This kind of thing isprecisely why I’m against parental notification laws — too many parents (particularly fathers) believe that their children (particularly daughters) are their property, too many parents believe that things like “my house, my rules” gives them the right to set absolute dictates on the behaviour of their children, too many people have this idea that the word “consequenses” actually means “punishment” (and that pregnancy is a punishment for having sex, thank you Christianity), and too many people are uncomfortable enough with the idea of abortion and not uncomfortable enough with the idea that pregnancy is damn dangerous, especially for someone who hasn’t gotten their full growth in yet. Regardless of whether it’s rape or not, a 14 year oldshouldn’t be trying to carry to term. Ever heard the term “obstetric fistula”? That’s just one of the quaint things that can happen to the female human body if forced to give birth before full development.
    (My biological mother was 16 and she didn’t manage to carry me all the way to term, and I’ve got a zillion chronic health problems because of it. I really believe she should have had an abortion, but it was illegal here when I was born.)
    Also, I love the “I will kill the boy” part. I got news for you, Cholly: You know a rapist. You probably know several of them. If you corner any hundred guys and ask them a bunch of questions about sexual behaviour that legally meets the definition of rape, without actually mentioning the word, about 20 of them will tell you they’ve raped somebody. Why aren’t you in jail for murder. Talk is cheap, asshole. Rape, whether it results in an unintended pregnancy or not, is expensive, if you give a damn about women…

  2. I was supposed to go escort at Planned Parenthood Saturday, but couldn’t due to a fever. The report I got today in email stated that one of the protesters hit an escort in the face. There are people who are pro-life who are willing to compromise – to support measures to prevent abortion, but they’re not the ones hitting people in the face; those people won’t compromise, not even when confronted with the consequences of not doing so.

  3. i asked my grandfather once, who was big republican, pro-life lite, where would we find jobs for all these aborted babies? that gave him pause.
    do we really NEED more humans?

  4. PansyPoo – You know, that’s always a thought I’ve had, but never could have voiced quite as well.

  5. Pansypoo, that’s the Repub mindset – life is precious until you’re actually born, then you’re on your own. If you happen to be born to a 14 year old who can’t take care of you, too bad; it’s somehow your fault and you’re being greedy if you expect government handouts like food or health care or a decent education. A job? You’ll be lucky to live that long, in a nation that ranks 29th (worse than Cuba, for gods’ sake) in infant mortality.

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