Victims, and other categories

One of the things I really like about being an obscure anonymous blogger and speaking for no one but myself is that I don’t have to sugar-coat things to make me or some organization sound nice.  For example, I don’t have to repeat that nonsense we always hear from the pro-life movement and the Catholic Church about women who have abortions being “victims” who “deserved better” then and deserve our sympathy now.  Of course, any particular woman may have been a victim of some wrong in the past or may be a victim of some wrong in the future, but for the murder in question, she’s that other thing–you know, the person in a crime who’s not the victim but is the one who causes the crime.  I remember now!  The perpetrator!  Yes, that’s what she is.

I don’t oppose abortion because women who have them might be sad later in life.  I don’t oppose it because it just might infinitesimally increase a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer.  (Really, what doesn’t increase one’s chances of getting cancer?)  I oppose it because I want to stop prenatal children from being murdered.

But isn’t the woman a victim in a spiritual sense?  Doesn’t having an abortion wound her soul, and shouldn’t we pity her for that?  Sure, but that’s true of any sin.  One might as well say that rapists are the real victims of rape, because of the harm they do to their souls.  You might even be able to prove that rapists often get depressed after their crimes, the poor dears.  In some ultimate sense it is true that the sinner is the worst victim of his sin.  But in our normal way of speaking, no, a rapist is not a victim.  The woman he attacks is.  And it’s the murdered baby who is the victim of abortion.

But surely, Bonald, you at least agree that if abortions are going to happen, they should be safe (for the perpetrator)?  Why in the world should I want that?  Suppose one were to pass a law giving out armor and machine guns to aspiring muggers because, although one may not approve of mugging, one should at least agree that muggers shouldn’t get hurt.  But that’s obviously crazy.  Why take away one of the best deterrents?  One could argue that the world would be a better place if abortions were so unsafe that a woman who procured one could be certain that she would die within the hour.  Of course, we shouldn’t kill them ourselves, but neither should we as a society endorse their evil acts for the purpose of making them safer.

And before somebody asks, yes, I do oppose the right of a woman to murder her child, even if that child was conceived by rape or incest.

UPDATE:  Here’s me picking a fight at Touchstone.

9 Responses

  1. Darn you, Bonald! I had a post brewing on the topic over at Collapse: The Blog for a week or three now saying pretty much the same thing. It was inspired by the abortion nonsense of the NROniks, as can be seen, say, here: Kathryn Jean Lopez says “I don’t know a single person who wants to throw a woman in jail for having an abortion,” and evidently thinks this is a sign of sophistication on her part. And this they call conservatism!

  2. I’ve wondered if we shouldn’t just let the pagans kill their own children. They aren’t fit to propagate and pass their way of life on to the next generation anyway. Why should we force them to?

  3. Uh, well, we do let them. I sure can’t stop them, not enough to get myself thrown in jail over strangers, when I have a family to take care of.

  4. Idaho thinks it’s a good idea. They have a law about it.

    Wait, it’s in the news today:

  5. This comment depresses me.

  6. I think you have to draw a distinction between the aimed-for final state of affairs in which women would go to jail and the transitional state in-between now and then when only abortionists would go to jail. KJL’s quote would be fine, IMO, as long as she is making the mental reservation “yet.” I’m not sure the phased approach is the right one, but it’s what I favor for now.

  7. Good point, TCO. There’s a limit to what we can do to prevent the evil of abortion. In a Christian society, abortion should be unlawful, but is this battle tactically important at this point? I’m wondering if the resources devoted to the pro-life movement wouldn’t be better utilized in efforts to reverse the social trend that makes abortion acceptable in the first place.

    Outofsleep: I know I wrote this comment on a traditionalist discussion blog, but I’m wondering if the sentiment might be effective as a method of reverse psychology. Abortion practitioners are the kind of pagans that don’t value human life. They need to know that if they persist in their evil they don’t deserve to inherit the earth. They need to reflect on what an incredibly *sacred* privilege it is to be able to have children. They need to know that those who destroy babies in the womb (and approve of this travesty) are the scum of the earth.

  8. Yes, Andrew. I see your point. I’ve wondered similar things myself.

    One wonders if it has any deterrent effect at all on the truly committed liberal, though. Many people I know consider it virtuous to not reproduce their own line. They think that the human race is an evil cancer upon an otherwise pristine Gaia. Therefore, the fact that aborting their own children means their line will die off is a feature, not a bug, of their “choice.”

    Once I read an article in the NY TImes about a Hasidic Jewish matriarch in Brooklyn who, upon dying at some ancient age, was estimated to have 2,000 living descendants. Friends and I were commenting in amazement at the article. “Ugh,” said one wealthy liberal woman I know who walked in, mid-conversation. “What a selfish, disgusting use of resources.” This woman has one child, a 12-year-old boy. Presumably she views him as a black mark on her own morality, but only a minor one. A terrible thing she did, bringing this boy into the world, but at least she’s only accountable for one such sin.

  9. […] Because the message doesn’t seem to have gotten through.  (Original) […]

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