Abortion debate should get real and get rid of false semantics

By Jason Lewis

Normally when people disagree, they take up two opposite sides of the issue on which they disagree. People who were in favor of the retaining the Chief as our university’s mascot, for example, were pro-Chief and those opposed were anti-Chief. Why is it, then that each side of the abortion issue is allowed to be “pro.” It gives the impression that they have no idea what they are fighting about. In the event that this is the case, and people are just confused about the issue, I thought I might help clarify the matter.

The pro-life movement, closely associated with the anti-choice movement, consists of people who think that life, in undefined (and therefore limitless) forms, is worth preserving at all costs. The only cost that might exclude life from being worth preserving is the risk of losing the life of the mother, or the risk of introducing a baby produced from rape into the world.

Some zealous pro-lifers feel the importance of life on every level so deeply that they demonstrate their position in the only way that makes sense: killing people. The murder of abortionists is a clear demonstration of pro-life’s involvement in this debate. However, it would be negligent of me not to mention the pro-lifers’ allies, the anti-choicers.

One of the biggest features of the anti-choice movement is the issue of accountability. No choice means one does not make any decisions, and if one’s not making the decisions, well, one mustn’t be held at fault. Instead, God frequently shoulders the blame. In the absence of religious beliefs, an anti-choicer might blame fate or the cosmos. But regardless of who is responsible for, say, a leaky condom, an anti-choicer maintains that, and can possibly be comforted by, the fact that they can’t do anything about it.

The pro-choice movement is made up of people who think that a person’s freedom to choose what gets done with and inside their body is inalienable, and, therefore, their own. These people do not believe in implied consent that comes up in legal troubles when they are pulled over, as well as lengthy discussions about whether to accept the consequences of their copulations or not.

Being pro-choice isn’t too bad for them, either. Psychologists have shown that people live healthier, more productive lives when they feel empowered to make their own choices. With this in mind, it would seem that anti-life is the way to go as far as longevity is concerned.

But in case longevity isn’t your goal, pro-choice is still your ticket. Pro-choicers think killing a baby is OK if it is within your body, so of course they will be supportive of your choice to kill yourself. Kantians would likely agree; suicide is an innate freedom because it only directly involves yourself. Long or short, the pro-choice stance is that it is your life, so you get to choose.

All of the killing involved in the pro-choice point of view is probably what attracts the anti-lifers to their side. Anti-lifers, as one can infer, are simply against preserving life. It has been my experience that very few people actually claim to be “anti-life,” but rather simply, are not exactly “in favor of” life. Fortunately for the anti-life movement, it is covered under the umbrella of “pro-choice,” so girls will still go out with them.

Somewhere along the line, the “life” debate and the “choice” debate got mixed together. The hybrid debate that has resulted is ridiculous. The fact that there has not been any resolution on this subject should be taken as an indicator that the argument has not been well established. Only when you don’t really know what is being argued can you have so much heated discussion that yields so little progress. Now that I have outlined the four different groups involved in the two sides of the abortion issue, I hope that more productive arguing will follow.

And a small suggestion: How about reforming the matter to pro- and anti-abortion? This might weed out arguments that have nothing to do with fetuses to begin with.