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All original content on copyright 2008 Albert Barger or the respective authors

January 22, 2003


Abortion, a terrible sin.
The topic of abortion tends to very strongly, if in many contradictory ways, strike some emotional hot buttons in nearly everyone. I know it hits conflicting hot buttons for me.

The thing that really hurts my heart is the smug superiority and callousness of many pro-choice advocates. They make many violations of reason and decency, but what really bothers me is their disdain for the little dead babies. They weren't really babies. They were just "choices" for the women to make, and anybody who has any misgivings about our very open abortion laws is HITLER!

You might reasonably say that the fetuses are not really children yet for a few weeks. The fertilized egg ain't really much of a human starting out. The DNA set has been decided; the egg is still more a blueprint than a product, though. You can go into technical moral arguments, but existentially it's not soup yet. Even on fairly strict standards, I'm not inclined to be morally outraged by use of morning after RU486 pills.

However, within a few weeks you are getting to having an actual person in there. A six week old fetus will have arms and legs and a nervous system, and a beating heart.

I think I start putting their personhood on record with the physical development of a nervous system. The seat of consciousness exists, registering memory- and rapidly increasing ability to feel pain.

By that point, you're goddam lying to yourself to pretend that's not a person. It's bad enough that you are arguing for killing babies. [I say that this is not even properly to be considered a loaded phrase, but the most neutral possible way of accurately describing the actual fact.] It's adding disrespect to killing.

Circumstances make a substantial difference. It'd be hard cases for me to judge against a teenaged rape victim who wanted an abortion. I might be more judgmental about some drunk sorority slut or the punk-ass little frat boy who encourages it. Of course, there might be arguments in picking out which category some particular young woman belongs in: rape victim vs pregnant sorority slut vs a little from colum A and a little from column B.

There are so many different extenuating circumstances, I know. What if the woman was... What if she just broke up with the guy cause he was cheating. What if...

I hate to judge unless it is necessary. I want to have empathy. But it's going to take a pretty goddam good excuse to absolve someone for killing their baby. [Again, not inflammatory language, but the simple and most direct description of objective reality, whatever moral judgment you make.]

Still, I tend to favor legal abortion, though reluctantly. As skeptical as I may be about the excuses for abortion, I don't believe in government enough to trust giving them any say on what a person has going on up in them, even if it involves another person.

That doesn't mean that I accept it. I largely feel compelled to tolerate the practice, but that does not mean that I find it to be merely an equal but different lifestyle choice. I tend to think that abortion is a grave moral sin.

I'd say that you'll have to answer to G-d for your sins, but I'm not religious that way. So you can probably skin out of answering to god for your abortions.

You'll still have to live with yourself, though, and I'm not going to aid and abet after the fact by soothing your hurt feelings and telling you that you've done nothing wrong.

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posted by Al at 1/22/2003 01:31:00 AM

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