Thursday, January 29, 2015

Abortion via Exception

I’m not a real Republican, but I play one on the blogosphere. Out of all the organized political parties that exist, which one is most likely to pass anti-abortion legislation? I always like to go where the data leads and the data for this question would lead to the GOP. Democrats have enough political power, but no will; in fact they will the opposite. There may be a third party (or parties) out there with plenty of will, but they are impotent in terms of political power.

Speaking of will and power, the Republicans had the political power early this month to pass a bill that would have basically banned abortion past 20 weeks of pregnancy, but dropped the bill in a shameful display of cowardice in the face of some protests. How many pro-abortion bills have ever been dropped by democrats due to pro-life protests?

Some of the objections to the bill revolved around the rape/incest exceptions according to this article. The bill would have offered an exception for rape victims who already reported the crime to authorities. “But some Republicans, including female members of Congress, objected to that requirement, saying that many women feel too distressed to report rapes and should not be penalized…We have to be compassionate to women when they're in a crisis situation." What about the babies facing a pending abortion? Isn't that a crisis situation for them?

You may be familiar with common argument fallacies like in the graphic below, but I wonder if accepting legal abortion based on exceptions is a kind of exception fallacy.

Some small percentage of pregnancies are from rape or incest, therefore we must be able to legally kill ALL unborn children? The objection to the house bill seems to take this kind of exception to a new level. Some small percentage of pregnancies are from rape or incest, and some small percentage of those women are too distressed to report the rape, therefore let’s drop this bill and continue the status quo killing just as we do today.

This arguing via exception fits well for those who want to make us think they are pro-life, but are really pro-choice.
  • Premise: Killing unborn children is wrong.
  • Exception: Some women become pregnant via rape or incest.
  • Conclusion: We should be able to legally kill all unborn children.
If this makes sense for abortion, it should make sense for other things too.
  • Premise: Stealing is wrong.
  • Exception: Some are starving and they have a right to food.
  • Conclusion: It should be legal to take food without paying when you feel you need to make that choice.
  • Premise: Killing is OK in self-defense
  • Exception: Some feel too distressed to report they were attacked and should not be penalized. We have to be compassionate to those in a crisis situation.
  • Conclusion: It should be legal to kill whenever you feel you need to make that choice.
Those who display their pro-choiceness without deception will hide behind the made-up, non-scientific and nonsensical term of “non-person”. Scientifically, human life begins at conception as an objective fact. To say the first stage of one’s life or “personhood” begins at some other threshold of viability or consciousness is subjective; a matter of opinion. To declare something as important as this on something subjective is irrational (and devious), especially when an objective and observable beginning point clearly exists.

Basing common law on exceptions is incongruous and becomes diabolical when done to justify killing. To say unborn children MUST be declared “non-persons” because of certain exceptions is like saying oranges must be declared “non-round” because we have found some oval shaped ones.

As a side, one wonders how supposedly educated people can be BOTH pro-choice AND acknowledge science, reason & human rights all at the same time.
Baby at 20 Weeks
We have to be compassionate to BOTH women AND babies
when they're in a crisis situation.


  1. Part of me wants to say "Don't call them 'pro-choice', that prejudices their case against us, call them what they are: 'pro-abortion', 'pro-death', especially since the babies got no choice in the matter."

    Part of me wants to say "Go ahead and call them 'pro-choice'--that's what it's really all about anyway, 'I want' supposedly equaling 'my right'. Expose that attitude for what it is."

    Part of me just wants to laugh at your stealing fallacy, because it reminds me of what Fat Tony (a gangster) said to Bart to justify what he was doing. Is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family? What if you have a LARGE starving family--is it wrong to steal a truckload of bread for them? What if your family don't like bread, they like cigarettes--is it wrong to steal a truckload of cigarettes for them? And if it's good to give them away, what about selling them for a price that's PRACTICALLY giving them away--is that wrong?

    It started with the question of whether it's wrong to steal a loaf of bread for a starving family and he persuaded Bart that it's okay to steal a truckload of cigarettes and sell them on the cheap (since you didn't spend money getting them), which makes people more likely to buy from you since they don't have to pay as much--if they can avoid the long arm of the law.

    1. I'll only refer to someone as "pro-death" after they have called me "anti-choice", only to make a point about over-generalizations.

      Love the Simpsons. A lot of clever stuff there. Once Reverend Lovejoy was upset with Homer for offering to marry anyone to anything for a price. When the reverend referred to the Bible Homer said, "If you love your Bible so much, why don't you marry it."

    2. That may be a good idea--I used to identify as "pro-choice" myself, but never "pro-abortion" (though that's probably true of the great majority who are).

      Heh, I liked some of what was in the early seasons.

  2. A Catholic trusting the GOP to end abortion is like a Pole in 1943 trusting Stalin to restore Poland's independence. So much for "the enemy of my enemy".

    I realize the pseudo-syllogisms you offer are supposed to be examples of bad logic, but they're not even parallel. Taking bread without payment because that is the only way to stay alive is not really stealing, but killing an unborn child who results from rape or incest is still killing.

    1. Hi Howard,
      It's not really a question of trusting GOP. If the pro-life movement is getting bigger and younger, the electorate will move that way, which means the politicians will follow. Out of the two parties with real power, the GOP is more likely to move with the electorate on this issue first.

      As far as the analogy, it's just trying to show an example of sweeping law based on exceptions, whether the exception itself is moral or immoral.

      Thanks for your comment.