Ethics Dunce Flashback, Abortion Division: Pete Buttigieg

This is the second time I’ve used that photo in a post this week. It’s a third-trimester fetus, and it’s up because it is important to remember what we’re talking about, or, in this case, what current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was talking about in his usual intellectually lazy, ethically-inert manner in a 2019 exchange with Chris Wallace.

Most of my Facebook friends block me from seeing their political blatherings because I have a tendency to call them on badly-reasoned pandering to the woke, and they can’t handle it. They just want “likes” on their regurgitated talking points and usually aren’t equipped to defend them. I was just scrolling down to see if anyone had left a substantive post on my feed, and to my horror, an old friend whom I regard as generally sharp and perceptive had tracked down the interview (from a Fox News town hall) and pronounced it “the only acceptable answer” regarding late term abortions. Here is what he called “acceptable”:

Whereupon my head exploded.

As he has proven repeatedly, Buttigieg is a facile, intellectually lazy, platitude-mouthing pandering phony, and this is vintage Pete. In matters of law and lives, the government draws the line: that’s called “civilization.” The “fundamental question” in late term abortion is how society balances the competing interests of two parties. “I trust women to draw the line when it’s their own health” is a deceitful and offensive statement, ducking the issue and muddying vital considerations. No one, and no law, denies a woman the right to place her own survival over that of her unborn child. The question of balancing interests only comes into play when the mother’s “health” involves lesser factors that might reasonably be considered subordinate to another human life. “I trust women” is just flag-waving: I don’t trust anyone to make a decision involving their personal interests and the competing interests of someone else. Such decision-makers have a conflict of interest; that why we have laws.

Tellingly, Buttigieg tries to escape dealing with substance by dismissing late-term abortions as “hypotheticals.” They aren’t hypothetical, they are real, and they are important because ending a pregnancy when the fetus is viable compels consideration of what abortions involve Extreme pro-abortion activists really hate that. It is hard to pretend the baby isn’t there in late-term abortions, and pretending there is no life being ended is crucial to the “choice” deception.

Buttigieg—God, he’s awful—demonstrates his ethics void by trying to argue away 6,000 killings of viable fetuses by shrugging them off as “only” 1%. Society should be concerned with a single unjust killing and usually is: what percentage of unarmed subjects of an arrest die under the knee of a police officer? Would Buttigieg’s supporters be satisfied if he said, “Well, come on, that was what happened in just .0000001% of arrests!” I suspect not. Buttigieg and his party are demanding sweeping changes to Second Amendment rights, but the percentage of gun-related homicides in the US to all deaths is a lot less than 1%.

Then he has the gall to play the Golden Rule card: “Imagine yourself in the shoes of the woman,” he says. Why don’t you imagine yourself in the “shoes” of the third trimester fetus, Pete? You were in those shoes, after all, and you were permitted to see daylight. Your life was on the line, but you had no power over your fate. That’s exactly the kind of situation where laws are required. Buttigieg, however, thinks he can avoid confronting that reality by emphasizing the dilemma of a near-mother who has already purchased a crib. That’s not “acceptable.” That’s offensive.

Then he concludes with pious gibberish: the decision isn’t going to be any “better” because the government makes it. That could be said about any law and any wrongful conduct, and it would be just as wrong. Society sets standards, balances interests, and makes decisions about what is in the best interests of the public and the culture. Government is the means by which those crucial decisions are executed.

The fact that otherwise intelligent progressives accept such atrocious arguments as Buttigieg’s as persuasive demonstrates how thoroughly the abortion obsession has corrupted the ethical standards and reasoning ability of the Left. In a 2020 Advocate article recalling the Buttigieg-Wallace exchange, the writer states that “Mayor Pete Buttigieg absolutely destroyed Chris Wallace” with his “perfect” answer.

If that’s the best that abortion advocates can do, and it appears to be, this shouldn’t be such a difficult issue to resolve.

20 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce Flashback, Abortion Division: Pete Buttigieg

  1. Maybe Petey will abort his recently acquired child, in the interest of equity, since he’s helped create the baby formula shortage. Perhaps he could try chest-feeding first; men can be women.

    • You missed a big point there. Pete is not a woman. He isn’t the mother. What if the mother of his adopted child comes into his house and kills her baby. Is that OK, Pete. Under Maryland’s proposed law, it might be legal. Would Pete he trust a woman to draw that line then?

      • WHAT? Men can be pregnant (there’s an emoji!), right ? We saw pics of him in the hospital after giving birth!

      • Micheal what is the proposed MD law to which you speak? If have not heard of this. Maryland currently protects the abortion procedure. What do I miss?

        • The Maryland Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act would not allow investigations of ‘perinatal’ deaths, much like a similar bill in Califiornia as long as the child died from a failture to act (such as feed, shelter, etc). Perinatal death does not appear to be well defined, some sources saying 1 month, others up to 2 months after birth. They seem to have amended it after some uproar, but it had 47 co-sponsors in the house. It may have passed the Senate with a veto-proof majority, but that article didn’t mention the name or the number of the bill. So, it doesn’t allow you to kill your baby after birth, but if you want to, you can just let your baby die from dehydration or exposure and it is against the law for them to investigate you or charge you. You can even sue them if they try!

    • He’s the “future” of the party because, as dumb and charmless as he is, he’s not even close to being the dumbest or least-appealing high-profile Democrat. The party has an embarrassingly shallow bench and comically low standards for candidates who check the correct “diversity” boxes.

  2. Chris Wallace has a marginally deserved reputation for asking tough questions and yet failed to ask maternity-leave-Pete what is so unreasonable about legally/culturally demanding that women must decide if murder is something they are willing to sanction, *within the first trimester.* BFD!

    Btw; Chris Wallace really needs to get out into the sun more…

  3. There is never any reason to do a third trimester abortion. Even in cases where the health of the mother is threatened, you can simply deliver the baby. The baby might not survive in those situations, but that isn’t the same as killing it. What health scenario is fixed by ripping the baby limb from limb in the womb, rather than delivering it? If the baby is cancerous, how does ripping its arms off or snipping its spinal cord help stop the spread of the cancer? It doesn’t. The only reason to kill a baby after it has reached the viability threshold is to satisfy a desire to kill the baby. That isn’t medically necessary or ethical.

    • That is the conclusion I came to long ago about the pro-abortion advocates. They want abortion for ‘a woman’s health’ the same way medical marijuana proponents want it to cure disease.

    • This argument, Null Pointer, is what a lot of anti-abortion extremists (like me) hold for the whole pregnancy. We argue strongly that there is NEVER a reason to abort a baby. Deliver that premature baby. If the baby dies because it was too young, so be it. Remove that malfunctioning or cancerous uterus. If the baby inside it dies, well, that is a shame, but the point was removing a cancer, not killing a kid. Plugged Fallopian tube? Better for the long term health of the mom to remove the tube than the kid plugging it. Yeah, the baby will die, but you weren’t intending to kill the baby, you were intending to remove a faulty part of the body.

      Abortion is defined as “the intentional termination of a pregnancy”. We oppose that. What so many people think is anti-abortion extremists propose is don’t treat the cancer, don’t treat the infection. We don’t. We propose that one can give a pregnant woman life saving treatment without intending to kill the child she carries. We hold to the principle of double effect. If a treatment that is meant to save a mother (abortion never does) kills a child, that isn’t an abortion. It is a treatment.

      • Serious question: Would it make sense to you to euthanize a delivered infant that was far too premature to be viable and which could only die otherwise? Or is it more ethical to allow it to die from exposure and/or deprivation of what it needs to survive? I can see decent arguments for both.

        On the one hand, euthanasia may result in less pain, and may therefore be more humane.

        On the other hand, there may be a slippery slope around the boundary of viability, where it might be possible to euthanize an infant that would have survived otherwise, although its quality of life might have been greatly reduced depending on how premature it was and what was involved in the procedure.

        I know “quality of life” doesn’t factor into a lot of people’s ethical analyses, but I’ve got just a bit of the negative utilitarian in me (i.e. preventing suffering is good, and it’s possible to suffer a fate worse than death), and I consider it relevant.

        • EC,

          I do not believe in euthanizing a child too young to survive, nor do I believe in killing it through deprivation. There is a third option, pallitive care, which is a fine line between the two. Deliver that baby, fight to save the child if you can, but if there is no hope, make that baby as comfortable as possible in the last moments. You don’t need to try heroic medicine (trying to save a 13 week gestation child for example), but you can make the baby as comfortable as you can while it dies. We do this with terminal patients all the time,and some of them survive it, despite medical certainty of death.

          I also do not believe that one can quantify that a child who may survive will survive with a reduced quality of life. I have known too many micropremies who were guaranteed by the establishment to either die or be severely retarded who are not meaningfully restricted in any way. I know three kids off the top of my head born at under a pound or before 26 weeks who are completely functional and if you never heard the family stories, you’d never know that we all waited with baited breath to hear if the baby survived another night or if it was time to comfort the grieving mother. Alicia graduated near the top of her class and a was a decent high school athlete. Chelsea’s boy is a solid 16 year old. He doesn’t have great grades, but his family cares more about if you can fix a truck and hunt deer than get into college and he does well with those. Elsie’s boy is a wild and crazy 8 year old who needs a parent who won’t let him hack computers for fun and make him do homework instead. We were all told that if each of these kids survived to a year old, they would be barely better than vegetables, never able to walk or toilet train.

          Frankly, the idea that we should kill (euthanasia and/or abortion) someone because we think something bad will happen is wrong. We don’t know the future. There are people that I have witnessed fighting situations that seem overwhelming to me and that I think must be worse than death and some of them have indicated that they prefer to be living, with what to them is an uncomfortable handicap, than not living. Who are we to decide for anyone else what is worse than death?

        • EC, I have given it more thought and though nothing I stated above is false, I don’t like the way I approached your question, especially as I didn’t really give you an answer. If my only two options are the two you stated, I would allow the child to die of deprivation, allowing nature to take its course. I am completely opposed to euthanasia, but that is its own discussion.

          I consider this much like my grandmother’s death. My grandma had progressed to the point where her stomach could not process food. We had two choices. We could hook up a line to her heart to give it the sugars it needed to keep beating and spread those sugars to her body, for who knows how long, with little chance of success. I would call this heroic medicine. Or we could allow her to starve to death as her body could not accept any food. We all know that starving is a painful and slow way to die. So we arranged for appropriate pain meds, even to an addicting degree, to ease her suffering as she starved to death over the course of days. She seemed to pass in peace.

          Just as we allowed my very sick elderly grandmother to die as nature allowed with some comfort help, so should we allow non-viable infants to pass. Fortunately, they will probably pass very quickly. The lungs are one of the last organs to develop, so instead of starving to death, most will suffocate in a matter of minutes or less. There are occasional cases where a baby takes days to die, but those are usually full term kids with crazy complications that the medical team fights with heroic medicine, not simply basic love and care.

          I believe what I describe fits the definition of deprivation, so I choose deprivation.

          • Thanks for your thoughtful answers, Sarah! I appreciate the reasoning, and may end up agreeing in practice, depending on the situation. I hadn’t considered the palliative care aspect, which is an important option. That might end up being the best of both words in many cases.

  4. “If that’s the best that abortion advocates can do, and it appears to be, this shouldn’t be such a difficult issue to resolve.”

    It’s not the best that abortion advocates can do, but intellectual honesty is a liability in human politics because it means your constituents won’t get exactly what they want. (Well, what you tell them to want.) It means negotiation and moving the conversation forward and having to make effective decisions rather than perpetuating an eternal conflict that you can farm for votes and money and power and perks.

    That’s why I’m here to tear down the curtain.

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