Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Speaking as an ex-fetus

George Jonas isn't necessarily against killing — but he wishes those who call themselves "pro-choice" would acknowledge what the choice of abortion really amounts to. "Thoughts from an ex-fetus":
.... As I've written before, I'm not necessarily opposed to abortion, but then I'm not necessarily opposed to killing. I could even be persuaded that we should let mother be the arbiter of when to kill a child. King Solomon thought so, no doubt because he laboured under the illusion that an authentic mother would rather give up her child than kill it. As we now know, the good king might have been a trifle too optimistic. ....

.... I don't particularly mind abortion on demand; I mind only the arguments used to support it.

My quarrel is with those who would oppose abortion if they thought it amounted to killing. I've no problem with abortion, but they do. They've a whacking big problem. First (as I repeated ad nauseam over the years) they must pretend not to know when life begins. They must pretend not to realize that life is an autonomous process, a continuum from zygote to old-age pension, a self-elaborating force that begins when it begins and keeps growing unless it's vacuumed out first. They must pretend not to recognize something that a cat recognizes: the difference between things alive or dead, animate or inanimate. They must pretend not to see that if a fetus were not alive, it wouldn't have to be killed.

They must cling to the illusion that a court can actually choose for life to "begin" at some arbitrary point: first trimester, second trimester, whatever. I think legal fiction should adopt the notion that life begins at 40 for the comfort of those who cherish their convenience but have no stomach for killing.

Some put the question in terms of a woman's right to control her own body. That would be valid enough in the realm of smoking, diet, liposuction or sex — but abortion? Abortion means controlling someone else's body. Incidentally, I realize that as a man I have no authority to speak on the matter, but I'm not speaking as a man. I wouldn't dare. I'm speaking strictly as an ex-fetus. .... [more]
Thoughts from an ex-fetus

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