Tuesday, July 2, 2013

a little late for lenny

There were two women (one from NOW and one from the Susan B. Anthony List) having a fairly decorous fight on Diane Rehm today, and I know you're going to say, Layne, since when is your blog a garbled, hamfisted NPR recap blog, but hear me out.

They were fighting about abortion and the new regulations and laws going into place in various places around the country, and of course one of the callers brought up how anti-abortionists claim to value life, and yet Texas practices capital punishment--and very vigorously so--so how can they say they value life when they're executing people, etc.

Here's a piece of advice from a pro-choice religious person:  pro-abortionists need to deep-six that as a talking point.  They think they are illuminating an area of moral hypocrisy, but I really don't think that's what's going on (at least in this case--moral hypocrisy abounds all along the ideological spectrum, amiright?).  I'm guessing the opinions of anti-abortionists go something like this: lives are not equally valuable.  Whenever life begins (I think most anti-abortionists believe it's at some point pre-birth), nobody would imply that--however it was conceived--there is any wrongdoing on the part of the unborn child.  A person on death row, however, can reasonably be assumed (for our purposes today we're assuming there was no miscarriage of justice) to have committed a fairly heinous crime--has taken life him- or herself.  That is a person who had a chance and blew it.  I'm sure there are people who believe that all lives are equal, but most of us would probably agree that an innocent life is more worth saving than a guilty one.  Stop comparing unborn babies to criminals, it's a false comparison and a dumb idea.

I think a much more effective argument is the one I've started seeing more lately, which is the question of why the potential child's life should be valued more highly than the life of the actual, existing woman carrying it.  Another good one, I think, is why are the babies seemingly so much more valuable and worth protecting before they're born than after? I think these are more compelling and more likely to engage people in a discussion.

I'm just observing here.  Have you ever been watching/listening to someone that you felt like you might agree with if they weren't making such a dumb argument?


beckster said...

Well you knew I would chime in on this one! I agree, but anti-abortion activists argue, "all life is sacred". Either it is, or it isn't. Besides a number of folks in prison have been found to be innocent, so we may be killing innocent men/women. Don't get me wrong, I am not against capital punishment in some cases, but it is subject to the vagaries of human judgment. I think the argument about unborn children not being more worthy of care than babies that have been born or mothers is a solid one. I use it, but it is not an argument that they will discuss. I believe that invalidates their argument that all life is sacred. I think anti-abortion folks are all about controlling others. They are just hiding behind religion. Yes, I yell at the TV when I see an interview of someone I agree with that loses the thread of their argument. It's so frustrating! Why can't they be perfect like us!?

Tori said...

I would love to comment, but I'm afraid I'll be too flip about it and end up getting fatwa'd.

Marsha said...

What you said. I agree. Good thinking.