Amanda Marcotte did an eloquent post on the isue of “secular” anti-abortion arguments yesterday. No, she doesn’t buy it either.
So, the atheist/skeptic community is in an uproar on the subject of abortion, and since that’s kind of my jam, I figured I should weigh in. The question isn’t whether or not legal abortion is moral—outside a few kooks, nearly all non-believers are pro-choice—but whether or not those anti-abortion kooks should be indulged and given the privilege of having everyone treat their shit arguments like they have value in free-wheeling discourse, or if they should be shunned on the grounds of being shit arguments the same way anti-gay or overtly racist arguments are shunned.
I find the anti-shunning side to be peculiar, on the grounds of boredom. Yes, we should, as freethinkers, not shy away from “difficult” topics and have freewheeling discourse about them, but it’s not like anti-choicers have suddenly farted out a bunch of new crap arguments to pick apart. They’re still pooping out the same old crap argument they’ve been using for the past forty years—that an embryo or even fertilized egg that has no brain has more human rights than the woman who has been drafted into growing it against her will—that’s been debunked a million billion times.
Go ahead if you want to, she goes on, but don’t go thinking you’re advancing free thought by doing it, because that would require arguments in good faith, and that’s not what these are.
Like Kruszelnicki’s pseudo-liberal argument that if only there were more daycare and stuff like that then women would stop all this abortion horror. Oh yeah? says Amanda.
Ah, doesn’t that sound nice? We give women more opportunities to leave work early for their mothering duties and some gold-plated day care and perhaps some re-education camps (don’t say that out loud) and eventually, they will succumb to our soft coercion and know that having a baby is what they really want, like they should, because all ladies love babies—and all ladies want a baby right now because they are so cute—because they are ladies.
Well, let me just put a stop to this shit right now. You can give me gold-plated day care and an awesome public school right on the street corner and start paying me 15% more at work, and I still do not want a baby. I don’t particularly like babies. They are loud and smelly and, above all other things, demanding. No matter how much free day care you throw at women, babies are still time-sucking monsters with their constant neediness. No matter how flexible you make my work schedule, my entire life would be overturned by a baby. I like my life how it is, with my ability to do what I want when I want without having to arrange for a babysitter. I like being able to watch True Detective right now and not wait until baby is in bed. I like sex in any room of the house I please. I don’t want a baby. I’ve heard your pro-baby arguments. Glad those work for you, but they are unconvincing to me. Nothing will make me want a baby.
And we get to feel that way, and act on it, because it’s our lives, not someone else’s.