Thursday, August 17, 2006

"I wasn't aborted"

Julia Gorin writes in the Wall Street Journal: "I had an abortion," Ms. Magazine urges its readers to declare. How about "I wasn't aborted"?
Well, so much for the right to privacy. If Ms. readers hadn't had so many abortions, there might be more Ms. readers. As for the rest of us, here's a petition we could all sign: "I wasn't aborted."

Having narrowly escaped being aborted, I'd be the first in line.....

Rather than debate what it is we're killing, we should consider what we may be saving--for our sakes as much as for "its" own....

For all the reluctant mothers-to-be out there, you should know that when you're having even a momentary second thought, someone you can't see is whispering in your ear.

I've found that those in favor of legal abortion often dismiss the "I'm an abortion survivor" type argument without much of a second thought. Some assert that every unfertilized egg could have a "potential child" and therefore aborting "potential children" is no different than failing to fertilize every egg. One ardent supporter of legal abortion I've encountered has even described herself as a survivor of oral sex - stating that she wouldn't have existed if her parents engaged in another form of sex (besides intercourse) before she was conceived. Her argument is partially true in that she wouldn't have existed but what she failed to realize was that if she wouldn't have existed then she couldn't have been a survivor. To survive something, one must first exist. You can't survive something if you don't exist.

What I think pro-choicers often miss when prolifers say, "I could have been aborted," and what many prolifers miss when making this argument, is that many pro-choicers don't recognize conception as when their life began and they don't see themselves as being "themselves" while in the womb (or at least the majority of time in the womb). If you don't think the unborn are living human beings or "persons" then you can't think of yourself as being an "abortion survivor" since you don't believe you were "you" when you were in the womb.

When a prolifer says, "I could have been aborted" or "I'm an abortion survivor," they're making an ontological claim that they existed while in the womb and they would have been killed (and not just have ceased to have ever existed) if their mother decided to have an abortion.

Now I'm certain some pro-choicers understand the claim prolifers are making, yet they find this claim so ludicrous that they consider it not worthy of an in-depth response. I rarely (though I'm certain it has happened) see a pro-choicer respond to "I could have been aborted" by saying "No, you couldn't have since you didn't actually exist before X (viability, consciousness, etc.)."

If prolifers make the argument that they could have been aborted, I think they should make sure the pro-choice individuals they're arguing with understand the ontological claim they are making. They need to make sure the pro-choicer understands they're not just saying, "I wouldn't be here today" but rather "I would have been killed."

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