Pro-Life: The only Rational, Humanist Position on Abortion | Kal Dore


Abortion, once largely considered a settled issue by the liberal establishment, and a bone of the ‘kooky’, regressive, religious, conservative fringe of society, has once against moved into sharp focus with the Supreme Court ruling devolving Roe v Wade to state-level; almost fifty years after the initial ruling that, fallaciously, ruled that the right to terminate pregnancy was protected by the US Constitution.

The Austrian Prince, aristocrat and wordsmith, Klemens Wenzel Fürst von Metternich, famously said “When America sneezes the whole world catches a cold,” and as has been discussed in many publications and commentaries, the debates that sweep across the fifty states are rarely confined to the continental United States. Within 48 hours of the Supreme Court ruling, the predictable (and unsurprising) torrential flood of histrionic, confected outrage bombarded mobile phone screens, social media platforms, and mainstream media commentary. Unlettered comparisons to the society of the overrated ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ novel, and ineffectual screeching about sex embargoes were the order of the day – until something else drew the attention of the minds of the uncritically thinking, hyper-liberal, useful idiots. On the other hand, the ruling sparked a reassessment and discussion about the philosophical position behind both pro-life and pro-choice positions. For myself, formerly ambivalent on the topic of abortion, went through a journey in which my pro-life opinions were crystallised, and consider any individual who would call themselves a humanist, or consider themselves of even moderate moral equipment adopting a pro-choice position to be in a state of intellectual and philosophical convulsion.

Christopher Hitchens, New Atheist hero and darling of the Humanist movement, asserted famously on the abortion debates in 1988 that “I don’t think feminism should contradict humanism… I had a queasy feeling about the disposability of the foetus. This queasy feeling has not gone away” – seemingly suggesting that abortion creates a dichotomy between humanism and feminism. This was at a time when one could, if not blinkered, observe the potential danger and harm an unrestrained feminist movement could do – something unmistakable and unavoidable in our own times. As if one were looking at a specimen on a microscope under increasing magnification, one can clearly see the solipsism inherent in the feminist argument for abortion, a solipsism that flippantly employs casuistry to prioritise the ‘human’ woman over ‘the not-quite human’ foetus. Naturally, Hitchens’ position is dismissed with the same disregard as his “why women aren’t funny” article, or his support of the Iraq War. Yet, in spite of his arguments on New Atheism (of which I now have my own doubts/questions as to their utility) being considered his most morally profound, it is this position on abortion that carries the most ethical profundity and is in fact most aligned with the concern for human wellbeing he claimed was the driving force of his arguments against religion.

Naturally, the progressive man will adopt the non-confrontational position of “not commenting” or “not wanting to tell women what to do with their bodies”, illogically citing the pseudohistory of ‘patriarchy’ to excuse themselves from the debate, it is a position I myself took when I would have identified myself as being on the left, erroneously assuming that abortion is an argument solely focused on the woman’s body/rights, and all else being outside the moral sphere. Beyond this shallow sophistry, there is a serious moral dilemma that, like other contentious issues of the present-day can seemingly only be discussed in one direction. The phrase ‘moral dilemma’ is not hyperbole. According to gov.uk, between 2016 and 2021, abortions in England and Wales have skyrocketed from approximately 186,000 per year to around 215,000 as the latest recorded figure for 2021 (for the purposes of this article, I will refrain from discussing the oft-explored American figures from Planned Parenthood, nor will I veer into identitarian arguments based on these figures, or the rape rabbit hole). Alex O’Connor (better known as CosmicSkeptic- he opts for the Americanised spelling), in a discussion now removed from YouTube (possibly because of the furore caused by a particularly secular pro-life position being propagated), posed the question “…What if the pro-lifers are right? What if the Catholics are right?”, going on to suggest that if the pro-life position is valid, we must contemplate that we have committed the equivalent of a holocaust on the unborn. The fact that there is uncertainty, even on the term limit for abortion, makes such an observation valid, and makes abortion one of the moral questions of our time. Immanuel Kant observed that “Morality is not properly the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness”, and such a truism precludes solipsistic considerations of self-satisfaction inherent to the pro-choice position, and therefore a serious consideration must be undertaken as to the wellbeing and rights of the unborn.

This article was published in Regime Change. To continue reading, buy a copy here.

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