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Reflections On Abortion

I have come to realise that what concerns me is not abortion as such but the promotion of abortion.

What we are doing in abortions is not just surgical removal of tissues.

What we are doing in abortions is not just killing babies.

What we are doing is: removing inconvenient babies. It is the promotion or even acceptance of that which concerns me. Even "killing babies" implies the dignity of recognising that babies are human beings, which "removing" does not.

Let us go through those three words, and understand what each implies and perhaps you will understand why I am concerned about it. In reverse order:

"Babies" - implies the most intimate kind of interconnectedness that there can be: between a mother and her unborn child. Does it not imply utter dependence? Does it not imply a responsibility of love and protection?

"Inconvenient" - implies a self-centred attitude. Inconvenience is always to somebody treated as important in themselves. This expresses the attitude centred on me-me-me. Yes, it might be inconvenient to others like health managers, but when we use the concept "others" like that, are we not just treating them as other 'me's. Perpetrating the self-centred attitude. Whether it is abortion on demand, or abortion of a 'fetus' with 'abnormalities', is there not at least an element of "This is inconvenient to me"? At least an element of that which is hidden among the all-too-visible good reasons for proceeding with the abortion?

"Removing" - implies treating something as of zero value. "Remove that item from the table!", "Remove that factor from our decision-making!" We resort to removing something, so that we don't have to bother with it any more. "Remove this baby from our lives."

"Babies" and "Inconvenient" and "Removing" together speak of the sexualisation of our whole outlook. Has not Sex become the deity we worship, the idol to and for which we sacrifice all else - time, money, partners, and inconvenience babies?

It is the promotion of that bundle of attitudes that really troubles me about 'abortion':

That is what troubles me. Debates about "Under which technical circumstances should abortion be allowed?" pale into insignificance in my mind. Because they are not about legalities, but they are all problems of underlying attitude and direction of society, which determine which legalities we put in place.

Interestingly, it is those same attitudes that concern me about the refusal to take climate and environmental responsibility seriously. See Why I am a Climate Activist but do not support Abortion.

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Created: 23 November 2020. Last updated: 26 September 2021 "killing" implies dignity.