Pro-choice people sometimes object to being referred to as “pro-abortion”, by those who think any artificial termination of a pregnancy is an offence against the sanctity of life.
They’re not in favour of abortion, they’ll say; they just think women have the right to choose how to treat their own bodies, particularly with regard to a fetus in the very early stages of development. It should be available as an option, but it’s less preferable than, say, forms of contraception that would have prevented the pregnancy from even occurring. But nobody’s actively pro-abortion.
Well, that’s where you’re wrong.
There’s a whole series of pro-abortion posts promised to follow this one, and I’m going to hold off any further judgment on “antinatalism” until at least a few of those have appeared. The author has an inconsistent history, of being sometimes excellent and sometimes deeply problematic.
My initial reaction, for what it’s worth, is that it undoubtedly deserves more careful consideration than it’ll likely be very widely given, and there are some sound ideas among those which motivate it. I have my doubts that all the problems which spring to mind will be satisfactorily resolved in this series of posts, but I’m going to keep reading and see if I’m won over.
It’s a staple of trite comedy routines to note that, despite the battery of background checks, personal assessments, and countless probing questions which await anyone who wants to adopt a child – or even a cat – there’s nothing stopping anyone from getting drunk and creating an entirely new life on a whim, which legally can and must become the sole responsibility of these unwilling, possibly incapable parents. Can that really be right? And if we can get past the instinctive gut reaction most people tend to have against the idea of a “parenting test”, where we insist people meet some arbitrary standard of intelligence (or whatever) before being permitted even to bear their own children… mightn’t there be some way of improving the current system?
Pro-lifers often talk about the unborn children’s rights. Antinatalism, as I understand it, questions whether we aren’t most egregiously violating these beings’ rights by bringing them into existence in the first place, given the inevitable suffering it will entail for them.
The pro-abortion posts linked to above don’t represent my own view. Like I say, I’m just going to be interested to see where they go, how persuasive I find them, and how the balance of provocative/wacky plays out.