Abortion and Puppies

Ezra Klein has a thoughtful post on the abortion debate entitled, “Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Puppies!?”

While he agrees with Digby that, intellectually, it makes little sense to argue that life begins at exception but abortion is nonetheless okay in the cases of rape and incest, this does not make abortion foes hypocrites. Instead, it just shows that most people don’t have black and white views of issues. For most people,

The fetus . . . is a quasihuman, analogous to dogs or cats. Either animal, when kept as a pet, gets anthropomorphized to a rather absurd degree, attaining rights we don’t grant to other animals but not quite reaching the human degree. Thus we enact animal cruelty laws but allow euthanasia in case of abandonment. We believe the animal shouldn’t be hurt, but if no one gives it a home, society is happy to kill it.

While many pro-lifers will object strenuously to the idea that human fetuses are “analogous to dogs or cats,” I nonetheless think this is an apt metaphor for most non-ideologues. [Maybe it’s because of the new puppy. -ed.] Most of the people who count themselves as pro-choice are, unlike the die-hard NARAL types, not objectively pro-abortion. The reason Bill Clinton’s “safe, legal, and rare” mantra worked so well is because most people are somewhere in that middle ground.

For my part, I object to abortion even in the cases of rape and incest. I am willing to make the legal exception for those cases purely in practical terms: It gets us past a rather silly hurdle and applies to an exceedingly small number of abortions.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. ken says:

    James, does the rapist have to be convicted in a court of law before the victim gets your permission to exercise her rights?

    If not then every time a women wants an abortion all she has to do is say she was raped?

  2. James Joyner says:

    She would presumably have to file a police report, have a rape kit run on her at a hospital, and provide plausible evidence. So, a woman who is a couple weeks pregnant and missed her period would have a hard time qualifying post hoc.

  3. Bithead says:

    ….life begins at exception?

  4. ken says:

    She would presumably have to file a police report, have a rape kit run on her at a hospital, and provide plausible evidence. So, a woman who is a couple weeks pregnant and missed her period would have a hard time qualifying post hoc.

    So tough shit, and thank you James Joyner, eh?

    You are too dismissive a very basic human right James. You, and the government, have no right to turn a citizen into a ‘project’ whose body you control.

    If you believe abortions are immoral, then by all means, never have one; likewise divorce, eating pork, dancing or worshipping Satan. You can even proselytize till your little conservative hearts content trying to convince others to follow your moral code. What you may not do is prevent people forcibly or otherwise from exercise of their human rights.

  5. G A PHILLIPS says:

    I got one for you how about “pro-nevergonnagetachoice”?

  6. Ben There says:

    With the multitude of preganancy prevention methods available, any woman who knowingly
    becomes pregnant without desiring a pregnancy
    is too stupid to be a mother.

    I am concerned for the welfare of the unborn child. Will it lead a life of resentment and abuse delivered by a mother who resents and
    harms the child she never wanted?

    I do believe many of the child abuse cases
    spring from unwanted children.

    . .

  7. G A PHILLIPS says:

    So we should murder the unborn because the mother is stupid? Dude why? And you liberals call us Christians and Conservatives, Nazi? what can we do about unwanted liberals, gee, I know, I’ll go get my U.S. Constitution and look up abortion, be right back……………..Dang’ Its not in there, any where. OH, I forgot, you have to be a liberal to read those parts that where written in invisible donkey-blood ink. I guess ill have to go back to my silly old bible and do what I can to care for the sick and the suffering and pray for the soon to be dead and thrown away.

  8. arky says:

    “For my part, I object to abortion even in the cases of rape and incest. I am willing to make the legal exception for those cases purely in practical terms: ”

    Really, isn’t any woman having an abortion also making an exception on practical terms (albeit her own…)?

    “I’m against arbitrarily ending human life even in the cases of abortion and euthanasia. I am willing to make the legal exception for those cases purely in practical terms: “