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April 16, 2013

The Paradox Of Absolutism

You'll Get Nothing, And Like It

Sometimes when people are highly ideological, and driven to score all the points they can for their team, they fail to appreciate the necessary political compromises that exist in society. This is not a game, this is a nation. And absolutism simply fails to thrive in American politics.

In response to the Gosnell trial, some absolutist pro-choice folks are saying that the reason Gosnell's slaughterhouse was so awful is because late-term abortions should be legal, and women were 'driven underground' to see this illegal doctor.

Gosnell was a legal and known abortion provider, not 'underground.' His transgressions would have been caught if only he had been subject to the same inspections that every other outpatient facility is subject to. It sure wasn't rightwing zealots that shielded him from ordinary audits.

But that's neither here nor there. We need to address this insistence that there be no limits on abortion. Which means to legalize the termination of large, healthy babies that pose no risk to the mother's life.

The problem with absolutism is that it shoots itself in the foot. Truly radical pro-choicers do not understand that the assumption that abortion primarily kills very tiny, unviable blobs, is the very thing that keeps abortion legal. It is in fact the only thing keeping a majority of people ignoring the subject.


In the case of abortion, this is the social/ political compromise that exists within the non-ideological crowd (most people): Many are willing to say that abortion is wrong (or at least not good), but the majority of these are also willing to allow it, as long as the understanding is that 'a clump of cells' is being eliminated.

As long as the belief persists among most reasonable people that the child has not been formed yet, and will not suffer, they will tolerate this practice even if they think it is wrong.

However, as soon as they understand that big, live, squealing babies are being murdered in abortion facilities, the spell is broken. There will be a closer look. And we know in our bones there are more Kermit Gosnells out there, don't we? It behooves all absolutists to observe the kneecapping that pro-choicers will give themselves if they continue to very stupidly get on the wrong side of this issue and actually argue for a more obvious and expansive infanticide.

This is what happens in the case of unrestricted late-term abortion:

a) If a woman wants her baby, he is her precious newborn son, a patient of the hospital, and even if prematurely delivered he will receive humane medical care.

b) If the woman does not want her baby, cut his head off and toss the body in the bin with the others.

Note that the difference between a) and b) is merely the emotional whim of one parent. This is what distinguishes this killing as 'abortion' and not infanticide, to the extremist end of the pro-choice crowd.

On the lady's word, that which would otherwise be considered a child, lives or dies.

This is not a good enough distinction or reason. Humans recoil from this.

When innocent little babies are in danger, most human beings - not deranged mutants like Amanda Marcotte, but actual, decent people - feel an imperative to intervene. If you tried to harm a child within the sight of most people, they would hasten to reduce you to 'a clump of cells.'

Everyone knows that people love babies and children. This is why the pro-choice side uses the terms 'fetus,' or 'clump of cells.' This is why they constantly hammer the idea that this is just like any other ordinary medical procedure. They understand the importance of eliminating the notion that babies are being harmed.

And this is also why the pro-life forces are constantly trying to show those gory photos of very tiny aborted babies. Because they are trying to smash the sterile concept that keeps people from caring about abortion as a moral issue.

Most folks do not want to live in a state of public upheaval. Most folks are willing to live with less than their ideal, in favor of the good. We make these little social agreements so that we can live mostly peacefully. Compromise doesn't make difficult issues go away, but it transforms them into ones that only a relative few are willing to go to war over.

In the abortion compromise, the pro-choice crowd has had the better end of the deal for decades. A significant part of three generations of the youth of America have been vacuumed from their mothers' wombs; millions of children destroyed, never to be named or known.

If the absolutist pro-choice crowd tries to expand upon the definition of a disposable fetus to include what are obviously big healthy babies, they will ultimately break the social stalemate on abortion, to the detriment of their own cause.

So, you know. Go for it.

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posted by Laura. at 11:30 AM

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