Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pro-choice false dichotomies examined

I was pro-choice nearly all my life. At about seven or eight years of age I joined my mother in a rally for the "right" to take tax money and apply it to abortion for poor mothers. I marched with a doll held aloft, my own idea, a symbol of the value of a wanted child. My young brain wasn't schooled in recognizing false dichotomies yet. Wanted children wouldn't suffer for the presence of unwanted children even if there were such people as unwanted children. In fact, every child in the USA is wanted many times over by families who wait years to adopt. Regardless of race, age, disability or any other statistic that can be listed about a child, every child is wanted by adoptive parents. But I thought there were people no one would ever be nice to, and they would be born instead of children who could have nice childhoods. I therefore was talked into reversing reality very smoothly. I had the idea abortion prevented cruelty to little children rather than being extreme cruelty itself.
False dichotomies are just one of the fallacies the pro-choice movement uses, but it relies on them for most recent "moral" arguments.
Try this one: "A woman has as much potential as a clump of tissue and should be allowed to finish school instead of being forced to have babies."
That constitutes a veritable snarl of false dichotomies, including "finish school" v. "give live birth" (In fact, giving birth and releasing the child to adoptive parents takes about the same amount of time out of a student's schedule as abortion would); "a woman's potential v. a clump of tissue's potential" (In fact, no one was ever a clump of anything, but a distinct organism from the moment of conception, intricate and purposive at every step, and a woman has the same amount of potential in every area of life regardless of whether she has given birth, and the child's potential is not the only reason to value the child's life); "forced to have babies v. free to be childless (In fact, once a woman is pregnant she is biologically a mother and already has a baby, who is just growing until he is strong enough to live in the cool air with the rest of us, and childbirth is the normal outcome of conception, far from being a forced outcome, and she was quite free to be childless up to the moment she ceased to be childless, at which time we simply ask her not to take a life); "a woman's potential value v. a child's potential value" (In fact, a majority of aborted babies are female, and we value these girls' potential as children and later as women because they are human, just we value their mothers' potential -- equally and absolutely, with no compromise.

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