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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Abortion rights

Obama was asked "when does life begin?" He replied that he could not answer with specificity. He should hire a philosopher. It's easy an easy question to answer. Life does not begin at conception. A living, developing embryo requires a living mother. Life does not begin, it continues. But reactionary opposition to voluntary abortion insists that a "new life" begins at conception. Of course it does. Induced abortion, like every miscarriage, ends a potential human life. It's true that a woman's ability to choose to abort a pregnancy means she has life-and-death power. But we give that power to men all the time. Even ignorant and mendacious men like George W. Bush. So what fuels the rage over women having the power of life-and-death? Fears about death. The fact that each of us must give up our lives constitutes the deepest human anxiety. For human beings alone are aware of their own inevitable deaths. Thus everything that openly addresses the fact of death triggers this anxiety. People want to pretend that somehow we can individually persist. But we can't. We die and we're replaced. Just like the leaves on the trees. Choosing whether to have a baby dramatizes this process. Hence the rage...


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