Cross-posted from Scholars and Rogues.

This author is as dismayed by the pro-life* position as the next progressive. Nor can a middle-ground between pro-life and pro-choice be readily imagined. But, pro-choice advocates do themselves a disservice by denying or dodging the element of extinguishment that, however blown out of proportion by pro-lifers, is intrinsic to abortion. Though not life itself, the preconditions for life are quenched.

Whether or not this concession would have any impact on pro-lifers is doubtful. But it may help remove the blinders from pro-choice advocates and allow them to experience how abhorrent pro-life advocates find the idea of abortion.

Second, framing abortion as a means by which women assert control over their own bodies only confirms pro-life suspicions that pro-choice women are heartless narcissists who can’t be trusted with the fate of their fetuses.

In fact, the pro-choice movement would be advised to zoom out of its focus on women and include the entire family in the frame. In other words, an unwanted child is a threat to the integrity — sanctity even — of the family. That applies both to the family of a pregnant, unmarried teenage mom and the family of an older mother with other children which another mouth to feed would leave in dire straits. The idea that lack of access to abortion threatens the integrity of the family needs to be flogged with the kind of unremitting mimesis more common to conservatives.

*Adopting their terminology for the purposes of this post.

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