Freedom isn’t Free

I have put off commenting on the recent NYT piece by the woman who underwent “pregnancy reduction” with the exception of one comment I left at The Spoons Experience: 

That is, indeed, pretty horrifying.

But should the state mandate that she carry the triplets to term? Should our government have that power?

Should that woman be mother to three, much less one?

Spoon’s response was not unexpected:

Should the state have the power to mandate that she not murder her children?

You bet your fucking ass it should.

Well, Mike Spenis has weighed in, and said what I wanted to say.  Here’s a taste:

Unsurprisingly, the no-abortions-at-all rule seems to be the unanimous preference among those who would prevent this sort of thing in the future, and that, my friends, is what this is all about.

If you have the right to abort your pregnancies, you can do if for whatever reason you want; for a good reason, or a stupid reason, or even for no reason at all. You can do it for reasons that would horrify your neighbor, or do it for reasons that would horrify us all. That’s what choice means.

Now, replace the phrase “abort your pregnancies” with “purchase a gun” or even “home school your children” and we’re all back on the same page again.

This is part of the price of freedom. This is what choice means.

It means people get to make bad choices.  Venal choices.

Abortion is one of the topics that, like religion, comes up regularly on message boards and generates pages of debate argument.  It boils down, for people like me and Mike, as a question of “when is a fetus a person?”  When do the rights of the fetus become equal to the rights of the woman carrying it?  For Spoons, it’s apparently at conception.  For me, it’s somewhere during the second trimester, so to err on the side of caution I draw the line at 12 weeks.  After that, it becomes a question of medical necessity, and that’s all.

I look forward to the day when technology allows us to fertilize and carry embryos to term outside the human body, to extract a fetus and place it in a uterine replicator.  The question of abortion will become moot.  But until then abortion will continue, legal or not, and the decision to abort will remain often a venal one.

Freedom has costs.  This is one of them. 


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