The Big “A”

Any topic is fair game in blogging. Except This One. Nevertheless, here we go!

Everyone’s favourite young communists in love, Carita Kazakoff and Rob Corr voice their opinions on Abortion. It’s not what you may expect. I was certainly surprised.

Carita said:

For many years, I have been pro-life, or anti-abortion, or whatever you want to call it. Quite vehemently too.

Ok. Then:

I always swore my disagreement with the 1998 ‘abortion legislation’ in WA, and was quite upset and emotional last year when Tassie (or was it the ACT?) liberalised abortion laws.

Having said this, I was happy to support friends of mine going through abortions and I have never believed that women that have abortions should be considered criminals.

And in the latter part of that sentence is where my problem lies these days.

I’ll say.

I feel a bit alienated from my female friends in the ALP over this issue, also. Most of them are members of EMILY’S list, a support organisation for ALP women, and I can’t be involved, because a principle of EMILY’S list is that its members are pro-choice.

Crushing of Dissent?

Anyway, Carita seems to be looking for some debate here, so I obliged. My comment got to the length where I was starting to feel like I was donating content to her, so I transferred it here:

Carita,

It’s a sad indictment on that particular group that they force you to toe the party line to even get on a discussion list.

There are murky issues with abortion that prevent it from being a simple case of civil liberties. This is why “ideological libertarians” differ on this issue more than any other. That is, there are the rights of the mother, but also the rights of the unborn baby to consider.

It’s possible to take a hard-line scientific stance on the status of the baby as a non-entity until such stage as it is capable of sustaining it’s own life. (Which would put it somewhere in the 3rd trimester). This is scientifically dubious though (not least of all because I’m not a scientist of any type and could easily be talking out of my arse).

A utilitarian libertarian will take the same stance as they do on just about everything: Making it illegal doesn’t work.

People will still have abortions no matter what the law, and putting them in prison for it isn’t going to help anyone at all.

This is pretty much the same stance someone like me would take on drug use. No good can come from people being put in prison for it, and like taking narcotics, it’s a hell of a lot safer under controlled conditions, when you know what you are getting.

Ken Parish once described me as a “conservative masquerading as a libertarian”, but my view is pretty much as above. I don’t think abortion is morally right, but I think it’s morally worse for it to be illegal.

Ireland’s experience is a good indicator of what happens when you criminalise abortion. Girls go to England to have it done. If you don’t have the money to go to England you are stuck, or you have a backyard job in Ireland. Surely this must strike a chord with you class-concious types.

In any case, I believe what it comes down to is a personal belief and/or morality, and it that situation it seems unfair to legislate against it.

Remember, there are still plenty of people who think homosexuality is immoral as well, not to mention a fair few people who think you shouldn’t be able to voice your opinion because you are female. We don’t live in those times any more and for that we should be thankful.

Yobbo

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4 Comments on “The Big “A””

  1. zoot Says:

    Nice to know I agree with you on something. I’d be intrigued to hear your response to the argument that what a pregnant woman does with her body is nobody else’s business. I would have thought that would be a fairly fundamental libertarian position.

  2. Sam Ward Says:

    “I’d be intrigued to hear your response to the argument that what a pregnant woman does with her body is nobody else’s business. I would have thought that would be a fairly fundamental libertarian position.”

    Not necessarily, it all depends on when you think a foetus becomes a human.

    Obviously the right a human being to live is paramount.
    I think the majority of people can agree that a baby has rights as soon as it is born at a bare minimum, which is why infanticide is illegal. The question is – how long before birth is a baby a living human being?

    Libertarians disagree on that question and therefore you will find a wide range of views even amongst libertarians who would agree on pretty much everything else.

    This page here lists 7 different and probably equally valid views.
    http://zygote.swarthmore.edu/intro5.html
    The question is which one do you agree with most?

    Personally I’m pretty much undecided between #4 and #5, but either way the result is the same, around 25 weeks is when a foetus becomes a human. At that point it gains the right to life.

    Therefore the only way I could condone an abortion after 25 weeks is if continuing the pregnancy would kill the mother.

  3. zoot Says:

    I’d lean towards #4 because #5 leads to a potential slippery slope (I haven’t thought it through in any depth yet) where just because we can keep a bundle of cells “alive” technologically there will be proscriptions on termination after 6 weeks (say).
    I also presume your stance on late abortions is tempered by your utilitarian belief that making it illegal won’t stop it. OMG, I agree with you again 🙂
    Thanks for the prompt response Sam. All the best for the new year.


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