Pro-Choice Opposition to Abortion

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The Smallest Minority expresses a point that I've found pro-choice people resistant to admit (and a professor of mine has had a paper arguing this rejected without possibility of resubmission from journal after journal, listing grounds related to minor points not central to the main issue). The point of his paper, which comes up in this post, is that even on the best pro-choice principles, once we reach certain technology the abortion question will be moot, since the pro-choice argument doesn't give anyone the right to the death of the fetus. The Smallest Minority goes a bit further. It's not just that this will happen. We should long for it to happen.

Presumably this is what John Kerry means when he says he believes abortion is wrong but a right. Pro-lifers are making a huge mistake when they say this is an inconsistent position. It's not. The problem with John Kerry and others who have said this sort of thing (Bill Clinton comes to mind) is that they've given us no reason to believe they really mean it. After all, what have they done to help make abortion rare? They've both opposed Congress's most recent attempts to make it rarer by limiting one completely unnecessary and even more violent than usual procedure. They don't actually say they want to make it rare, probably because it gets them off the hook for not doing anything to say you want to keep it rare but not change anything, but how can you keep something the way it isn't?

As for safe, I'm not sure how you can even think of an operation that always results in death as safe, but I won't pursue that one.

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"The point of his paper, which comes up in this post, is that even on the best pro-choice principles, once we reach certain technology the abortion question will be moot, since the pro-choice argument doesn't give anyone the right to the death of the fetus."

This may be true, but if we ever get the technology to keep very young embryos and fetuses alive outside the womb, it will no doubt be very expensive to do so, may require surgery on the mom to remove the fetus that would be riskier *to the mom* than an abortion, and may create additional psychological stress for the mom (or so it might be argued). Thus the pro-choicers would likely argue that the economical, physical, and psychological burden of an early delivery is greater than that of abortion, and therefore women should have the right to avoid those additional burdens by aborting.

Such an argument will sound even more heartless than the current ones given the ability to avoid killing the fetus. As for expense, look at how much money they already spend on neo-natal intensive care for premature babies as early as 20 weeks and pushing earlier all the time. They basically do a delivery with partial-birth abortion as it is. They just make sure the killing takes place before delivery is done so it won't count as infanticide. That kind of early delivery isn't much different. As technology develops, cost will decrease and become less prohibitive even at the earlier stages. I wasn't saying this would take place immediately when such technology is available. Such technology will leave room for this kind of response to pro-choice arguments, and if the only issue is the cost then that will over time diminish seriously. Besides, psychological and even minor health issues for the mom might easily seem far less significant than life or death issues for someone else, even if she herself isn't concerned with that someone else.

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