Post Author: Bill Pratt
According to Dr. Wendy Savage of Doctors For A Woman’s Choice On Abortion, on a recent edition of Unbelievable?, the reason that abortion should be legal is:
- Women, throughout recorded history, have always wanted to be able to have abortions.
- Women will procure abortions whether they are legal or not.
- Illegal abortions tend to be unsafe and sometimes cause the death of the woman.
- Therefore, in order to save women’s lives, we must legalize abortions to make them safe.
Madeleine Flannagan, her opponent on the show, asked her the rather obvious question: “How does the taking of the innocent lives of millions of babies justify the prevention of the deaths of thousands of women?”
Savage’s response: “They are not babies. Before birth, they are fetuses, which are only potential human beings, not actual human beings.”
Flannagan: “What is your argument to show that they are only potential human beings instead of actual human beings before birth?”
Savage: “The fetus relies on the mother to survive.”
Flannagan: “So does a newborn baby.”
Savage: “Nobody really knows when the fetus becomes a real human being, so we just have to trust mothers’ choices and feelings in the matter.”
Surpisingly, after making a weak attempt to argue why fetuses aren’t actual human beings, Savage punted on the whole issue and said that we just have to trust women’s feelings and instincts about this issue! Savage’s argument is that women’s feelings in this decision trump all other considerations. Women are going to have abortions, so we might as well make them legal so the abortions are done properly.
I was stunned that Savage seemed to believe that the question of the rights of the fetus was almost completely irrelevant. She repeatedly said that she was a pragmatist on abortion and that she had not developed any real position on when a fetus becomes a human being with a right to life. For her, it just doesn’t matter. She said several times on the show that she just trusts women to make the right decision.
It is incredible to me that a leader in the pro-abortion movement has such a weak argument for their case. If we should just legalize whatever many people are going to do anyway, then why not legalize drugs, prostitution, possession of any kind of firearm, defaulting on contracts, polluting the environment, stealing in general, insider trading, and dog fighting (I’m sure I could come up with more given more time).
Of course, none of these are nearly as serious an ethical issue as abortion, so I assume that Ms. Savage would have no problem with legalizing any of them. Absurd? Of course. But Savage’s reason for allowing abortion is absurd.