abortion, also

Given the escalation of the political horrors around abortion (ahem, Indiana), I’ve had abortion on the brain.

People who want to make abortion illegal essentially believe that the fetus is alive, has a life, and therefore should be protected under the law as a person – protected, in this case, from murder.

Which is fair enough; when “life” begins might not even be open to empirical investigation, it truly may be a matter of moral opinion. And if you hold that opinion, that a fetus is alive, then abortion is murder.

And if a fetus is alive and should be protected under the law, then, just as it’s against the law to injure your child, why aren’t the anti-abortion folks also lobbying for laws against pregnant women smoking, which we know for sure damages the fetus? Or setting limits on drinking for pregnant women? Or not wearing a seatbelt? Because if it’s a life and we KNOW these things increase risk or do outright harm, ought they not to be against the law? Following the logic of prohibiting abortion, shouldn’t a woman be REQUIRED to make choices about her body that do no harm to the person inside her?

And if a fetus is NOT alive, well then. Well then I’ve got a couple of things for you to watch…

From Freakonomics: It’s Not Always a Wonderful Life:

This is the thing I mentioned yesterday – some nice person has isolated it and posted it on Youtube, bless their cotton socks. 11:28 that will give you something really interesting to talk about at the next party you go to.

And from the Guttmacher Institute, some crucial reality checks about who it is who gets abortions in the United States: