Yet Another Texas Abortion Law Freakout Friday Comment Of The Day…

2021-foster-care-us

If only someone had killed them first!

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist, given the upcoming commentary.)

I figure if every time Still Spartan graces us with a comment it gets Comment of the Day status, maybe she’ll weigh in more often.

I agree with almost nothing in her post (other than that the Texas law is bonkers and that it will be struck down, contrary to the bleating of the pro-abortion hysterics), but it’s a provocative and well-written opinion.

Here is Still Spartan’s Comment of the Day, which I hereby decree to be on the relevant post, “Texas’s Clever Anti-Abortion Law.” And I wrestled with myself and lost—at the end, I will re-post my original comment to it.

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“A quick internet search informs me that there are over 400,000 unwanted or neglected children living in foster care in the United States right now. Why do we want policies creating more unwanted and/or neglected children? Pro life advocates are quick to point out that there are people lined up take newborns, but yet they don’t seem to want the over 400,000 children who are desperate for homes right now. They also don’t seem to want babies born with special medical needs who often end up in foster care.

No one seems to care that most girls and women who seek abortions do so out of desperation: poverty, abuse, fear. I have never met a woman who celebrated the fact that she had one, but I have met many who were grateful that it was available — either for one of the reasons I listed above or because of a birth control failure. All of these women I know went on to have children with partners at a later time, when they were financially able to care for a child and were in a safe and stable relationship. If the initial abortion had not happened, their lives most likely would have gone down a different path and these other children would have never come into being — children who have the benefit of a stable and loving home.

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The Fat Kid, the Slippery Slope, and the Cliff

"Bill! They're putting me in foster care! How will you make THAT funny?"

Several recent ethics issues have raised the slippery slope question, which is itself a slippery slope. The rationale for any reasonable principle or act can usually be ratcheted forward in degrees until it becomes malevolent, dangerous or repugnant, including freedom, trust, loyalty, charity and honesty. Thus the easiest argument, at least for the mentally dexterous, that anything is unethical is the dreaded slippery slope.

The simple rebuttal to this is usually “let’s wait and see.” To claim that conduct is unethical for what it might lead to rather than for what it actually does is often, perhaps even usually, based on an unwarranted assumption, or a worst case scenario specifically concocted to foil otherwise unobjectionable conduct. When it is not based on an unwarranted assumption, however, is when proposed conduct or a new policy permitting it shatters a social norm or cultural standard that had previously been considered sacrosanct. In these cases, the slope isn’t merely slippery—which suggests “Be careful where you step next!”—but greased, meaning there is no longer any traction at all to stop a rapid slide to the bottom. A better cliché to use in such cases is “opening the floodgates.” Or perhaps “off a cliff.”

The recent post about the Dartmouth researchers who suggested that all manipulations of graphic images of celebrities be labeled as such is, I would argue, more floodgates than slippery slope. There is no obvious delineation point to stop the principle behind this oppressive constraint on illusion from spreading far beyond its origin. Similarly, the argument being made by the family of the mother with Stage 4 cancer that US Air is ethically obligated to refund the non-refundable tickets they could not use because of her terminal illness has no clear limits or coherent application. Are the refunds required because the mother is terminal? If she goes into remission, would the family be obligated to give the money back? What if she was only paralyzed? If the whole family was squashed by a boulder, would the airline be obligated to refund the money to their next of kin? What if the mother wounded herself terminally in a suicide attempt—would that change US Air’s supposed obligation of compassion? If so, would that mean that if the mother’s Stage 4 breast cancer occurred because she neglected to follow a physician’s recommended treatment, US Air could then refuse to refund the money without being pilloried for it? Sometimes that greased slope carries us into a swamp.

Now from Cleveland comes the story of the 200 lbs. + 8-year-old Cleveland Heights boy who has been taken from his family and placed in foster care because county case workers decided that his mother wasn’t doing enough to control his weight.  Continue reading