There’s this website called The Irish Catholic, where you can read a guy called John Waters explaining how horrible women are. He starts with a little thought experiment by someone else.
‘What is the difference, in human rights terms, between a situation in which a distraught male goes in to his doctor and says that his partner is making him suicidal and that he fears that unless he/she (the doctor) arranges to have the partner killed he will kill himself, and a situation in which a distraught female goes to her doctor and says that her unborn child is making her suicidal and that she fears that unless he/she (the doctor) arranges to have the child killed she will kill herself?”
I received this single-sentence letter last week from a reader, who had sent it out to several newspapers in the previous week, in a fruitless bid to have it published.
The letter is interesting, and the refusal to publish it equally so. But even more interesting is the emotions I intuit it to generate in the average reader, who, if he or she is anything like me, will instantly comprehend why it was not published, and may even be inclined to feel that the intuited reasons for its non-publication are, at the very least, not entirely outrageous. In other words, something about the proposition contained in that sentence seems unreasonable, and this sense of its unreasonableness is probably very widely shared, if not universally held. Even people who consider themselves ‘pro-life’ will stop somewhat short of endorsing the comparison made in the letter, perhaps feeling it to withhold sympathy from the ‘distraught female’ referred to. And yet, if you think that an unborn child is a full human being from the moment of conception, there is no wiggle-room, and no absurdity in the question above, because there can be no moral distinction between the idea of killing an adult woman and killing an unborn child.
No, that’s not “interesting.” None of that is “interesting.” It’s disgusting, but it’s not interesting.
You don’t get to “think” that a fertilized egg is a full human being. You don’t get to “think” that a cat is a dandelion or that a corn muffin is a luxury yacht. You don’t get to think that one thing is a completely different thing. You don’t get to treat obvious nonsense as a reasonable claim. A fertilized egg, even a fertilized human egg, is simply not a full human being. It’s something that will over time develop into a full human being (unless there is a miscarriage or abortion), but that isn’t the same thing as actually being the thing it will develop into. A marigold seed is not a “full” marigold. A newly-laid eagle egg is not a “full” eagle. Catholics don’t get to make up their own ontology just because they’ve been pumped full of dogmatic “beliefs” by a guild of celibate men.
Waters says a lot more and ends up with his explanation of why women seek abortions.
There is no reason to assume that a pregnancy ought to be anything other than a source of joy to the woman involved. In the vast majority of the very limited number of cases in which this is not so, the factors underlying the difficulty usually relate not to objective circumstances but to either intuited societal disapproval or selfishness on the part of the woman involved.
I wonder if John Waters has ever actually met any human beings.