You are sponsoring a birthday party for your child. Next door, I am bird watching. I can scarcely believe my good fortune as I see a rare specimen unheard of in my part of the country. As I reach for my camera, a series of small balloons blocks my view. Angry, I sue for damages and accuse you of trespassing, since I own the air above my property. You respond that my logic would mean that I can prohibit aircraft from flying overhead. In fact, you argue, my reasoning would give me temporary ownership of planets and stars as the earth rotates. Your objection is valid. The case is thrown out.
The abortion rights debate in this country is frequently defined by taking an opponent's arguments and carrying them past the point of reason. It is not an unfair approach. It illustrates the absurdity of a point of view. Logicians refer to it as reductio ad absurdum. The problem is that pretty much any position in the fiery debate over abortion is absurd. If you are for abortion rights, as I am, what reasonable distinction can you make between a new-born baby and the not-quite-born? If you draw the line at a trimester, you run into the same quandary. Even if the line you propose is the point of viability, you have problems, since medical discoveries on the one hand, and disabilities on the other move that line all over.
Abortion opponents usually do not want to consider their own absurdities. Can a court order a woman forcefully confined if a doctor advises bed rest and she can't afford to lose her job? Should a woman be prosecuted for murder if she gets an abortion? Should every woman suffering a miscarriage be investigated for possible manslaughter? Usually such hypothetical examples are dismissed. "Oh, now you're just being silly."
The forced bed rest is not so far fetched. This actually happened in Florida. A fanatically religious doctor went to court and kept a woman from checking out of a hospital. She was even prohibited from getting a second opinion.
Last month in Iowa, a woman became light headed after an upsetting argument on the phone with her estranged husband. She fell down some stairs. There was no miscarriage, but she was arrested on suspicion of falling down on purpose.
These incidents can be dismissed as distortions of existing law, and they are. Judges overstep bounds, prosecutors occasionally let their religious beliefs overrule the law, and not every doctor can be said to be a humble advisor to patients.
Utah is a different story. A bill is soon to become law that will explicitly subject a woman who suffers a miscarriage to criminal prosecution if a prosecutor accuses her of not having prevented it.
We no longer have to take opposing arguments to extremes to demonstrate their absurdity. The extremes have become a fact of pro-life.
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I just found this post. My main abortion argument is that everyone's abortion arguments are silly. I do not mean to suggest that the discussion is silly. The pro-choice and pro-life arguments are mostly ridiculous, though.
It was your last sentence that elicited my response. "The extremes have become a fact of pro-life." I find that very catchy, though fifty percent negligent. I do not find the pro-life arguments to be worse than the pro-choice arguments. That comment forces me to visit my wrath upon you.
As I no means of completing a wrath, or even getting it to a stage passed the idea, please find a field of locusts and wallow there until you are sufficiently scourged.
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