Introduction to the pro-abortion position.


This is the first entry in the Pro-Abortion series. The following master list of entries will be linked as each entry is published:

Introduction to the pro-abortion position. (this entry)
“No one is for abortion!” (01/09)
Anti-Abortion Q&A [part 1] (01/15), [part 2] (01/17), [part 3] (01/19)
Secret Confessions: How great is it to have a child? (01/25)
Can one be an anti-abortion atheist? (02/01)
The humbug of “reproductive rights”… (02/07)
The humbug of the fetal right to life… (02/13)
Body ownership is semantic gobbledygook. (02/19)
Do women have a right to make medical decisions on abortion? (02/25)
Is abortion murder?: a comedy of errors. [part 1] (03/01), [part 2] (03/03)
Pro-choice and anti-abortion: what they have in common. (03/09)
Choice-talk, if taken literally, is invalid. [part 1] (03/15), [part 2] (03/17)
Defining tyranny within the abortion issue. [part 1] (03/23), [part 2] (03/25)
The Prime Directive is not just for show… (04/01)
Why be pro-abortion? [part 1] (04/07), [part 2] (04/09)
“Childbirth is our purpose!” (04/15)
Abortion: the endgame. [part 1] (04/21), [part 2] (04/23)

Epilogue:
Abortion is only one part of the problem: so is PIV. (04/29)


(before you complain, I did not coerce any children to wear this: it’s a virtual model from Zazzle. You may buy this, or any other design I made, at my antinatalism Zazzle store)

Antinatalism sheds a unique light on the issue of abortion. It provides the basis for the only consistent position on abortion, the pro-abortion position. Some people who are both concerned with personal freedom and with social well-being become disillusioned with the pro-choice arguments but do not know of the alternative. For this reason, I think it needs to be discussed in detail, and a series of entries, starting with this introduction, will be published addressing various facets of the abortion issue as seen from a developed pro-abortion perspective.

The pro-abortion position can be described most simply as the position that, for any given pregnancy, abortion should be the default (and, by extension, that childbirth should be the exception). This position can be derived in a number of ways, but, as far as I know, the best way to derive it has been from antinatalism, which, in all its forms, implies the duty to abort. If antinatalism is correct and it is wrong to start new lives, then pregnant women have a duty to abort. Of course, this may be false in specific cases if a more important or pressing ethical imperative presents itself, but that goes without saying for any ethical principle.

That being said, there are many reasons why a person might be, or become, pro-abortion. An obvious one (and one which I have observed) is disappointment with the pro-choice corollary that parents can choose to start defective human lives. Another might be opposition to an evil social order (as every human life born in the West entails more economic subjection of people in the Second and Third World). Another is being a Buddhist (if you believe that every part of life is permeated with suffering, then you have a strong reason not to produce new lives). There may also be many other reasons I am not aware of.

The anti-abortion1 position is, as you can imagine, pretty much the opposite of the pro-abortion position. The simplest way to define it is to say that for any given pregnancy, childbirth should be the default (and, by extension, that abortion should be the exception, although some anti-abortion people believe there are no such exceptions).

The pro-choice position is that the default should be freedom for the woman to choose between childbirth and abortion (again, with some exceptions). It can be said to be a middle ground in the sense that a person may be somewhere between anti-abortion and pro-choice (refusing abortion for more conditions, such as demanding earlier time limits), or between pro-choice and pro-abortion (demanding abortion for more conditions, such as the level of expected debilitation of the future child); however, it is not a middle ground in terms of justification.

What I mean by this is that, while the anti-abortion position argues that abortion is criminal, and the pro-abortion position argues that childbirth is criminal, the pro-choice position is not a balance of these two considerations. In fact, the pro-choice position doesn’t partake of either of them at all, or if it does, only as an exception. Rather, the pro-choice position argues on what may be called voluntaryist grounds: the woman “owns her body” (a nonsensical concept) and as such has the “reproductive right” (another nonsensical concept) to decide whether to abort or give birth.

So the pro-choice position is closer to an agnostic position, with anti-abortion being like theism (pro-imposition of harm) and pro-abortion being like atheism (anti-imposition of harm). The agnostic doesn’t claim knowledge about the existence of gods, and the pro-choice advocate doesn’t claim knowledge about what is right or wrong in abortion matters (except, of course, that anyone who makes claims about right or wrong in abortion matters is automatically wrong). The pro-choice advocate doesn’t take sides on ethics, but only puts forward the concept of choice.

My analogy does break down. Unlike the theist-agnostic-atheist concepts, where an atheist can be agnostic or not, and a theist can be agnostic or not, you can’t be pro-choice and anti-abortion, or pro-choice and pro-abortion. The three positions exclude each other.

My pro-abortion position is both opposed to the pro-choice position and to the anti-abortion position. This will be no surprise to the anti-abortion advocates, as I have made no secret of being against Christianity and its ethics (not that the Bible is on their side about abortion), but some pro-choice advocates will no doubt berate me for attacking their arguments during this series, and argue that I am really one of them; but this would be a complete misunderstanding. As I think my entries will prove, the pro-choice arguments are as fallacious as the anti-abortion arguments. The pro-choice and the anti-abortion positions are both frankly ridiculous and make no sense.

Finally, I want to clarify some potential misconceptions before they come up. The pro-abortion position is not an outgrowth of the pro-choice position, neither does it share any of its premises or arguments, so addressing pro-choice arguments is not a refutation of the pro-abortion position. The pro-choice movement may have helped structure the acceptance of abortion, but it is no longer necessary.

The pro-abortion position is also not related to the childfreedom movement. Childfreedom advocates can be anti-abortion, pro-choice or pro-abortion; there’s no correlation between not wanting children and being for or against abortion.

Another objection to this whole enterprise is that, as a man, I have no business interfering in abortion policies, which concern only women. I would agree if we were only talking about abortion, but since new children do affect society as a whole in many profound ways and puts economic and social demands on everyone, including men (and no, I am not talking about alimony or anything like that), policies which allow or demand childbirth most definitely concern everyone.

By attacking the pro-choice position, I make myself the enemy of (non-radical, fun-fem) feminists, but I don’t think it’s fair to say that I have no right to say it based on being categorized male. My primary objective is to destroy logical fallacies, not tell women what to do; the policy issues are mainly a consequence of the bad logic, not vice-versa. I think it is everyone’s business, not just women’s business, to attack logical fallacies, especially when they are used as arguments to justify policies. If I am telling people what to do, it is primarily telling people to stop using absurdly fallacious arguments to argue their position.

I hope you enjoy this series. In the meantime, also check out Sister Y’s entry Five Reasons to Have an Abortion.



1 This is a note on the label “anti-abortion.” I will not dignify the anti-abortion position by calling it the pro-life position, since it has nothing to do with protecting life and has little to do with promoting life. Besides, I don’t think anti-abortion advocates are going to complain about this, since they are, factually, against abortion, so I am not misrepresenting their position.

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56 thoughts on “Introduction to the pro-abortion position.

  1. Francois Tremblay January 6 2012 at 2:37 Reply

    Anyone who objects to the commenting policy, please do so in the proper entry:
    http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/commenting-rule-for-the-pro-abortion-series/

    All comments made on entries in the series proper that do not follow the rules will be deleted.

  2. David Gendron January 6 2012 at 11:13 Reply

    Spina-bifiDa.

    My position about it is somewhat an hybrid between pro-choice and pro-abortion. On an ethical sense, I’m pro-abortion. We should promote the principle, especially in the current statist-capitalist state of affairs (I don’t think I would be necessarily an anti-natalist in an Anarchist setting, even if I don’t think anti-natalism would be irrelevant even in this new setting, though), that all women should undergo abortion when they’re pregnant (and It’s the first time that I say something like this because of you).

    But on a positive sense, I’m pro-choice because I would not support any authority who would decide to make abortion compulsory. (however, I support the idea to have “pro-abortion communities” in an Anarchist setting).

    So my answer to your second question is infinity. And I’d rather prefer a state who would make abortion compulsory than a Ron-Paul-wet-dreams-state who bans abortion or than a state who promotes procreation and parenting with the use of violence like we have currently.

    But at this reformulated question:

    “What maximum number of children afflicted with spina bifida/Tay-Sachs/leukemia/cancer/Downs Syndrome/etc a year born under a pro-choice scheme do you consider a fair and just tradeoff to prevent the distress of women who would be force by an authority with violence to undergo abortion?

    , my answer is zero, because compsulsory abortions by political means would be detrimental to everyone’s freedom.

  3. David Gendron January 6 2012 at 11:22 Reply

    And I would strongly support a State who would decide to ban birth delivery in its public hospitals.

  4. David Gendron January 6 2012 at 11:42 Reply

    “and no, I am not talking about alimony or anything like that”

    I think you should talk about child support because of this:

    1) Women can opt out to child support. They can even force their rape-victim man to bring child support.

    2) Men can’t opt out like this.

    http://clarissasblog.com/2011/08/07/rape-victims-and-child-support/

  5. David Gendron January 6 2012 at 13:37 Reply

    Oops, I’m stupid. My answer is zero to your question, and infinity for my question. Not the converse.

    So, you could ban me for this, in fact! ;)

  6. David Gendron January 6 2012 at 13:39 Reply

    So, I correct my comment:

    My position about it is somewhat an hybrid between pro-choice and pro-abortion. On an ethical sense, I’m pro-abortion. We should promote the principle, especially in the current statist-capitalist state of affairs (I don’t think I would be necessarily an anti-natalist in an Anarchist setting, even if I don’t think anti-natalism would be irrelevant even in this new setting, though), that all women should undergo abortion when they’re pregnant (and It’s the first time that I say something like this because of you).

    But on a positive sense, I’m pro-choice because I would not support any authority who would decide to make abortion compulsory. (however, I support the idea to have “pro-abortion communities” in an Anarchist setting).

    So my answer to your second question is zero. And I’d rather prefer a state who would make abortion compulsory than a Ron-Paul-wet-dreams-state who bans abortion or than a state who promotes procreation and parenting with the use of violence like we have currently.

    But at this reformulated question:

    “What maximum number of children afflicted with spina bifida/Tay-Sachs/leukemia/cancer/Downs Syndrome/etc a year born under a pro-choice scheme do you consider a fair and just tradeoff to prevent the distress of women who would be force by an authority with violence to undergo abortion?

    , my answer is inifinity, because compsulsory abortions by political means would be detrimental to everyone’s freedom.

    • David Gendron January 6 2012 at 13:40 Reply

      And I would strongly support a State who would decide to ban birth delivery in its public hospitals or even in its public health system globally, unless some “medical exception”.

    • Francois Tremblay January 6 2012 at 16:16 Reply

      If you’re more pro-abortion than any other position, you don’t have to answer any question. So technically you don’t fall under the purview of the rules. You confused the fuck out of me, though.

      • David Gendron January 9 2012 at 6:52 Reply

        Sorry.

        I’ll follow you to more articulate my position on this topîc.

        • Francois Tremblay January 9 2012 at 6:56 Reply

          You might want to hold on before doing that… as you can see, I have a shitton of material coming.

          • David Gendron January 9 2012 at 7:01

            I’ll read all this. Maybe after this, I would have a more precise position on this.

  7. Pro-abortion « Cubik's Rube January 8 2012 at 13:30 Reply

    [...] Well, that’s where you’re wrong. [...]

  8. David Gendron January 9 2012 at 14:20 Reply

    My position about it is somewhat an hybrid between pro-choice and pro-abortion. On an ethical sense, I’m pro-abortion. We should promote the principle, especially in the current statist-capitalist state of affairs (I don’t think I would be necessarily an anti-natalist in an Anarchist setting, even if I don’t think anti-natalism would be irrelevant even in this new setting, though), that all women should undergo abortion when they’re pregnant.

    But on a positive sense, I’m pro-choice because I would not support any authority who would decide to make abortion compulsory. (however, I support the idea to have “pro-abortion communities” in an Anarchist setting).

    I’d rather prefer a state who would make abortion compulsory than a Ron-Paul-wet-dreams-state who bans abortion or than a state who promotes procreation and parenting with the use of violence like we have currently.

    Also, I would strongly support a State who would decide to ban birth delivery in its public hospitals or even in its public health system globally, unless some “medical exception”.

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  31. Heretic July 10 2014 at 21:18 Reply

    I’m pro-abortion. The position doesn’t speak to me of preventing people from having children; there are plenty of children available and it’s called adoption. Nobody complains they’re being prevented from driving by having to take a driving test, so for the same reason I would argue that (in a sustainable world, that is) people go through a qualification just like adopted parents do – though this is unpopular. If radfems are against men like you discussing issues that directly affect women and their bodies, why don’t they stop tip-toeing around people’s feelings about “choice” and “self-ownership” just because the concepts are popular? I see this as a problem with radical feminism because it is turning into liberal feminism with this choice politics talk preventing criticism of everything but the sex industry and gender. I mean, we don’t own our bodies, we inhabit them, so saying we own them implies there is a dissociation happening and obviates abortion as a health issue (for the woman’s body, her life, the world, etc.) Conservative men of course don’t care about choice, and I suspect liberal men doesn’t really either; they care about abortion because it too allows them to stake a claim over a woman’s body. Thus the liberal men enjoy the “self-ownership” concept. Women will often say they are “choosing” but either way it’s something expected of them. Like, married women will tend to have children and prostituted ones, abortion. But if abortion is required to save a mother’s life, then it’s not a choice either.

    I wanted to ask you what you mean by this – can you clarify as to how it’s possible to be childfree and anti-abortion? “Childfreedom advocates can be anti-abortion, pro-choice or pro-abortion; there’s no correlation between not wanting children and being for or against abortion.”

    • Francois Tremblay July 10 2014 at 21:38 Reply

      I’m not sure what you mean. Childfreedom just means you have no children and don’t want any. It doesn’t contradict any position on abortion, although obviously childfree people tend to be more on the pro-choice or pro-abortion side.

      • Heretic July 10 2014 at 21:42 Reply

        Okay, so it’s not the same thing as antinatalism, then? And can antinatalists adopt?

        • Francois Tremblay July 10 2014 at 21:56 Reply

          “Okay, so it’s not the same thing as antinatalism, then?”
          Well no, but there’s no inherent contradiction between childfreedom and antinatalism either (see my latest entry for the explanation).

          “And can antinatalists adopt?”
          Yes. Antinatalists can even have their own children, given that some of them have had children before they became antinatalists (e.g. Jim Crawford). Of course having children AFTER becoming an antinatalist would be… dubious, to say the least.

          • Heretic July 10 2014 at 23:29

            Thanks! I was just discussing this with a man who supports radfems saying he questions the “intelligence level” of antinatalists and there were like 2 women with the same sentiment, until me and a bunch of other radfems came in and gave our two cents; they even seemed pretty supportive of antinatalism in general. Cleared up some assumptions like conflating antinatalism and eugenics, too.

        • Francois Tremblay July 10 2014 at 23:33 Reply

          “Thanks! I was just discussing this with a man who supports radfems saying he questions the “intelligence level” of antinatalists and there were like 2 women with the same sentiment, until me and a bunch of other radfems came in and gave our two cents; they even seemed pretty supportive of antinatalism in general.”
          Huh. I didn’t know there was any awareness of antinatalism in the radfem community.

          “Cleared up some assumptions like conflating antinatalism and eugenics, too.”
          …?? That’s a new one, even for me.

          • Heretic July 10 2014 at 23:40

            Same here, and I haven’t seen the few vocal childfree radfems bring it up. That initial response was kind of typical, considering just childfree get hostility for suggesting that motherhood enslaves women. But it was on a friend’s Facebook wall and not Tumblr, so there was no mudslinging. They all seemed pretty new to it, and the radfems understood it as opposing all the horrors and suffering of our natalist culture.

          • Heretic July 10 2014 at 23:45

            Re: your abortion and PIV post — “the other side’s arguments are basically sophisticated versions of “me feel good when stick pee-pee in pussy, me big dick, me make baby, baby good” and “me feel good when pee-pee is in pussy, me ‘modern woman’,” because this is basically what the PIV discussions reduce themselves to.” LMAO! This is even more ridiculous than,”Me Tarzan, you Jane!”

        • Francois Tremblay July 10 2014 at 23:46 Reply

          I would think that very few radfem would be in favor of motherhood to begin with. I actually searched for positive mentions of motherhood and I didn’t get any feminist results. I know there is some Gaia woman-worshipping stuff floating around that has motherhood as part of it.

        • Francois Tremblay July 10 2014 at 23:53 Reply

          “Re: your abortion and PIV post — “the other side’s arguments are basically sophisticated versions of “me feel good when stick pee-pee in pussy, me big dick, me make baby, baby good” and “me feel good when pee-pee is in pussy, me ‘modern woman’,” because this is basically what the PIV discussions reduce themselves to.” LMAO! This is even more ridiculous than,”Me Tarzan, you Jane!””
          I dunno, have you ever read any better arguments than that? :)

          • Heretic July 10 2014 at 23:56

            No, I just really love the Pidgin English version :-D OMG, you should hear this argument for prostitution, it goes like: “sex is a need and a health issue! prostitutes help alleviate men’s dick SUFFERING!”

        • Francois Tremblay July 10 2014 at 23:58 Reply

          Yea I know, men and their blue balls amirite. Because that’s totally real.

  32. Heretic July 10 2014 at 23:53 Reply

    There is the natural birth movement/orgasmic birth/doulas and all that hippie stuff, and the occasional radfem doula rebelling against the medical establishment, but they are skeptic towards that too (both are male-dominated anyway, I think) with some news of infant/mother deaths at the hands of doulas or midwives. They point out that women are oppressed on the basis of reproductive capacity, as the primary root of oppression from which everything else proceeds. I wonder if they became radfem after they had children.

  33. Heretic July 11 2014 at 0:03 Reply

    Makes me almost want to say,”I can MAKE that happen, you know” (by kicking them)

    • Francois Tremblay July 11 2014 at 0:06 Reply

      There’s a greater chance of balls turning blue from a kick than from not having sex, I’d think. Since any chance is greater than zero.

      • Heretic July 11 2014 at 0:10 Reply

        I’m still laughing over here about your natalism posts. Like, in “mankind must perpetuate!” you put a note about people first reading before responding and then,”I’ve recently turned around in favor of human extinction,” I took it as the one following from the other. :-D

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