Thursday, July 17, 2008

Interesting Comments on Abortion

At Althouse:
The nonreligious conclusion I came to as the result of lasting (lifelong) regret of an abortion is that if an embryo or fetus is regarded as disposable, then you are, too. I guess it's a version of what Mother Theresa was saying. An individual either is unique and uniquely valuable or isn't. All are or none are. If your existence had happened at the wrong time (I won't use the demeaning word "inconvenient" because sometimes it's little more than that, but sometimes it's a lot worse), you could have been disposed of. Your existence is accidental and contingent.
That certainly puts things in perspective.

However, given that the vast majority of pregnancies happen result in births, it does seem a little harsh. I would also suspect that the vast majority of pregnancies are either a) done on purpose, i.e. intended, or b) a delightful accident when two people are either willing to have a child but have not made definite plans or simply happy that the event happened without conscious decision to get pregnant.

However, this point is also hugely important:
But is that inevitable? If people choose, for a time or for all time, to use sex to "make self" -- to make their own lives and relationships richer, which I do believe is one of its lifegiving uses -- then they should use birth control religiously. One of the big pro-choice arguments is that "birth control fails." Certainly some percentage of that failure rate is due to wrong or careless use of it. The rest -- the true failures -- might be seen as successes of someone who is just hellbent on being here. And the unwitting invitation of such a person should be viewed at all times as one of the ineradicable risks of sex.
That humans enjoy sex for both its recreative and procreative purposes means that like any other recreational, phsycial activity there are certain risks inherent in that activity. If for example, you love soccer (like I do) a risk is injury. If you enjoy sex (which I do), then pregnancy is a risk of that activity and you have to be willing to face up to teh consequences of your chosen activity. If you want to avoid pregnancy, practice birth control (most chemical/hormonal/mechanical means are better than 99% effective, but there is still risk). The only sure fire way to avoid pregnancy is not to have sex.

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