Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not All Abortions Are Equal

From Steven Zhang:

In this article, Douthat takes the readers on a long explanation of the controversies of abortion through the experiences or an abortion doctor, Dr. Thiller, and ends with a few short paragraphs that expose his own opinions about this subject. During the exposition, Douthat explains that third trimester abortion (late abortion) is the most controversial because the fetus is considered a living being by then. He then goes on to argue that abortion should be restricted. Douthat proclaims that anti-abortion laws are laws that preserve the respect for human rights and promote democracy. He also proclaims that those who perform abortions, such as Dr. Thiller, are murderers.

Though I do not take sides in this abortion debate, I do not think Douthat does an adequate job in debunking the opposing arguments. Sure, he provides his own arguments that claim that stricter abortion regulation is essential to our politics, but he does not address the problems that he, himself, stated about these regulations (rape victims, underage pregnancies, etc). He does state that these special cases should be subjected to a state of exception; however, that only contradicts his own argument that anti-abortion is respect to human life. If abortion is murder then wouldn’t the 10-year-old (or any “special” cases) also be committing murder if she decides to have an abortion? If so, then what constitutes the difference between someone who has respect for human life and someone who doesn’t? Another problem with Douthat’s argumentation is that he does not back his claims with any warrants. After reading this article, I felt that many essential questions are left unanswered. How does anti-abortion have anything to do with democracy? What political regulation would be one that respects both of the “victims’” lives? How could politics address special cases? I do not wish to take a side for this controversial issue, but I do believe there are far too many holes In Douthat’s arguments to make it a viable reason to side with anti-abortion.

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