Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Wrong-Headed Take on Abortion

Sigrid Fry-Revere opines:
I take issue with Radley Balko’s characterization of the abortion debate in “Getting Beyond Roe” being about “setting community standards” and that issues such as abortion “are best dealt with in those diverse laboratories of democracy, the states.” Abortion should no more be a question for local politics than slavery.
Does she mean to equate slavery and the bearing of a child conceived as a result of a consensual sex (which it almost always is)? Yes, as we shall see.

Fry-Revere continues:
The right to have an abortion per se is not the issue, but the right to self-determination, the right not to be used as a means to an end against one’s will, the right not to be considered a communal resource — in short, the right for women to have the same control over their own bodies and their own fates as men.
But don't women have "control over their own bodies" when they agree to engage in an act that might well result in pregnancy? By what standard would the outlawing of abortion cause women to be treated as a "communal resource"? Does the illegality of murder make a "communal resource" of murderers? Are unaborted children forced to repair public highways when they come of age? What the hell is a "communal resource" and what does it have to do with abortion?

Let's give Fry-Revere another chance:
I believe abortion is morally wrong, but I also believe that in a conflict between mother and fetus, a woman’s right must always take precedence.
What does she mean by "conflict"? Abortion seldom is the result of a conflict, other than the conflict between a woman's and/or her mate's convenience and the life of the child they conceived.

Fry-Revere suggests that a fetus has fewer rights than an adult because:
A human being’s rights under the law increase with maturity.
I have never heard of such a thing. If it were true, the murder of a new-born child, a one-year-old child, or a 50-year-old adult would be treated as a lesser crime than, say, the murder of a 90-year-old person.

Fry-Revere concludes:
Fetuses are potential children, not full grown adults, and women are full grown adults, not children. It is time we start treating each with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Fry-Revere's reference to fetuses as "potential children" is just another way of saying that fetuses have no rights. But where does she actually talk about the "respect and dignity" a fetus deserves? Nowhere. It's all about what women want, about the false equivalence of pregnancy and slavery, and about the wacky theory that rights somehow accumulate with age (but only from birth, not from conception).

The title of Fry-Revere's post ("What about Fetal Rights?") is supremely ironic. The content is supremely cynical.