I really like to assume the best of everyone, even people I disagree with.
And I try hard to take what opponents say, at their word.
But sometimes it’s hard..
A lot of people who favor forced childbirth for pregnant women say that they believe that an abortion, even early in pregnancy, is identical to child murder. Have an abortion, shoot a four-year-old in the head; morally, it’s the same. Or, anyhow, that’s what they claim to believe.
In contrast, pro-choicers tend to think that the abortion criminalization movement is motivated by a desire – perhaps an unconscious desire – to punish women for having sex.
I used to reject that latter view as a pointless ad hominem attack. Nowadays, I’m not so sure. Although I’ve met some rank-and-file “pro-lifers” whose policy preferences were consistent with a belief that a fetus is morally indistinguishable from a child, those folks usually have policy preferences which are totally out of step with the abortion criminalization movement as a whole.
In contrast, the leaders of the abortion criminalization movement have consistently put their political weight behind policies which make little or no sense if they genuinely think that abortion is identical to child murder. And those same leaders routinely endorse policies that make a lot of sense if their goal is to penalize women who have sex – to, as I’ve heard many of them put it, make sure women “face the consequences” of having sex. And they’ve done so with the apparent backing and blessing of the vast majority of the rank and file. Let’s review:
Almost none of their policies make sense if they really see no difference between the death of a fetus and the death of a four-year-old. However, nearly all their policies make sense if they’re seeking to make sure that women who have sex “face the consequences.” are punished. After years of seeing this pattern repeated again and again, it’s difficult to take them at their word.