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.