Monday, July 20, 2009

Frances Kissling lists her qualms with "new pro-lifers"

Frances Kissling has a rambling essay at Salon entitled, “What’s wrong with the new pro-lifers” where she notes various disagreements she has with lefty/centrist prolifers who supported Obama during the campaign and are now hoping to reduce the number of abortions in America via common ground.

While the essay has more than its share of unsupported assertions, large portions of the essay are based on the flawed idea that prolifers don’t see women as “moral agents.” Apparently, believing that abortion is the unjust taking of a human life and therefore immoral means prolifers ignore women and have a “cavalier attitude” towards them.

Is the definition of “moral agent” for Kissling something like this: “Someone whose decisions are always correct and always moral.”

Other ideas from Kissling:

-Pregnancy isn’t natural and normal because women can die during pregnancy (I guess eating is unnatural too, since people can die from choking)

-Prolifers “take for granted” that the lives of unborn are more important than a woman’s claim to bodily autonomy (Prolifers actually make arguments for why the lives of unborn children take precedence over a mother’s wishes. Pro-choicers like Kissling are the ones who typically without argument, like in this essay, assume a woman’s wishes take precedence.)

-Women need abortion because some women choose to have abortions. Her whole defense of the reducing “the need” for abortions language relies on the idea that women choose and decide to have abortions. Kissling is basically saying that if a woman wants an abortion, then she “needs” one.

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