It Isn’t Hard

Recently a U.K judge ordered a mentally challenged woman to abort her child against the wishes of the woman herself, her family, and her caretaker. The decision was, mercifully, reversed – but the original sentence was still handed out by a U.K. judge.

Every single thing I said in that first sentence is entirely true. It isn’t even exaggerated. This is about as cut and dry a case of a Satanically evil judge ordering a mother execute her own, innocent child as can possibly exist. Yet for some reason every time I see the issue discussed it’s always described as a “Hard case”.

You can see where I’m going with this, of course. As the argument goes, the family is not competent enough to care for the child (in the opinion of the judge), so of course it would be better to kill the child instead. Why not adoption? Well, let’s have the judge speak:

Allowing the child to be born and then removed from the woman’s home and placed into foster care or adoption would be against the woman’s own interests, the judge concluded.

“I think [the woman] would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed [from her care],” Lieven said, because “it would at that stage be a real baby.”

Lieven clarified that the pregnancy “although real to [the woman], doesn’t have a baby outside her body she can touch.”

Ignoring the fact that this is the opinion expressed by a complete stranger and flatly denied by all of the people actually closest to the situation, do you see what else is going on here? This decision is being driven entirely by emotion.

The facts of the case are that a child is going to be killed, the family does not want the child to be killed, and the judge is ordering it done. The judge is ignoring all of those facts, particularly the humanity of the child. As she says:

“I have to operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination,” Lieven explained, arguing that her decision is in the best interest of the woman.

Whether or not the child is a human being, a basic biological fact easily verifiable through both logic and science, is left totally unaddressed in favor of whether or not the mother is, not in any physical danger, but possibly going to be made really, really sad. The reason for this is obvious – as soon as that aspect is considered, the entire case collapses into a farce. Logic, reason, and science be damned: It’s all about the feels, and not the judge’s feels, but the judge’s opinion about how sad somebody else is probably going to feel in the future.

This is not hard. I didn’t need to come up with a complex philosophical argument to work this out. This is obviously evil, Satanically, ghoulishly evil, and that anybody is pretending otherwise – pretending it’s “a difficult situation for everybody involved” – is terrifying.

The good news here is that the decision was overturned on appeal – but don’t get too cocky. Instead of an apology for the gross miscarriage of decency and justice that lead to this point and the immediate arrest and jailing of the judge who handed out the original decision, we get this:

According to Press Association reports, the judges said they would issue a full explanation of their decision at a later date, but that the circumstances of the case were “unique.”

Ah yes, the relevant point here: “Unique!” Not evil, heinous, disgusting, or a dark moment in the history of Britain. It was “unique”.

I’m sure they found it to be a very hard case. Myself, not so much.

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23 Responses to It Isn’t Hard

  1. As Lydia Mcgrew pointed out at W4 as well, for the person who believes that an unborn child is just a clump of cells this isn’t a hard case either. It’s roughly equivalent to a case where the woman needs an appendectomy and is refusing despite her doctor’s wishes.

    The only perspective from which this is a hard case is that if someone who believes that abortion is murder and yet is still sometimes justified for the sake of the mother, which is such a morally repugnant view that it’s hard to believe anyone sincerely holds it. And yet people do.

    • Even then it should be eminently syraightforward. Neither the mother or the family want it to happen. Aren’t we supposed tovbe pro-choice or something?

    • GJ says:

      which is such a morally repugnant view

      I suggest reading at least the end of Lydia’s piece. It’s not quite that straightforward for the pro choice crowd.

      What about McGrew’s own view that abortion is murder, but that mothers who kill their unborn children should never in any circumstances be held responsible for murder?

      It’s not at all straightforward for the mainstream pro-life crowd either, because it is really prochoice.

      “In 2011 she fought for the cause of at-home abortions, representing the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS)—the largest British abortion provider. In the case BPAS v Secretary of Health Lieven argued that women should be allowed to self-administer the second dose of abortion drugs at home.”

      McGrew and other mainstream pro-lifers would applaud if this succeeded.

      • McGrew and other mainstream pro-lifers would applaud if this succeeded.

        This is a blatant falsehood about her position:

        Suppose that what I’ve predicted here turned out to be wrong. Suppose that some state found, after outlawing abortion with stiff penalties for abortionists, that there were some kind of horrible, perverse, self-abortion ring for women developing in which women gave each other tips on how to have abortions (maybe involving importing illegal drugs from Canada or something) but never touched each other, so nobody could be prosecuted. Then it would make sense to say that laws really _needed_ to be enacted to address that situation, and it’s difficult to see how that could be adequately addressed without punishing the self-aborting women.

        I think she’s gravely mistaken in believing it’s almost never prudent to punish the woman, and I do think it’s gravely wrong to not see it as a matter of justice, but it’s one thing to say that abortion is murder and is never justified yet shouldn’t be prosecuted (except in very rare circumstances) and it’s quite another to say that it’s murder and yet is sometimes justified; however repugnant the former is, the latter is orders of magnitude more repugnant.

        I agree that the mainstream pro-life crowd is tacitly pro-choice (and that that is morally reprehensible), but you really need to be more careful in what you say about others. Slander is also serious business.

      • GJ says:

        Then it would make sense to say that laws really _needed_ to be enacted to address that situation, and it’s difficult to see how that could be adequately addressed without punishing the self-aborting women.

        Could you link me to where she says this? These weasel words, ‘it would make sense’, ‘it’s difficult to see otherwise blah blah’. If that’s what she believes, go ahead and say it. She admits that logic forces that way, that is not the same as her actually believing it.

        She pretends what she has to address is such a hypothetical future situation, about a ‘pill-and-advice-ring’. Women were self-aborting with hangers, brute force, and other chemical means prior to Roe, for centuries if not millennia. That she doesn’t address this is what reveals her true state of mind.

      • GJ says:

        Then it would make sense to say that laws really _needed_ to be enacted to address that situation, and it’s difficult to see how that could be adequately addressed without punishing the self-aborting women.

        As an aside, this isn’t her admitting that the women are in the wrong. She doesn’t believe that they are morally wrong, but in a situation she hopes to banish as hypothetical the murders must be stopped, so from a consequentialist point of view she concedes the logical position.

        She and other pro-life are essentially only about preventing women from legally hiring medically-trained hitmen-agents. The fact that women have been self-aborting for millennia is to be ignored or minimised by instead addressing some ‘future hypothetical’.

      • That isn’t an accurate assessment of her position. She thinks the women are morally wrong, but at the same time that they either should not or cannot be legally prosecuted.

        Remember pro-choice is a legal position, not a moral one. That doesn’t make it right or good, but it is not the same and not nearly as repugnant as believing that abortion is sometimes morally justified.

      • GJ says:

        She thinks the women are morally wrong

        I have yet to see any evidence for that, although there is plenty of weaseling to the effect that ‘it is possible that some are morally wrong’.

        Remember pro-choice is a legal position, not a moral one.

        The legal position arises from the moral position, and despite all the strawmen and excuses about ‘prudentiality’* the plain fact is that they don’t want to ascribe any moral guilt of murder to any mother ever, the most you can get is some rare admission that logically there would be guilt.

        Yes, pro-choice is a legal position, but their moral position is also pretty clear, that women who procure abortions are categorically morally innocent victims.

        *The weaseling is exposed in Zippy’s post and the comments

      • Zippy himself explicitly said that many pro-choices both believe that abortion is morally wrong and that certain actors in an abortion shouldn’t be prosecuted (or lots of qualification with the ability to prosecute). That is clearly Lydia’s position, as she has both explicitly stated she believes it to be wrong.

        I’m not denying that she weasels to avoid an inescapable conclusion, or that she’s probably over-sympathetic to the woman, but she clearly believes abortion to be morally wrong, that it is murder.

      • GJ says:

        Also see <a href="https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/an-argument-that-the-pro-life-movement-does-not-consider-women-to-be-moral-agents/ and his comments to it. There is a moral stance behind the pro-choice legal stance of the self-styled ‘pro-life’, which involves the idea that women are moral agents but some special magic suspends that fact for some special evils to the effect that there is no moral guilt for those special evils.

      • He also states this:

        https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/pro-choice-not-pro-abortion/#comment-33316

        The other problem with your analysis is that a natural reading of Lydia’s position is more along the lines of selectively disagreeing with the third premise, not the first. She also makes the case for there being circumstances that mitigate culpability for the woman (which isn’t false, though I think she overstates it by a lot).

        I’m not denying that her arguments are very logically flawed, that her position is inconsistent, but unless you have some preternatural insight into her psyche, the natural interpretation of her position is that it is inconsistent and poorly reasoned; it doesn’t mean that she would really rejoice if women gained the ability to murder their children en masse in the privacy of their homes and that she’s just pretending to be morally opposed to abortion. The claim that she would really be thrilled if women were to gain the ability to murder their children en masse even without a doctor is an exceedingly rash judgment.

      • GJ says:

        Simple question: why are people like Lydia pro-choice? The preceding pages of strawmen and logical dodging is good evidence that the proffered reason of prudence is not the real reason.

      • GJ says:

        Zippy himself explicitly said that many pro-choices both believe that abortion is morally wrong

        You misunderstand my point. Yes, they believe that abortion is morally wrong, but they also ascribe no moral guilt to the woman. The latter is what I’m affirming, not the former.

        it doesn’t mean that she would really rejoice if women gained the ability to murder their children en masse in the privacy of their homes and that she’s just pretending to be morally opposed to abortion

        She would really rejoice if the doctor-hitmen were no longer needed, as getting rid of them is the key aim of the pro-life. She (and the rest of pro-life community) will then be confronted with the reality that women self-abort (even at this current moment to a significant degree), and have to (un)do the mental gymnastics to get her head out of the sand and in line with reality.

      • GJ says:

        You misunderstand my point. Yes, they believe that abortion is morally wrong, but they also ascribe no moral guilt to the woman. The latter is what I’m affirming, not the former.

        That is to say: yes, we all know they think abortion morally wrong like the majority of people still do. But not only are the majority of people pro-choice (the legal position), they also take the very confused moral stance (on which their legal stance is based from) that the woman also has no guilt. The latter is what I’m arguing for here.

  2. GJ says:

    ‘It’s wrong! – but not wrong if the mother does it’ unites most pro-choice and pro-life. What remains are details of lesser importance*, whether the mother’s special status of ‘not-wrongness’ can be applied to the doctor-agents whom she hires to do the killings, whether doctors can make that judgment for her, or whether judges can if someone appeals against the doctors.

    Logic, reason, and science be damned: It’s all about the feels, and not the judge’s feels, but the judge’s opinion about how sad somebody else is probably going to feel in the future.

    The issue of abortion has been about feels, millions of women have acted on it, and doctors have been acting on their opinion on feels as de facto judge, jury, and executioner. The only possibly new thing here is that a de jure judge is acting as the judge.**

    *that are ultimately a distraction. The prospect of da evil state forcing abortion feared by conservatives distract from the fact that their children are being seduced into abortion. muh first Amendment distracts from how many evils are propagated by the protection of the first amendment, pornography and other lurid, corrupting materials being one key example.

    **Doctors (and probably judges) have already ruled on the idea that certain unborn with defects like Down’s syndrome would have terrible future feels if allowed to live, so there’s essentially nothing new in this case.Therefore there’s no reason to make a big hue and cry over this specific instance. Unborn have been killed over predicted future feels for years already. People are used to it.

    This is obviously evil, Satanically, ghoulishly evil, and that anybody is pretending otherwise – pretending it’s “a difficult situation for everybody involved” – is terrifying.
    Lots of pro-choice consider aborting unborn with Down’s syndrome “a difficult situation for everybody involved”, and that is terrifying.

    Lots of pro-life consider the act of abortion “a difficult situation for the mother so we can’t charge her”, and therefore people like McGrew are at least equally terrifying.

  3. GJ says:

    What is particularly evil about abortion? It’s not that it’s murder, or even murder of an young helpless innocent, or that it is currently practiced on a large scale. What’s particularly evil is that it is murder of a child by the mother. Once that is acceptable the conscience is superseared , ” if a mother can kill her own child what is left for me to kill you and you kill me there is nothing between.”

    But what do the self-styled conservatives and pro-life do? They ignore and minimise the particular evil of abortion, because they refuse to ascribe any moral guilt to the mother. They say the mother is never guilty, it’s the fault of those evil doctors.

    I see now. They try to mimimise the evil, because their conscience is superseared. They have utterly given in and conceded to the Enemy, they have lost the war.

  4. GJ says:

    I used to ask myself ‘what social issues have conservatives not caved on within roughly one generation’ and tell myself that they still held fast against abortion. We now know better, that few conservatives are not pro-choice. So there’s nothing else left, save possibly only for gun ownership.

  5. Il Deplorevolissimo says:

    Malcolm,

    Off topic, but I got banned by Vox Day for this thread where I essentially proved (he deleted most of my comments) that the Natural and Divine Laws fundamentally contradict his position and that of his commenters on the duties of whites to the descendants of American slavery.

    (TL;DR I basically said that when you take a people unjustly, utterly deracinate their heritage and replace it with your culture, then force them to toil your land for generations and then set them from as second class citizens with no territory of their own you have essentially adopted them as part of your society no matter how angry it may make you)

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