Thursday, 19 March 2015

Harm reduction argument for abortion rejected by reader

In my last post, I published the thoughts of a reader who raised "harm reduction" as a defensible justification for abortion. I invited other readers to respond. What follows is a post, this from Advokate Life and Education Services, that critiques the harm reduction argument.

Once again I encourage readers to take advantage of the opportunity at the bottom of each post to leave comments. Let's keep this dialogue going. Thanks.


 2 thoughts on the Harm Reduction argument:

1) It's question begging.  You must assume an unborn child is, in some way, sub-human to make that argument or else the harm-reduction argument is non-sense.  By way of analogy: in the Canadian north, infanticide used to be practiced by leaving the baby out in the cold (usually females) to die of exposure.  Let's imagine that, occasionally, under severe sub-zero temperatures, hiking into a remote area to leave your baby to die would put the mother at risk and in rare cases some women actually died of exposure themselves.  Would it be reasonable to set-up facilities where women could safely leave their infant girls to die without any risk to themselves?  Absolutely not. That would be monstrous.

But that's exactly what harm reductionists are arguing for, unless they believe that an embryo or a fetus is somehow less of a human than an infant.  In that case, their argument is not one of harm reduction at all, their argument is one of the moral status of the unborn and the harm reduction argument is simply a question-begging red-herring.

2) It is an urban legend that 1000s of women were dying from illegal abortions prior to abortion's legalization. Before the advent of modern medicine, particularly penicillin, many women did die.  But it was not legalizing abortion that suddenly made them "safe", it was modern medical advances. Pro-choice lobbyists intentionally fabricated the number of women dying from illegal abortions to get the procedure legalized.  Those who assert that legalized abortion would decrease harm to women have the burden of proof.  Without controversy, legalized abortion increases harm to unborn children.  

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