In discussing the Dobbs decision with Twitter leftists, I have noticed something unusual: if you got all of your abortion information from them, you wouldn’t even know that a second life (besides the life of the mother) is part of the equation. Many of them treat the decision to have an abortion as if it were a trivially easy issue about making your own health decisions, having no more moral significance than clipping your toenails.
It’s very common for them to refer to abortion as nothing more than an uncomplicated personal health care decision. It is a health care decision, but a unique one that involves another life. The Twitter leftists act like the baby is nothing more than an unwanted parasite, as if the mother played no part in its having arrived in her body. In their view, she just had bad luck, like getting struck by lightning.
The most obvious way to demonstrate the flaw in this position is to realize that, if you take it seriously, the mother may have a doctor stab her perfectly healthy baby in the head with a pair of scissors a week before the normal delivery date. She may do this on a whim, simply because she does not wish to continue “hosting” the “parasite” in her body.
I support an exception to anti-abortion laws for early-term abortions that are the product of rape. I would try to persuade a woman impregnated by a rapist to have the baby, but I would not have the state force her to do so, when she never took any voluntary action that she knew could result in pregnancy.
But if you chose to have sex, you knew that pregnancy was a possibility. You made a choice, and now another life is involved. To say the mother can end that life, unilaterally, even on a whim, at any point in the pregnancy, regardless of the baby’s health, strikes me as a morally monstrous position.
A popular one — on Twitter, at least (David French compares reading through the abortion comments on Twitter to taking a stroll through Berkeley). But monstrous nevertheless.