instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, November 17, 2008

Today's bugbear

"No one is pro-abortion" is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard anyone claim.

For what possible definition of "pro-abortion" is it not immediately, obviously, and empirically false? Do people think practicing abortionists aren't pro-abortion?

No, what they think seems to be that no one [practicing abortionists, for some reason, excepted] actively desires anyone to be in a position where they would choose to get an abortion. They mean it, in other words, in the same sense that they might mean "no one is pro-root canal."

But this reduces to the singularly uninteresting observation that no one is pro-nuisance. And we note the empirical fact that, given the nuisance of an unwanted pregnancy, tens of millions of Americans want to be able to abort the child.

True, absent the nuisance of an unwanted pregnancy, abortions don't occur for the most part. But we can't even get away with pretending that "pro-abortion" means "pro-unwanted pregnancy," because abortions are like face lifts: even if no one ever wanted one, there will be plenty of people ready to tell you who else should get one.