The whole discourse around abortion is set with the wrong frame.
The question is not whether a fetus is already a human being and when it should be protected by the “sanctity of life” because the answer to those questions will never be definitive.
Luckily, in this case, we don’t need to lose ourselves in that endless diatribe because we don’t need to reach a conclusion as to “whether and when” a fetus becomes a “full human being”.
Since what is pitched here is the right of the fetus against the right of the mother, we have an easier solution.
All that you gotta do to reach a definitive conclusion is to compare the two parties and, if we have a clear winner, the argument is already over.
And while the fetus’ status is uncertain, the woman’s status is certain.
The fetus is a maybe and “who knows”, while the mother a fully sentient, fully formed human being, and everyone knows that.
When you look at it that way, it’s easy.
We have the rights of a non-sentient grey-area status, against the rights of a 100% fully sentient, fully formed human being.
Even in doubt, any logical person will choose to uphold the right of the fully sentient, surely human being.
Rights of fully sentient & developed human > rights of non-sentient fetus.
That is already enough to end the argument in favor of family planning -of which the right to terminate gestation is part of-.
However, there are also further considerations, including:
Costs to Mothers > Costs to Fetuses
Let’s look at this in terms of costs and benefits.
And let’s zero in to pain and pleasures, the main reasons why people even want to live.
The fetus has no fully developed systems for pain and pleasure.
He’s all potential.
But it’s potential that can swing in either direction.
So, once again, we have a “may be, who knows”.
He may have a good life one day, or he may have a terrible one -and as we shall see, being born to a mother who didn’t want him increases the odds of a bad life-.
At the present, the fetus will feel neither pain nor pleasure in terminating its development.
So, in the present, he bears no costs and loses no benefits with a termination.
The situation is much different for the mother, who has fully developed systems for both personal preferences, and for pain and pleasure.
Forcing the mother to do something she doesn’t want is a sure pain.
And she will surely forego the pleasures of the life she prefers.
So to safeguard a future maybe who incurs no present costs, anti-abortion laws inflict sure costs upon someone who’s already telling you they’d experience pain with their pregnancy.
And who is it that can force pain on someone?
Only a sadistic abuser can inflict sure pain on others.
Rights of Mothers > Rights of Others*
*This is good framing thanks to the alliteration.
There are of course moral and ethical considerations around abortion.
But at least as important of “what constitutes a human life” are the moral and ethical considerations around “who has the right to decide on what’s most relevant to their life (and not yours)”.
And while the argument on what constitutes human life is very much up to individual interpretation, the “right of Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is, let’s say, less so.
If a woman prefers not to proceed with a long, difficult, and demanding gestation -which would make her less happy than, say, a more planned pregnancy-, then she has the right (to liberty) to decide so, and act on it.
So, even here:
Rights of Mothers > Rights of Others
This is why the slogan “my body, my choice” is perfectly sound and valid.
The Violence of Imposing Your Will On Others
This is for you, anti-abortion rights.
Think this over.
I’m baffled at how people miss the obvious abusiveness in wanting to make costly and life-altering decisions for others, while having no stake and no skin in the game.
But, to state it clearly:
It’s controlling, aggressive, abusive, and simply amoral to want to impose your will on others for decisions that have little or no practical impact on your life, but that are life-changing and extremely costly to others.
The only, only possible way that one may regain some ethical justification is if they at least partook in the costs.
So, say, if they paid for the child, adopted the child, or supported the mother with some other concrete action.
Of course, that offer of support ought to be honest, practical, and guaranteed.
Otherwise, it’s just laughable virtue-signaling:
There’s some evidence in support of the abusive and controlling nature of some of the prohibitionists.
Namely, you can find more prohibitionists among men, who tend to mate-guard and control women more than women mate-guard men (Buss, 2016), and more in the right and far-right, where various fascist and authoritarians who value top-down dominance and obedience tend to congregate.
You can also find a surprisingly large number of anti-abortionists in the red pill, where misogynist and controllers alike can hide their true nature under the more appealing guises of “masculinity” and “alphaness”.
As usual, let’s not over-generalize though.
There are also some well-intentioned and good people among the prohibitionists. However, that still doesn’t make them right, or justify their bullying stance.
Fetuses Are Value Suckers (Drop The Naive, Rose-Tinted Glasses)
I still vividly remember the nauseatingly creepy scene.
It was from a sci-fi movie that I watched way too young for that type of entertainment.
It wasn’t even meant to be a horror movie, but the eerily plausible nature of that scene made it even more terrifying.
After all, children know the harsh laws of nature far before they can even understand them consciously.
So… What was this scene?
And what was that cruel law of nature?
The scene was a man withering on the floor, crippled by an excruciatingly painful stomachache.
After rolling on the ground for a while, a worm-looking creature burst out of his stomach.
Knowing that we’re here discussing the birth (or non-birth) of life, does that remind you of anything?
Because that was a gestation.
Just that, instead of being from human to human and giving birth to a new human, it was from an alien to a human, giving birth to an alien.
And the cruel law of nature is that it’s not uncommon at all.
It’s instead the modus operandi of all the parasitic forms of life.
In many species, even breeding among the same species is sometimes predatory
and against the egg-carrying interest as an individual.
In humans, that would be rape.
And while I’m the first to say that comparing intra-species gestation to inter-species parasitism is too big of a jump and hence misleading, you should hold your horses before completely dismissing the parallels.
To begin with, rape is a form of intra-species parasitism: planting the seed through force and violence, passing one’s genes, but letting someone else pay all the costs.
But even in pregnancies from consensual couples, gestations are still not all peace and love.
Biologists and evolutionary psychologists long found out that pregnancies also entail a battle for resources between mother and child.
Writes Matt Ridely in a passage that may shock some:
At the end of 1993 Haig published startling evidence against the conventional rosy view.
In all sorts of ways, he found, the foetus and its slave, the placenta, act more like subtle internal parasites than like friends, trying to assert their interests over those of the mother.
Cells from the fetus invade the artery supplying maternal blood to the placenta; embed themselves in the walls and destroy
the muscle cells there, thus removing the mother’s control over constriction of that artery.
The high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia that often complicate pregnancy are caused largely by the foetus, using hormones to try to divert the mother’s blood to itself by reducing the flow through her other tissues.
Likewise, there is a battle over blood sugarMatt Ridley, The Origins of Virtue
Also consider: it’s not that long ago that women’s death during birth was a relatively common occurrence.
Pregnancies are no joke.
You Have No Right To Force A Sucker’s Trade On Others
The costs and the “battle” of reproduction certainly don’t end with birth.
In many ways, the relationship mother-child only becomes even more costly for the mother after conception.
Call it a cold stance, and you’d be right. But the reality doesn’t change that for many, many years, a child only takes.
From an exchange point of view, the mother enters into a sucker’s trade with her child.
If she chose it, she will LOVE that sucker’s trade more than anything.
But if hasn’t chosen it, you have no right to force anyone into a sucker’s trade they didn’t want.
Please don’t misunderstand us and take the argument to the other extreme.
Most often, pregnancies are more love than anything else.
But it’s not ALL and always love, either. And a lot less love and a lot higher costs when the mother is not best placed for it (and who’s best to decide it, if not her?).
So, considering both the costs and benefits, it’s simply better for all if the mother can choose when she has all the time, strength, and resources to make that pregnancy (as much of) an act of love it should be.
Forced Pregnancies Are Bad For All (She Loses, The Child Loses, Society Loses)
Finally, sometimes I gotta wonder whose interest are the anti-abortion fanatic trying to defend.
Because, often, there’s truly no winner.
It’s not in the mother’s best interest, not in society’s best interest, and not in the child’s best interest to born to a mother that didn’t want him.
Robert Sapolsky first awakened me to this simple, yet profound truth in his seminal book Behave.
What’s the most basic thing provided by a mother? Knowing that she is happy that you existSapolsky, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
Let a child into a world where his mother, the person who’s supposed to provide unconditional love, didn’t want him, and what do you get?
A child who’s far more likely to suffer, in life.
And, as well, a child who’s far more likely to make others suffer, as well.
Indeed, continues Sapolsky:
What majorly predicts a life of crime?Sapolsky, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
Being born to a mother who, if she could, would have chosen that you had not be.
That seems pretty logical indeed.
And data analyses seem to support the logic.
Say Donohue and Levitt in their research looking for causality between legalized abortion and crime rates:
We estimate that crime fell roughly 20% between 1997 and 2014 due to legalized abortion.Donohue and Levitt, 2001
So why on earth would you want to force anyone to have a child?
Sure, many times many women will change their mind and it will be beautiful.
Hopefully, it will be like that.
But in doubt, it’s best not to force anyone to do anything.
If she truly can’t have or didn’t want to have that child, then forcing anyone into anything is bad for the mother, it’s bad for the child, and it’s bad for the world.
And it’s bad for you too, because you look like a naive simpleton at best, or an abusive fascist at worst.
Mandatory Abortions to Protect The Collective?
In some cases, the rights of society outweigh the rights of an individual, if the individual does stupid choices.
Then, forced abortions may become a topic of discussion.
As an example, take this woman:
The 39 French citizen is one of those “convict lovers” who writes prisoners.
In her case, she likes the worst types: those on death row.
And despite it’s illegal to have conjugal visits, she somehow managed to get pregnant with her favorite one.
Result: now she’s giving a child to the type of person that if the word “monster” could ever be applied to humans, he’d be the perfect recipient.
It’s a guy who robbed a couple of elderly and defenseless citizens.
He could have “just” robbed them.
Instead, he kidnapped them, gagged them, tied them, and forced them into the trunk of their own car.
They stayed there, hugging and praying.
He could have “just” killed them.
Instead, he buried them alive -think about that-.
Then, he went partying while taking celebratory pictures :S.
The only, only good thing about this story is that this monster had no children.
Now, thanks to Sigrid, not anymore.
One comment said the baby’s eyes look soulless and creepy.
To my chagrin, I had to agree.
To the degree that psychopathy is hereditary, this convict hunter is putting the collective at risk with her pregnancy.
It’s Selfish & Antisocial to Give Birth When You Can’t Give The Child Your All
Prohibitionists sometimes spin abortion into the misleading dichotomy of loving mother -who gives birth- VS selfish mother -who “prioritizes herself”-.
First off, that is a wrong dichotomy because, as the last paragraph contends, more often than not, it’s an extremely difficult decision between lesser evils.
Second, even if she chooses to terminate the pregnancy for what in your opinion are selfish reasons, you still don’t have the right to force your preference on her (also, try this other approach: look within you, and chances are that you’ll find out that you’re not much more giving and magnanimous than the people you love to shame -and to use for your social climbing and virtue signaling-).
It’s still her choice and her right to decide to prioritize herself, finish her studies, enjoy her partying years, not have a child with that specific man, or simply not to a child, period.
And lastly, and most importantly when deciding on societal-level policies, for society selfishness is far better than antisocial.
Selfishness built civilizations and fuels progress. Antisocial tears it down.
And what’s truly selfish and antisocial is to give birth to a child when you can’t give it all the love and resources you can -including all resources: emotional, mental, financial, time-wise-.
Instead, the true selfish mother gives birth at the wrong time, and pushes the costs onto everyone else -relatives, society, and the child itself-.
Here’s a politically incorrect take, instead:
The world would be a better place if abortion was easy, fast, ubiquitous, readily available and even encouraged to as many irresponsible parents as possible.
The easier society can make it for drug addicts, alcoholics, and mentally unstable parents to terminate a pregnancy, the more we can reduce this world’s anguish, and the safer we can make it.
But let’s not end this on a negative tone and let’s go back to the general rule:
giving birth can be a miracle of life.
And the better a mother can plan it, the more that life can flourish under the best of circumstances, with the most available and loving mother possible.
Quit Being A Dickhead: It’s A Difficult Enough Decision
Finally, here’s the “sensible” reason why you should really let people free to decide.
And the sensible person knows when people are going through a rough time, you want to either help them, or at least not aggravate them further.
The sensible person knows better than shaming and attacking people exactly when they need help and support the most.
Most often than not, pro-choice is about at least having an option to take a very difficult choice between the lesser evil.
So instead of being a finger-pointing, virtue-signaling dickhead, try to show some empathy sometimes.