Monday, September 12, 2011

The “Personally Opposed” Canard

Many politicians, when discussing the abortion question, claim that they are “personally opposed” to abortion, while at the same time supporting “abortion rights” in practice, due to so-called concern for women’s health.
This is perhaps one of the most inane and shallow arguments ever constructed. A similar claim could be made for murder or rape: “Well, I am personally opposed to rape, but I support giving rapists the right to practice their predilections.”Very few people would support that argument.
Personal opposition to any behavior counts for nothing if a practical policy of support for the behavior is justified. If I am “personally opposed” to theft but let someone get away with the crime of stealing, I am effectively condoning theft. Similarly, if I am “personally opposed” to abortion but seek to protect a “woman’s right to choose,” I am in practice encouraging abortion.
The only way that the “personally opposed” argument is justifiable for a behavior is if that behavior is truly one of personal preference, rather than a matter of moral law. I can be “personally opposed” to body piercing, while accepting the right of a man or woman to allow himself or herself to be pierced.
But if abortion is considered merely a matter of personal preference, then the abortion issue is already decided. For if abortion is a matter of allowing a woman to make a personal choice to undergo a distasteful procedure, than it is the right of the woman to do whatever she wants with her body. Distasteful medical procedures (to some) such as plastic surgery and tattooing are not forbidden under the law.And pro-abortion advocates claim that abortion is a matter of personal preference, just like the others.
But pro-life advocates claim that abortion is murder. Murder is forbidden under the law. Under this definition, one cannot be “personally opposed” to murder and accept it in practice.
By professing “personal opposition” to abortion while protecting abortion via law, politicians have taken the side of the abortionists.
The “personally opposed” argument is used by politicians who wish to justify their support for abortion while at the same time cynically claiming the moral high ground on the issue. Even worse, most people are willing to let the issue pass without much thought.
The claim that abortion is murder is a serious charge – one that must be resolved before ANYTHING is decided regarding the abortion question.
If abortion is murder, then it should cease immediately. If abortion is the mere removal of fetal tissue, then there is no point in hindering it. If there is debate over whether abortion is the taking of a human life or not, then politicians should err on the side of life.
But “personal opposition” and practical support for murder is not an option that even politicians would countenance if challenged. Why, then, do pro-life advocates allow them to get away with it?

1 comment:

  1. "Personal opposition to any behavior counts for nothing if a practical policy of support for the behavior is justified. If I am “personally opposed”"

    True, which is why proselytizing by protestants should be outlawed. To be personally opposed to it is not sufficient.


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