- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Abortion - what are your views?

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on January 11, 19100 at 11:02:39:

What do people in this forum feel about the abortion issue? What have historic Marxist figures and regimes felt about it? What should the socialist view on abortion be? Should socialists defend freedom or the life of the fetus?

I was brought up in a radically pro-choice household. Since then however I've had opportunity to reflect on this issue a bit more. the arguments that I hear in favor of abortion are often couched in terms of personal freedom and women's rights. But as we've seen from the debates on this sight, Freedom is a term that can and has been used to justify the most horrible crimes and abuses in history. I don't think that freedom alone is enough to settle this question. It's a hard question to solve, because it depends on the definition of when the fetus becomes human, or at least a reasonable approximation to a human being. In terms of the mind, this would be sometime in the second trimester. In teh case of the soul - who knows? How are we to know? We don't even agree on whether the soul exists. (I say yes, but RD and otehrs, I think, say no.) This is why the problem is so complicated.

Maybe abortion should be restricted, even if not banned. Maybe it should be allowed only in the first three months. Maybe a woman should have to fill out an application that a judge goes over, stating her reasons- and they should be good ones. Maybe we should make it so that even in the first 3 months, women have to go back to a clinic 3 times and debate with a counselor each time, to make sure that she really, really wants this. Maybe we should place a high threshold for legalizing abortion; e.g. abortion in the first 3 months can be legal if 75% of Americans want it to be. Maybe, even if we personally have no problem with it, we should illegalize it anyway out of respect for the views of teh large number of Americans who believe it is murder.

I honestly don't know. I'm thinking it over. But at this point, I think that 'freedom' is insufficient. Freedom cannot justify paying below the minimum wage and so it cannot, by itself, justify abortion either, I think.

Incidentally, when was it determined that abortion was murder? I know St. Augiustine said it was sinful killing, but not homicide, because the fetus was not human. Does anyone know?

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