I was over at Legal Fiction debating abortion, and happened to stumble upon this post by the normally timorous Kevin Drum: In any case, I'm with Lamott. I don't think nonviable fetuses are human beings. Terminating them doesn't bother me, and it's none of my business anyway. For all I care, women are free to use abortion as their standard method of birth control if they want to. Nor do I really care much if we reduce the abortion rate in America. Safe and legal is good enough for me. I don't think abortion is a morally ambiguous issue, I don't think getting one should be an emotionally traumatic experience, and no, speaking as a husband, I don't think husbands should have any legal say in the matter.And this totally surprised me, as Drum is normally moderate to a fault. But I guess there really are two Drums and the butch Drum came out today.
The only thing I disagree with is his suggestion afterwards that this is a bad position politically. He always sucks at politics and he's wrong here too. Because I think that this is a good political position; both in the short-term and the long-term. I understand that the world isn't "black v. white" but sometimes it really is best to take a strong stand on something; and I think they're kicking our ass in the gray area we want to live in. And you know, fuck it, I'm not so sure there really is a gray area here, besides the one we were always trying to avoid politically. And it just made us sound wishy-washy and weak; while undermining the very case we were trying to save.Sure, I don't want some woman aborting a baby one day before the due date; but I think that's just a stupid scenario that we don't really need to worry about. Sure, it might happen. But we also have women flushing newborns down the toilet and leaving them in the trash. And maybe that wouldn't have happened, had they felt better about abortion back when it was a gobbily-gook nothing bit of cells. Life is a messy place and we're just fooling ourselves if we spend all our time trying to clean up all the gray areas.
And to me, that goes for parental abortion laws too. I’m totally against them. If you’re old enough to be a parent, then you’re old enough to decide not to be one. Or the converse: If someone isn’t old enough to decide to have an abortion; then they certainly aren’t old enough to be a parent. I just don’t see how that doesn’t make sense. My wife and I are relatively mature and responsible adults, and yet parenting is an incredibly difficult task that only seems to get harder each day. This is not something that we should thrust onto people, particularly if we don’t think they’re mature enough to make adult decisions. And again, this is a case where we could be ruining people’s lives; simply because we want to stay in the gray area for political reasons.
Overall, I think it’s often best to take a strong stand; and I see no reason why we shouldn’t take this one. It’s better politics than what we were going for before, and it matches our policy goals better too. I don’t want somebody to opt out of an abortion simply because of conservative peer-pressure; and so this is the position we should take. There is nothing wrong with abortion.