Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Abortion Terms

I've noticed the term "forced childbirth" being used lately.  Is this a newly popular phrase or is it just me?  I kind of like the reframing, as it appeals to my own position.  But it seems to suffer from the same partisan structure as it's ideological antonyms, "pro-abortion" and "pro-life".  Their definition is based upon a prior definition, thus requiring their truth to be subjective.  So in a way, they are less about stating a truth than a reiteration of the speaker's own position.

The root issue, of course, is how you view the fetus.  I don't see it as much more than a mass of underdeveloped cell tissue.  So I'm fine with abortion as a moral and pragmatic, if inconvenient, solution.  I am not however, pro-abortion, in that I want people to have abortions.  And I am pro-life, in that I am for it(!), based on my definition of when it becomes important. 

("Frogneck Boy", Dan Sabau)

If you believe that "life" (defined at least as something worth protecting) begins at some point before birth, then you likely feel that all abortions are wrong, in all cases.  You are not, however, necessarily in favor of the thought of "forced childbirth".  Nor are you even necessarily opposed to women having the right to decide their own moral position, as you may not feel the authority to make such a bold proclamation yourself.  I know this takes a special type of religious liberalism (honesty?) that is sadly lacking in America.

The nice thing about "anti-abortion" and "pro-choice" is that they are both 100% true, and leave room for ambiguity of meaning.  While maybe not comprehensive definitions, they are perfectly true as far as they go (Who is for abortions?  Well, forget I asked...).  I would actually prefer the terms pro- and anti-choice. because that is I think a clearer description of philosophical intent.  Regardless of how one feels about individual abortions, the degree to which one wants society to prevent them universally is reflected in the use of the term "choice".

No comments:

Post a Comment