Ten (Bad, But Popular) Arguments for Abortion

This, from Public Discourse:

Ten (Bad, But Popular) Arguments for Abortion

6. The Botched Illegal Back-Alley Abortion. With considerable indignation, students frequently protest that if abortion is banned, then women will die in back-alley abortions. These deaths, indeed, are double tragedies, for they take two lives.
How common—and how dangerous—were back-alley abortions before Roe? How common and how dangerous would they be if abortion were made illegal in some states? The cogency of this pro-abortion argument depends on the answers to these empirical questions.
Even before answering them, though, we have to ask whether permitting abortion would be a sensible and ethical response to the occurrence of dangerous back-alley abortions. Fetuses and newborns have comparable metaphysical and moral status, rendering their deaths more or less equally harmful. If parents were accidentally killing themselves in attempts to commit back-alley infanticides, the correct response from society would not be to legalize infanticide and train personnel to kill in a manner that is safer for the parents. If the dangers of self-inflicted wounds would not warrant legalizing infanticide, why would life-endangering back-alley abortions?

2 thoughts on “Ten (Bad, But Popular) Arguments for Abortion

  1. Salvageable

    I read a very disturbing article in this morning’s newspaper. It described how Iceland is “eliminating” the “illness” of Down’s Syndrome through abortion. Very troubling. J.


    1. madblog Post author

      Indeed. But there’s worse news. Iceland is simply more efficient than we are: something like 93% of Down’s babies are aborted in the U.S. So we are totally on board with “eliminating DS”–by eliminating people who have it.
      I never contribute to the March of Dimes–that is their method for eliminating birth defects also.



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