Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Support the Culture of Life or We'll Kill You

A number of my wingnut conspecifics claim to have consistent principles and to adhere to a “culture of life”. They oppose abortion except in cases where the life of the mother is threatened; however, they also support the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and are apologists for military actions that result in collateral damage. So far, none has been able to reconcile these views with the so-called “culture of life” or to establish an internal consistency.

I strongly suspect that their antiabortion stance has less to do with protecting the unborn than with punishing non-procreative sex. How at risk must a woman be before it would be acceptable to have an abortion? Must her risk of death exceed 50%? Should she be required to assume a risk of death of 10% or 5% despite her own wishes? There is always some risk in pregnancy, and antiabortionists are willing to coerce women into assuming at least that baseline risk. Most of the ones I know are willing to force women to assume a much higher level of risk, say on the order of 75%. Otherwise, it isn’t really self defense, they argue.

But when it comes to soldiers (and even policemen in some instances), the same wingnuts claim that they should not be required to assume any additional risk in order to avoid killing children and other noncombatants during military operations. It is entirely acceptable to firebomb an entire neighborhood and kill scores of children in order to kill some of the “enemy” so that troops will not be put at additional risk. Under this reasoning, even the avoidance of the remotest risk counts as self defense.

As I see it, the main difference in the two scenarios is that the military situation does not necessarily involve sex. Oh, and the soldiers are men, not women. Evidently, men have more leeway to defend themselves than women, and it would be wrong to second guess men on their choices.

This is one of the main reasons that I don’t believe womb control advocates really believe that embryos are people. They just want to control wombs, and the "embryos are people" argument is a cynical ploy.

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