The right to choose facts
Assistant Viewpoint Editor
We live in an ever-increasing "cost-benefit" age, to use business jargon, one that places a premium our "needs." Individuals weigh the morality of an act based on its effect on our cherished lives. This selfish line of thinking has given rise to many of the premises of the pro-choice side of the abortion debate.
Once we examine abortion statistics, we realize that the rape/incest argument is not proportionally valid to support the entire industry, and pro-choicers are left with the realization that they must support what amount to thousands of convenience abortions. In other words, if it is not convenient for me to raise a child, I have a right to an abortion. Or, to romanticize this logic, I am sparing this unborn child a life with me, aparently unwilling to change my lifestyle.
The brushstrokes can paint the issue in so many broad colors, but they create the same picture. Oops! I don't feel like having a child; I can't support it; I have a right and an obligation to terminate it at once. This is amoral selfishness at its best; or rather, at it's worst. There is a good reason for the continuation of the abortion debate, other than the failure to correlate sexual activity with pregnancy. And you thought Al Gore was naive. When logic and personal responsibility evade the pro-choice movement, it happily crawls to the nurturing shelter of its closest ally, anecdotal evidence.
What is this evidence that justifies terminating a pregnancy? It often consists of horror stories of broken homes and neglected children. At best, this rhetoric gives a license to kill to the poor and dysfunctional. I'm glad my parents didn't "spare me from a life of hardship," otherwise I might have aspired to nothing more than a footnote from a Saturday night of Bee Gees and wine spritzers. "Geez, we had a close call back in `78, but luckily we had access to plenty of Planned Parenthood pamphlets."
This logic leads to plenty of presumptions, none of which include the notion that a life is being terminated. First, we must assume that all children born into economic hardship or other rough situations have no ability to better themselves in life. Second, we have to lend support to the argument that it's "immoral" to bring children into these unwanted situations, a veritable "Get out of parenthood free" card for the poor and horny.
What business does a person have in going through the motions if they cannot possibly fathom a pregnancy? This isn't out of touch — this is reality. Otherwise, what prohibits me from murdering my toddler to "spare them a harsh life"?
Pro-choicers are correct when they assert that women have a choice in whether or not to have a child; they just don't understand when the decision should be made. I suggest the bedroom, for starters. So the argument evolves into a determined struggle for a "woman's right," and it would certainly make the utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill proud. My right to terminate the pregnancy is paramount; the fetus has no rights; they are at best secondary to my rights. This idea is prevalent in our culture. And so a very large, vocal portion of American society continues to support a second-rate medical practice using third-rate logic.
All Inside Stories for Tuesday, April 11, 2000