Monday, May 20, 2019

Rape isn't a good argument for abortion

Jefferson: Buttigieg, a left-wing U.S. presidential candidate, wants to remove Jefferson from the names of things. Clearly, the Harvard physics department's building where I spent 6 years – Jefferson Laboratories – is at risk of becoming nameless because of a radical whackadoodle.

Because some lawmakers have approved a de facto ban on abortions in Alabama, there seems to be quite some hysteria in much of the U.S. Not only the far left "pro-choice" demonstrators but even the "pro-life" (but not very socially conservative) president Donald Trump and other politicians have distanced himself from the new law. The new law hasn't come to force yet and will be disputed in courts.

A Minecraft video for a Czech tramps' classic song by Wabi Ryvola, The Box of Whiskey, sung by a guy who was sentenced to death and already wants to go to Heaven and drink some whiskey there.

I find it crazy that the U.S. South that is often said to be socially conservative and full of fundamentalist Christians actually seems to have more pro-abortion laws than many important European countries. Only four "mostly Southern" states have adopted the heartbeat rule. One can abort an embryo before the first detectable heartbeat – which occurs roughly in six-week-old embryos.

First of all, I am no fundamentalist but I am obviously closer to the pro-life position. From my viewpoint, it is really a matter of scientific literacy for one to understand that there is no natural yet qualitative difference between abortion and murder. Societies generally accept that it's very wrong to murder 4-year-old kids. But these babies have gradually evolved from smaller babies, fetuses, and embryos.

The moment of the birth isn't a spectacular moment for the feelings and life status of the soon-to-be human. Whether you're connected to a woman by a rope doesn't change the basic characteristics and physiology of your brain and your perceptions. So the rule that babies can't be murdered outside the mother but they can be "terminated" inside the mother is just a scientifically unjustified convention.

At the end, however, societies need some kind of rather arbitrary conventions like that. While we don't want to legalize murders, we also don't want to imprison people for menstruation or ejaculation. Different societies, countries, and states have tried various laws and conventions in various epochs. The U.S. was most affected by a 1973 court decision, Roe vs Wade, that legalized abortion nationwide.

Even if it could be what the Anglo-Saxon legal system wants to suggest, it would be crazy if one judge's arbitrary decision sometime in 1973 could affect all the U.S. states' abortion policies forever. So there has been some understandable backlash and various states have criminalized abortion – at least some abortion – and this process continues.

In Germany, abortion is illegal and it is punishable by up to three years in prison plus a fine. In practice, it is de facto allowed in the first trimester (1/3 of pregnancy, about 12 weeks); the woman must simply agree with mandatory counseling. Later abortions are allowed if there is a medical necessity.

If you look at it pragmatically, the rules end up being the same in Czechia but we're more explicit about what is legal. Abortion is legal for 12 weeks and, in the case of a medical threat to the mother, 24 weeks. Polls show that Czechs are the most tolerant Europeans towards abortion. Around 70% would probably legalize almost "any" abortion. Some 20% would only allow it in exceptional cases or early. Only 1% of Czechs are "totally" against abortion. But the politicians simply tend to be people who are more pro-life and I think it's a healthy aspect of the selection.

Poland only allows abortion in the case of rape, a threat for woman's life, or an irreparable damage to the fetus. Because these laws end up being more restrictive than the Czech laws, Czechia is still the destination of Polish women's "abortion tourism".

You see that various countries and states have different rules that may – but don't have to take – various circumstances into account: the age of the embryo or fetus (it should be called "embryo" for the first 9 weeks or so, then it is a "fetus"), whether the woman was raped, whether her life or health is threatened, and sometimes the social conditions.

One aspect of the Alabama law that makes critics excited is that it doesn't legalize abortion in the case of rape. Again, societies may define any laws they like. But I personally find it logical not to consider rape as a justification for abortion. Abortion is still a quasi-murder – and the fact that another crime has taken place previously, abortion, shouldn't become an excuse for this quasi-murder. My logic is exactly the same as the logic of the claim that you're still not allowed to kill killers – and certainly not "third persons" just because you're annoyed by a murder! And the "abortion following rape" is really analogous to the second example – it is a quasi-murder of a "third person" with the excuse that something bad has happened to the culprit. Those things shouldn't happen.

Another argument revolves around the punishment of the rapist – rape is often treated as a crime that is not much milder than a murder. The rapist is already punished for the rape – or he should be – and that's what settles the problem. An additional extra right of the woman to do things like abortion looks like a double punishment to me. My point is: Rape is considered a crime especially because of the possibility that the woman falls into a pregnancy against her will: that's the main reason why rape is considered worse than slapping someone's face! This observation is exactly the same as the principle that the society supports (and defines) marriage because it is a framework with a potential to create good conditions to extend the population to future generations. If this possibility of pregnancy were de facto but almost completely eliminated, then it would be right to reduce the punishment for rapes, too – because a rape would become analogous to the slapping of someone's face. If all the reproductive consequences of rape were safely eliminated, rape would be nothing else than any other unwanted physical contact.

It's completely normal for Alabama to prefer conservative rules concerning abortion. It's bad that the opponents of this law are being given so much "positive press". And it's downright criminal when the far left argues that abortion is just the mother's issue – or when they even celebrate abortion by building pink cemeteries and similar disgusting things. This arrogant attitude is totally analogous to the gangsters' claim that they are in charge of the situation and they may kill anyone they want. The embryo and the fetus is a new life, newly emerged human being whose DNA is already determined, and a civilized society is obliged to provide this new human being with some protection.

You know, the DNA is already determined after the conception. At that moment, with a good enough computer, you could pretty much calculate what the human will look up when it grows up – at any age (or you may just pick the DNA and grow the human being – and you will know what the clone looks like later). It is encoded in the DNA. So it is a scientifically naive idea to think that you're just "terminating" an anonymous ugly embryo/fetus that looks just like others. If one looks carefully, the whole identity is already encoded in the DNA that exists right after the egg and sperm merge!

The leftists often claim to be pro-science but some leftists' radical pro-abortion position shows that they refuse to think scientifically about the human life because the scientifically literate person realizes all these things – and the fact that the identity is determined by the DNA right away and all the subsequent evolution is continuous.

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