Stephanie Zvan quotes Massimo Pigliucci:
To decide to get an abortion is always (or, at least, should always be) a very difficult and emotional step, precisely because it has significant ethical consequences.
Why? Philosopher, examine your assumptions.
There is no particular reason abortion should be difficult; it’s certainly less fraught than pregnancy. I could see saying that getting pregnant ought to be a difficult and emotional step — lots of commitment and responsibility involved — and that if you’ve made that decision, ending a wanted pregnancy is rightly a very difficult step. But one you don’t want? That is going to be an obstacle to living your life well? That ought to be an easy decision, except, of course, for the weight of tradition and guilt artificially imposed on us.
So don’t try to dictate how women ought to feel about abortion. The hysterics lining the walkways in front of family planning clinics, waving their bloody signs, are not representative. The patients can be casual and unconcerned as is possible for a simple outpatient procedure. Or they can be distraught and hesitant. Those are their feelings.
And what, exactly, are the
significant ethical consequences? I missed that one, too.
By a conservative estimate, 40% of conceptions end in spontaneous abortions. Should we feel concerned? Is this something to ponder as a crime against humanity? What kind of moral compromise must a woman commit in order to be rid of an undesirable pregnancy? Should we be discouraging women from getting abortions, or telling them to be ashamed for their ethical lapse?
Man, that one sentence sure contains a lot of presumption that needs to be unpacked. Maybe we need a philosopher to puzzle it all out.