Conversations: Abortion Agenda


Galene
Shouldn’t we be worried that some people seem to be promoting something that could be described as a pro-abortion agenda?

Sappho
No. When you read up on some of the papers, essays and comments that have been published about abortion over the past twenty or thirty years, you will find that many liberal scientists, philosophers and journalists have expressed great concerns on the ethical problems related to abortion. And rightly so.

Helena
You might, for instance, be surprised to learn that people like Christopher Hitchens were opposed to abortion; Sam Harris is also critical, he calls it an “ugly reality” and supports a number of measures to reduce the need of abortions in the US. Indeed, Harris is also very concerned that American girls are four to five times more likely to become pregnant, and consequently to have a baby, or to get an abortion – all as a result of conservative attitudes to sex education and the resulting taboo culture surrounding sex itself.

Sappho
Furthermore, it is clear that – and especially when it comes to complicated ethical issues like abortion – there are no moral (and thus relevant) concerns brought forward by religious organisations in this debate. Consider the following “theological” problem:

‘Embryos at this stage occasionally split, becoming separate people (identical twins). Is this a case of one soul splitting into two? Two embryos sometimes fuse into a single individual, called a chimera. You or someone you know may have developed in this way. No doubt theologians are struggling even now to determine what becomes of the extra human soul in such a case. Isn’t it time we admitted that this arithmetic of souls does not make any sense?’ (Harris 2006.)

Helena
Also, without wanting to underestimate the importance of having a scientific debate about the ethical problems concerned, consider the following quotation by Agnes Bojaxhiu – better known as Mother Theresa – “The greatest destroyer of peace is abortion”. Now, this is an unsound statement made by an ignorant and (with regard to this case) immoral person. – Suffering is not a gift, wretched poverty and dread disease are nothing to be pleased about; anyone who says otherwise is clearly not concerned with relieving fellow human beings of unspeakable misery. And whether your motives for doing so are dogmatic or psychotic, they are not worthy of consideration. Whether you think it is morally defensible or not when, for instance, a women has 150 cells (1/667th of a fly’s brain) surgically removed after she has been raped by her troglodyte half-brother – abortion is not the greatest destroyer of peace on earth.

Sappho
Had you read up on any of the above, you would probably not have argued that Harris and his like are trying to “advance a pro abortion” agenda, quite the contrary. Instead, if anything, you would probably have come to the conclusion that Agnes Bojaxhiu was trying to advance not merely an anti-abortion agenda but also trying to uphold a misogynist culture set in the misery of inhumane poverty.

Helena
Of course, we know that organised religion thrives in such desperate circumstances, and it is probably true to say that there will always be people like Agnes who will try to perpetuate that misery. And in doing so, no doubt there will be many people who, again like Agnes, will also try to make a solid load of cash to feather their own nests at the expense of the uneducated, illiterate, weak-willed and severely ill.

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