Thursday, September 14, 2006


Possible Disingenuity of the anti-Abortion Movement

Who'd have thunk it, eh?

Anyway, I hear this line (made with some derision and implying an "abortion industry" convincing troubled women to kill their fetuses for fun and profit) occassionally: "if abortions really were done for health reasons, how come people have abortions at specialized clinics rather than at hospitals?".

I don't know how many abortions are done for "health reasons". Indeed, a health reason is hard to define which is why abortion foes tend to oppose health-exceptions in anti-abortion legislation and why even people who oppose "abortion as a form of birth control" often are against any sort of regulation of abortion -- 'cause they would hate to see a medically indicated abortion fall through the cracks that would exist in even a relatively robust health exemption into illegality. But a rough statistic would be useful (in general, so-called pro-lifers do seem rather cavalier about the risks to the mother-to-be's health and even life involved in carrying pregnancies to term).

But why do we have separate abortion clinics? If the answer, as I suspect it does, relates to what would happen to a hospital that performed abortions even for health reasons because of the anti-abortion terrorists that our government refuses to treat as such (if the war on terror included a war in Iraq, how come it doesn't also include sending Terry to Gitmo?), then this "if abortions were really done for the health of the mother, they'd be done at hospitals" line really is disingenuous.

But I suspect it's effective -- even among people who should know better: because it srikes people used to sophistry as a "smart and to the point and damning question disguised as a flip one", even if it really is even flipper than it sounds.

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