Lake of Fire

I went and saw that abortion documentary today. Heavy stuff, and impressive how the filmmakers managed to make a movie where, even though the “pro-life” people come off as creepy and too ready to utilize evil means, you still can’t dismiss their concerns as crazy. I hadn’t realized how human some fetuses look when they’re aborted, or how grisly (like all medical procedures, I imagine) an abortion really is. The film was impressively honest about the whole process.

Thankfully, I feel no need to have a strong opinion on abortion. I can conjure situations where it is unquestionably, to me, a right (rape) or unquestioningly not (to determine a child’s gender). In between, I certainly don’t want complicated statutes that delineate right and wrong in every situation and make judges arbiters of women’s effective reproductive rights.

Even something as straightforward as a rape exception in an abortion ban is problematic. Does the father need to be convicted of the rape for it to apply? Does the woman need to have filed a police report when the rape occurred? Does she need to just sign a letter saying she was raped? The former requirements would stigmatize rape victims from using the option, the latter wouldn’t be enough for right-wingers who already think woman lie about rape.

Which brings us rather neatly to the pro-choice position. Government cannot decide whats right for you or your body. Abortion is a complicated choice best made by individual woman who are best positioned to know what’s best for themselves and their potential baby.

In that I feel the need to come up with some policy standard re: abortion, I like to punt on the question of when life begins and embrace dependency as the standard. One human cannot be forced to provide for another; we have no right to be parasitic; nurture must be given freely. Thus one never has the right to “kill your baby,” but you do always have the right to stop taking care of your baby. At two months, if you choose to give up your baby, it cannot survive alone, and we call this abortion. At seven months, if you choose to give up your baby, you have a premature birth, the baby survives (or not) and goes to foster parents (or not). At two years old, you similarly can give up your child for adoption anytime. I doubt this is good marketing for the pro-choice position, but it’s the easiest way for me to think about it.

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