Monday, March 06, 2006

On Abortion.

Townhall.com columnist Jeff Emmanuel argues that Georgia Senate Bill 429, the so-called "Ultrasound Act," is a good thing, and I agree.

According to Emmanuel's article, SB 429 requires that, "As a part of the informed consent to the abortion procedure, a pregnant female desiring an abortion shall be offered an opportunity to view the ultrasound or sonogram image of her unborn child."

Emmanuel points out that this bill involves no coercion--it merely gives women the option to make a fully informed decision about abortion.

While I can't corroborate the specifics of the bill (which are somewhat irrelevant to my point), I do agree that the decision to abort should be as difficult as possible--not in the sense that a woman who has decided to abort should face obstacles in carrying out her decision, but rather, that a woman considering abortion must think through all the implications of that decision, and consider evidence from both sides.

The liberal, radical feminist stance on abortion goes beyond viewing abortion as an entitlement--in the strict sense that a woman who decides to have an abortion ought to have the final say in the matter--to almost laud abortion as an exercise of a woman's right to freedom. The problem I have with this is my intuition that abortion involves some sort of moral wrong. The pre-birth embryo, or fetus, or whatever, is human, as evidenced by its DNA, and clearly alive--it takes in nutrients and grows. My current position, therefore, is that abortion is a necessary evil--just as we accept it is not morally heinous to fight a war that has foreseeable civilian casualties, we accept that abortion is excusable, particularly in cases where the mother is in danger of dying or has been raped.

I'm not particularly satisfied with the flimsy analogy between war and abortion, but that's the position I would take today, if put in a legislator's shoes.

I'm not so sure about cases where those extraordinary circumstances don't apply; I would not vehemently oppose a ban on abortion with exceptions for those cases. Of course, I'm also a man, and would therefore face the possibility of having to carry and deliver an unwanted baby.

Challenges and comments would be appreciated.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree that the decision to abort should be as difficult as possible--not in the sense that a woman who has decided to abort should face obstacles in carrying out her decision, but rather, that a woman considering abortion must think through all the implications of that decision, and consider evidence from both sides.

I'm not really convinced why a woman should be forced to consider an appeal to emotion over reason. Showing a woman an ultrasound of her product-of-rape child may unfairly sway her to keep the child. Human beings are people of emotion; our evolutionarily-developed instincts make us want to keep the child, in order to spread maximum copies of our genes. Thus a woman may be easily swayed to make a decision really not optimal for neither her future nor her child's. And I don't really think that this counts as considering evidence from both sides.

I like the other points you make, though. Like about life and how abortion is a necessary evil. Good stuff.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Sameer Jain said...

You make a good point, but one that I think would only apply if a woman were being forced to view the ultrasound image. Here the woman is only presented with the option of viewing the ultrasound, which leaves the decision of whether to consider "emotion" or "reason" up to her. Also, I have the vague impression that many women who choose to abort later regret the decision on a deep emotional level, so the emotions evoked at the time of abortion may not be as transient as they might seem.

7:09 PM  

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