We interrupt our regularly scheduled series of postings on standards (and lack thereof) in modern society to offer a few comments about what we think is wrong with the Pro-Life movement. Lest you be turned off already, please note that we fully support the goal: an end to abortion. We just want to offer a few comments and observations on how the effort might be more effective and less confrontational . . . at least, up to a point.
To be blunt, there aren’t too many people who really think abortion is good. You’ll no doubt find some ideologues who insist that abortion is just great, fine, terrific, and so on. Just guessing, of course, but it might be a good bet that if someone is saying that, it’s because a) she had an abortion, and is doing a post facto sales job to keep convincing herself that everything is, was, and always will be just peachy, b) he (or she) is getting paid to promote it, or c) he (or she) is saying whatever he or she thinks whoever controls his or her income wants to hear to make certain that income is secure. Jobs are, after all, pretty hard to come by in these days of booming economic recovery and soaring stock values . . . party like it’s 1929!
So, while this is just a guess, it seems to us that the majority of people who support abortion do so on one of two general grounds: 1) it’s a right, and 2) it’s necessary. Let’s take these in the order given.
It’s a Right
Previous postings have gone into this in some depth. We also touch on it in the short book that came out in 2010, Supporting Life: The Case for a Pro-Life Economic Agenda, although we’ve gone into it in greater depth, since.
That book, by the way, didn’t garner too many reviews. Pro-Lifers thought it didn’t put enough emphasis on faith and religion (or any at all) as the reason to abolish abortion. For their part, Pro-Choicers carefully edged away from anything that might undermine their position.
Despite that, one of the best reviews on Amazon (as an illustration how easy it is for people to miss the point) came from someone in the Pro-Choice camp: “I believe the title is rather misleading because the book doesn't really provide a ‘prolife economic agenda.’ The first 3/4 of the book is what I would consider 3rd rate prolife apologetics.” Well . . . the book wasn’t intended to give a “prolife economic agenda.” It was to make the case for having a “prolife economic agenda,” hence, the “3rd rate prolife apologetics.” (We were hoping for 2nd rate at least.)
Anyway, the idea that abortion is a right comes from the idea that the government in the person of the Supreme Court decides who or what is a person. That’s because a person is defined as that which has rights.
This, of course, is completely contrary to the Constitution of the United States, which clearly states that the State gets its rights from the people, not the other way around. The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted in part to ensure that no human being would ever be denied his or her natural rights, has been used to deny human beings their natural rights.
So, is abortion a right because the Supreme Court says so? Hardly. The Supreme Court does not legitimately have that power. It only has that power because people do not have the power to stop it. Might makes right when right doesn’t have power to resist.
No one here is a medical doctor. Medical experts say one of two things: 1) abortion is necessary at times to save the life of the mother. 2) Abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother.
So, how do we resolve this issue? Be conservative when enacting a law, and assume that abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother. Every legislator should keep one thing in mind when fiddling around with other people’s lives, liberties, and property: hard cases make bad law. Try to cover every contingency, and all you get is an increase in injustice. If push comes to shove, do the best to save both lives. What . . . doctors are always right? Then how come some say abortion is necessary, and others say it’s not? Both can’t be right.
The Way Out
Many, if not most of the arguments in favor of abortion seem to be economic, one way or another. Then, although Pro-Lifers seem reluctant to admit it, most of the arguments in favor of life are also economic . . . one way or another.
We won’t go into either here. What we will say, is if Pro-Choicers are serious about making abortion “safe, legal, and rare,” . . . what are they doing about it? Where is the Pro-Choice economic agenda that would remove any economic excuse for killing the kid?
Nor are Pro-Lifers much better in this regard. The only the thing we’ve seen proposed as an economic agenda for the Pro-Life movement aside from Capital Homesteading is . . . raise wages. Right. Make labor more expensive relative to technology, making it advantageous to get rid of people or kill them before they become a drug on the labor market. Unemployed people get welfare and cost billions of dollars each year, so let’s create even more unemployed people?
No, the only answer is an aggressive program of expanded capital ownership, such as is found in Capital Homesteading. “Power,” as Daniel Webster said, “naturally and necessarily follows property.” When people own capital, they can do as they wish within the limits of the common good, and be free from coercion whether to have, or not have, children.