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?

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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.

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    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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