Thursday, January 31, 2008

The common good


“So your main objections to abortion are pragmatic ones? And even if you are correct, why should the country's good outweigh the good to the individual? You would ruin a woman's life by forcing her to have a baby because you think the social security system would benefit? This is totalitarian thinking.”

Several issues here:

1.The “woman” is not the only individual who is party to an abortion. There is also the father and the child. So your appeal to the rights of the individual is quite selective.

2.We’re not taking about women in general, but mothers in particular. A pregnant woman is a mother.

So this is not an isolated question about a “woman’s right,” but also a question of maternal (and paternal) duties. Parents have a duty to care for their children. And you would be in no position to lobby for abortion if your parents had acted on the philosophy you are presently advocating.

As soon as you get through the door, you want to slam it shut so that no one else can come through. If we ever ended up on a lifeboat together, I’d make sure that you didn’t have the gun.

3.As far as coercion is concerned (“forcing a woman…”), most children are conceived as a result of consensual sexual behavior.

4.Believe it or not, sex was actually designed to induce pregnancy. This is a natural and predictable outcome of sexual activity.

Or do you think women are too stupid to know where babies come from? If you think women are that stupid, then they should have no more rights than a five-year old.

5.To complain about “forcing” a woman to bear a child she freely conceived makes about as much sense as complaining that a woman shouldn’t be forced to breathe oxygen in order to survive, or that a man shouldn’t be forced to urinate if he downs a six-pack.

6.As a matter of fact, there are situations in which we should be forced to do things we don’t want to. Take contract law. If you pay me to repair your car, and I take your money without repairing your car, then, yes, I should be forced to either refund you or repair your car.

7.There are also situations in which I have an obligation to do something even if it isn’t fair that I should get stuck with the problem.

For example, mothers who couldn’t provide for their newborns used to deposit the baby at the doorstep of a rich neighbor. The orphaned babies were called “foundlings.”

Suppose I’m the nobleman who finds this baby on my doorstep. All things being equal, it’s not my job to raise someone else’s child. Parents have the primary responsibility for the care and feeding of their own offspring.

But all things considered, it becomes my duty to provide for the foundling. To raise him as my own. Since he was abandoned by his parents, and I have the wherewithal to provide for him, that obligation now falls to me, even if it interferes with my ambitions and plans.


  1. theistscientist1/31/2008 3:39 PM

    paraphrased..."when Western women routinely and legally kill their own babies in their wombs, what is left of the West to save?" Saint Mother Theresa

  2. I remember reading a post about a Canadian Anti-abortion campaign and wondered "how far along is abortion no longer a woman's right?"

    If abortions are OK at 3-months, 6-months or even 9-months (per the article) why not at 1-year, 2-years, or 30 years?

  3. stephenwolfenden1/31/2008 11:52 PM

    I love your site, may Christ bless you lot.

  4. oy vey....which is yiddish for "oh my", when a culture can justify the routine killing of innocent life in the womb based on mere expediency/convenience,then it can and necessarily must also justify euthanasia of the very old and the senile/demented and those with low quality of life. But why stop there? euthanize those who are older and thus save expensive medical treatment for the younger,and on and on down the socially darwinistic slippery slope. eugenic abortion, sex selection abortion, selective breeding to breed a "master race"(now where did we hear that term from before?), euthanasia to cull out weak/defective genes from the gene pool,"survival of the fittest"/aspirational survival of the best, most selfish genes? selective genocide /gene-ocide? to cull out inferior races and inferior genetic pools,....this brave new world is closer than you think! Be careful "atheists", some day they may get a study that shows that religiosity is a highly favorable evolutionarily adapted survival trait! and 'they' may come to euthanize you and yours!The world is round, be careful when you advocate the killing of innocent babies in the womb, it might come back to bite you!