Thoughtful pornographer of outrage Rod Dreher has put up another staple post on the abortion issue to offset his newly featured filler photos of dining tables, which understandably do not draw as many page hits, and several current and former of our Authors appear to be acquitting themselves quite well there in the predictable arguments, many of which become quite arcane, and some of which this go-round also utilize the recently resurrected Schrödinger, this time to indetermine the nature of Schrödinger’s fetus. Our own former Author Hector makes probably the most straightforwardly classical, not immediately moralistic didactic case against the choice to abort a fetus:
Re: I do not approve of abortion in the abstract,but I think the final authority has to be the woman whose body is involved.
Why? That’s nonsense. The whole idea of us exerting absolute control over our own bodies, and lives, is predicated on a distinctly modern, capitalist-era anthropology, that neither classical Greek thinkers nor medieval and early modern Christians would have been able to make the slightest sense of. There’s nothing intrinsically natural, or reasonable, about the claim ‘we should have total control over our own bodies.’
The virtues of abortion in the service of blogging notwithstanding, all of this sound and fury, however, is predicated on the current condition that women must have external medical assistance to safely and confidently abort their fetuses.
The question I, at least, never hear being asked or answered, though, is what happens when the safe, rice grain-sized abortifacient pill appears, smuggleable en masse in a box of Uncle Ben’s or singly in an ear canal, and women gain the power to abort themselves, completely by themselves, in total privacy?
Long ago Frank Herbert, in his Hellstrom Chronicles, did envision a community where selected members not reduced to broth for the others were retained as “sexual stumps”, biomechanically maintained sections of humans of both sexes roughly hewn from navel to mid-thigh, which could be inseminated, gestated, and subsequently delivered of children containing their preferred genes for the benefit of the community.
Short of rendering a woman into such a sexual stump or of even simply keeping her comfortably restrained until after delivery, what exactly do those who believe as our good Hector does, above, propose to do to enact their beliefs, particularly when they may never again be able to determine with any reasonable degree of certainty which women have been pregnant and which have chosen to abort?
At that point, short of standing on street corners wearing scolding sandwich boards, what exactly is to be done?
Update: For those less interested in flogging the same old mare, two occasionally intersecting moons orbiting her: medical mediation and the public-become-private.
H. M. Stuart