Thursday, April 23, 2009

Let’s work on this analogy

In the comments section of Cristina Page's recent blog post regarding reducing the need for abortions, Amanda Marcotte made the following comment in an attempt to answer why pro-choicers should want to reduce the need for abortion:
I want to reduce the need for abortion in the country as I do for myself (by taking the birth control pill) for the same reasons I do it for myself: Abortion is expensive, often painful outpatient surgery that costs money and time I don't want to spend.

Asking why you want to reduce the rate of abortion is like asking why you want to reduce the rate of cavities. We all think cavities are bad. Pro-choicers are just all about brushing your teeth and anti-choicers are all about quitting eating.
Besides trying to generalize her problems with abortion: expense (even though abortion is a fairly cheap surgery) and pain (anaesthesia is commonly used), the problem with this analogy is it uses cavities as both an analogy for unplanned pregnancy and abortion.

For pro-choicers like Marcotte, the true problem isn’t abortion (in fact Marcotte has called abortion a “moral good”), it’s unplanned pregnancy. The solution for this problem (once it has occurred) according to them is abortion in the same way that drilling and fillings would be the proper solution to cavities.

When prolifers ask pro-choicers why they think there should be less abortions, we’re trying to get them to actually spend some time and think about why they think on one hand that there should be fewer abortions and then on the other hand think abortion is the proper solution to an unplanned pregnancy if a woman so chooses.

Marcotte tries to avoid this by focusing on preventing unplanned pregnancies via contraception (analogized to brushing teeth). However, the reality is that there will always be unplanned pregnancies in our country (just like there will always be teeth with cavities). No contraceptive method is 100% and there are far too many individuals who use contraceptives (or brush their teeth) irregularly or don’t use them at all. So if there will always be unplanned pregnancies and abortion is a morally good option, why shouldn't there be more abortions considering large percentages of unplanned pregnancies don't end in abortion?

By Marcotte’s analogy, pro-choicers are saying they want fewer fillings. But why? I can understand why they'd want fewer cavities but if fillings are the proper response to the problem of cavities, why would we want less of them? If anything we'd want more to make sure everyone faced with the problem of cavities choose such a morally good option.

Pro-choicers can’t answer the question of why they want fewer abortions by answering that they want fewer unplanned pregnancies. It’s not an answer to the question. It’s a complete avoidance.

No comments:

Post a Comment