Meowissey, Hunchbacked Smut Peddler
The idea of improving the self actualization of existing children resonates with me. What could be better! And, everyone is a child.When considering a large group of people and their rights we are dealing with abstractions and our own prejudices can influence our opinions, wholly without our intention or awareness. In other words the question of "when should an abortion be permitted" is completely theoretical.
But then when we look at an individual case we might arrive at a different conclusion.
I think it is for this reason that the law should be as unobtrusive as possible.
There are some very bad arguments on both sides of the issue. Those in favor of a woman's right to choose sometimes resort to some variation of "what kind of life would it be for an unwanted child?" Well, there are many unwanted children, and many people who keep these unwanted children for various reasons, and many of these children do have lives that are horrific. But no one ever suggests rounding up the unwanted children and putting them out of their misery.
To call a fetus a child and make the claim that its better off not living is a horrible argument, scientifically and ethically. But it's an equally bad argument for pro-life advocates to call a fetus a child.
At what point does this being become a child? It's a question that will be answered based on a person's religious and philosophical beliefs. Should the law be written based on religion and philosophy?
It is whether we like it or not, but in issues like this, where hearing an individual case can sway your opinion as opposed to the opinion you'd have based on abstractions, it's best for the legal system to operate with the rights of the individual uppermost and with the greatest benefit of the doubt possible applied.
I don't think it should be decided on practical terms really. The argument that a woman will get an abortion anyway but that it will be far more dangerous is compelling to some degree in a pragmatic way, but we can't really make laws that way. There has to be a solid logical basis to the law.
I don't think that abortion is something that anyone takes lightly. I don't think that any woman really considers it to be a safe, practical and effective means of birth control in the sense that she feels "I'll just get an abortion if I get pregnant."
And because looking at individual cases can change your mind maybe that means that we need to give the benefit of the doubt to the person most affected by the decision. It is not practical that every woman with an unwanted pregnancy should have to go before a judge and state her reasons for wanting an abortion.
I think it really comes down to individual rights. I think the problem with the "pro-life" stance is that it's usually based entirely on religious or philosophical beliefs. Why do so many people who oppose abortion also oppose "plan b" or the "morning after pill." Do they really believe that all potential life forms are living entities with rights?
No, it's often based on the idea that "God" has approved certain forms of sexual activity and condemned others.
I do believe in the rights of children and I do think that society has a duty to make their lives the best they can be giving them the potential to reach a state of self-actualization. But we have to recognize that a fetus is not a child. It is a potential child. And we really can't create laws based on potential. These efforts would be much better spent improving the lives of actual children.
TL;DR: If hearing an individual's story can change your mind and if these individual stories are really none of your business, then it's probably wise and prudent to withhold judgment and refrain from making laws based on abstractions, potential, and individual philosophical and religious biases.