Abortion? The Progressive in Me Squirms…and Kicks

Read All About It: John Shirley Treads on Line of Political Correctness And perhaps Blunders Across It…

I, the usually lock-step progressive, hereby risk offending my progressive peers: I assert that I do not necessarily support all abortions. I *strongly* support the right to *first* trimester abortions. But after that, it seems to me, a case by case examination of the issues may be necessary.

Yes, even my wife may be annoyed at me for this: I’m not comfortable with every last abortion which takes place after the first trimester. I am not certain some should be permitted. (This has been my view for at least 20 years.) The ideal abortion would happen when there is naught but a mere fertilized egg, a zygote. But even after that, a less than ideal abortion could reasonably take place, in my view, as it appears, from what I’ve read, that while there is some brain development in the first trimester there is as yet an incomplete nervous system, and pain transmission would seem non-existent or minimal.

However, if the brain and nervous system necessary for transmitting pain is significantly developed in the fetus, as in the second trimester, an abortion seems cruel to the fetal organism; the fetus at that point is capable of suffering during the abortion. Even then, if the child is badly deformed in a way that makes its life unfeasible, then that’s a reason, perhaps, to abort–if it’s late term it should be anesthetized first, within the womb, before abortion…After the first trimester, we can also ask, does the birth in some way risk the mother’s life? Then, if caesarian is not an option, let the fetus be aborted. Was the pregnancy the product of a rape? Then if she wishes, let it be aborted if she feels really strongly about it, though I’d prefer it were carried to term and adopted out.

In sum, I always felt medically safe abortions were quite acceptable in the first trimester, without interference from anyone; after that, in my view, it becomes a more complex issue–is the fetal brain developed, can the fetus suffer during the abortion? Neither a micro fetus nor a fertilized egg is a being equipped to suffer.

Putative souls are not part of my reasoning on this issue. If pressed, I assert that *if* souls exist and if the fetus or zygote *has* a soul, then, being a spiritual entity, said soul will go safely back whence it came and presumably God will reassign it. Souls, to me, are not the issue as souls are not proven to exist; brains, with their concomitant capability of extreme suffering, are known to exist–even if not everyone puts theirs to much use. One thing we can all do, once we’ve been born, is suffer…and we suffer quite enough.

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