Don't Believe in Abortion? Don't Have One!

by Jay Johansen
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Twice in the last week I've come across the argument, "If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one. But don't impose your values on me. If I want an abortion, that's my business." That's not a new argument; it's been around for a while. But apparently it's still popular.

Is this argument valid? Well, let's try to apply it to some other issues. Like:

Hmm, it doesn't seem to make much sense when applied to other issues, does it? So does it make any sense when applied to abortion? I think not.

I am convinced that abortion is morally wrong, because it is killing an innocent baby. Therefore I cannot just stand by and do nothing while innocent people are killed. That would be like standing by and doing nothing while an innocent person was lynched or raped. To say, "Hey, that was between the two of them. It was none of my business," would surely make me ... if not actively evil, surely incredibly callous to the sufferings of others. No, I'm sorry, but I DON'T respect your right to exploit and destroy other human beings for your personal benefit. We could debate how far we are morally obligated to help others, particularly if it involves risk to ourselves or our own families. But we surely would not praise someone for saying, "Yes, I saw other people suffering and oppressed, and I did NOTHING!"

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Posted here 29 Jan 2006.

Copyright 2006 by Pregnant Pause
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