I guess I could also call this “Isaac Comment of the Day Rebuttal Friday,” but it’s not quite as catchy.
“I am of two minds when it comes to abortion. My left side says people have a right to privacy in medical stuff (especially from government), and an absolute right to control of their own bodies. My right side says killing humans is wrong (mostly).
“The left, generally, when it comes to abortion, shies away from recognizing that a human life is being ended, while otherwise, mostly, proclaim the sanctity of human life. The right, generally, when it comes to abortion, shy away from privacy rights, while, otherwise, mostly, proclaiming that government should just leave us alone.
“The suggestion posed here, that the fetus/unborn child be carried to term and placed for adoption, has merit. The last time I checked, there were a lot of potential adoptive parents.
“But, consider a real-world case that I am all too familiar with. The fetus/unborn child is diagnosed in utero as having Down syndrome. The list of potential adoptive parents shrinks considerably. But, the parents are opposed to abortion, the child is born, and the severity of Down syndrome is far worse than expected. The list of potential adoptive parents would be close to zero. Several surgical procedures are necessary soon after birth, significant expense in money to taxpayers and in both money and time to the parents.
But, the parents never considered placing the child for adoption anyway.
Advance the calendar about a decade and a half. The teen cannot communicate, although she seems to understand some things. She cannot feed herself. She cannot manage using a toilet. She has reached puberty, but cannot manage pads. She can walk, clumsily, but cannot be allowed to wander too far.
“Two grandparents are in the picture, two are not. The grandfather cannot and will not manage her. The grandmother does, but she is unable to do so for more than a day or two.
“An older daughter has moved away and now has minimal contact with the family. She may be trying to ensure she does not become the caretaker when the parents become too old to continue in that role. A son, a couple of years older than the Down child, is still at home, helps when he can, but probably will soon feel that he is being entrapped. The parents have expressed the view that the son and other daughter will care for the Down child when they no longer can.
“So, my right side is happy this human being is cherished. My left side says, WTF, this cannot be right.
“Maybe I’ve got a third side, too, one that tells me this is all on them, and I don’t even need to care one way or the other, kinda like those drone strikes we read about from time to time, those which may have wiped out a few kids along with the bad guys. We scan the story, grimace (kids for God’s sake) and quickly move on.
“I’ve strayed a bit from that ridiculous Texas law. Don’t see how that can stand. Vigilantes? Next thing you know, folks will expect businesses to enforce mask mandates and vaccination passports.”
Once again, here is Isaac’s Comment of the Day reply…
“Perhaps reframe it this way? Any number of crippling afflictions could end up affecting a healthy adult in similar fashion to Downs Syndrome. Head trauma from a car accident at age 20. Severe autism that doesn’t present until the child is several years old. Senility. But under no circumstances do we consider killing a person who BECOMES hard to care for after birth.
“Simply because, with diagnostics and abortion, we have the OPPORTUNITY to kill some “burdens on society” early enough for it to be legal shouldn’t change the ethical equation. The only difference is the stage of human development at which the murder is done, and this distinction makes no sense. There should be no difference between taking a human life at age 20, or taking it 20 years and 6 months before that, or taking it 20 years and 6 months AFTER that.
“If you see a family struggling to care for a child who developed autism while in kindergarten, you don’t think, “it’s a shame that child couldn’t have been eliminated as soon as the autism was diagnosed.” Because that would understood as murder. But in the case of issues that developed in the womb, we are being conditioned by the commonality of abortion to think, “what a shame, they had a chance to erase that kid and no one would have been the wiser. Too bad they didn’t take it.” There is no difference in the present situation of the parents or in the value of the child’s life. So we should be aware that there is something inconsistent and wrong with thinking this way. And the legality and normalization of abortion has done this to us.
“Part of bringing a child into the world, indeed part of living, is accepting that any number of difficult, life-altering, disastrous things could happen at any moment, to either yourself or your loved ones, at all stages of life. A newly married wife could become quadriplegic in a diving accident. A husband of 50 years could develop dementia. A child at age 20 could suddenly have MS and need constant care for the rest of their life. Part of this risk has also always included the chance of birth defects or imperfections. There was never any real way to avoid these risks, other than hiding in bed and avoiding every deep connection to other humans that makes life worthwhile.
“The “compassion” of abortion is that it presents a legal avenue to killing a subset of burdensome children (not “preventing” their issues, mind, which already exist) and therefore sparing parents and society that particular subset of life-risk. You still can’t kill older children, or adults who become a burden later in life (at least not yet,) but if you can spot the problem in the womb, you can snuff that life out before it knows what hit it.
“Of course, this makes no sense if we are to hold on to any concrete understanding that murder is bad. If it’s alright to make an expecting couple’s life easier by literally ending their child’s life, there is no logical reason to deny that relief to the parents of a 5-year old who develops severe autism. Princeton bio-ethicist Peter Singer made the case for killing newborns all the way back in 1993. He was serious. And I don’t think it’s because he gets excited at the thought of euthanizing infants. He really just couldn’t escape the logic. There is NO logical, scientific, or ethical reason why killing a month-old baby is different than killing a 10-week old fetus. If you give both the fetus and the baby Downs Syndrome, the calculus is the same. If you can kill one, you can kill both. You can make the baby 1 month old or 20 years old. It changes not a thing.
“I think your compassion for seeing the difficulty of raising a disabled child through adulthood is just good healthy empathy. It seems unfair for someone to be in that situation while others aren’t. That is why people in that situation often find exceptional support and love from those around them. And this is applicable to a thousand other trials in life that don’t offer the quick fix of socially acceptable homicide. And those trials produce not only struggle and misery, but also some of the most inspirational and life-affirming stories that humankind has ever produced.
“(Some of this sentimentality might have come from me just having watched David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man” and reading again about the real life story behind it. I can’t recommend it enough if you haven’t seen it. In fact I can’t stop thinking about it.)”