Monday, February 02, 2009

Gone Fishin' at the Freak Show

The pro-abortion lobby has a bizarre and illogical fascination with Nadya Suleman

It should be utterly unshocking to many of those paying attention to the ongoing debate over abortion in Canada -- although some zealots deny its very existence -- to find that some members of the pro-abortion lobby have never met a slander against anyone who disagrees with them that they didn't immediately love.

Consider the case of an interesting theory peddled by Stageleft's Balbulican insisting that, by golly, this whole Nadya Suleman business is just plain crazy and it's all the anti-abortion lobby's fault.

In a modern media environment that is absolutely obsessed with freak shows, Suleman's story has become inescapable. A 33-year-old single woman still living with her parents, Suleman recently gave birth to an astounding eight children that she can't afford to support.

To make matters yet more disturbing, Suleman already had six children that she couldn't afford to support.

And according to Balbulican, it's those dastardly "anti-choicers" who are to blame.

(And as soon as someone spouts an epithet that comically hyperbolic one simply knows they take them seriously at their own peril.)
"By now you’re aware that the heartwarming story of the eight babies born in California last week has morphed into a surreal horror story with a screenplay by Jerry Springer, directed by David Lynch.

It turns out that Mommy Suleman is 33-year-old single woman, living with her parents, with no visible means of support, who already has six children and had herself artificially implanted with eight more. Her mom went bankrupt last year and is now seeking psychiatric support. The family is trying to peddle her story to Oprah, who’s getting queazy. She just seems to like having babies.

As CC noted, our Fave Foetishist is in a bit of a quandary. This behaviour is clearly insane; but’s it’s a form of insanity that represents the culmination of the vision espoused by the radical anti-choice movement.
That's a pretty bold statement. One would have to expect that Balbulican would have something very persuasive to say in support of it.

Think again.

Balbulican's argument that the anti-abortion lobby -- a label much more accurate than the anti-choice epithet that people like Balbulican are content to fling about -- starts with his argument that, by golly, anyone who disagrees with abortion just ain't right in the head:
"A fetish, in the sexual sense, is an object or behaviour that, in and of itself would normally not evoke a sexual response. Through association, however, the non-sexual becomes imbued with all the power and emotion of sex itself, triggering an emotional response. This obsession can range from harmless to morbid to psychotic.

The foetishists have performed the same trick, an unhealthy severance of object from context. They are utterly fixated on the foetus, which in their mind assumes all the attributes of personhood. They invest in a pre-human cluster of cells the same emotional passion nature intended for a child. The foetus IS their fetish. Some of them seem barely aware of the mother except as a kind of ambulatory, pre-birth incubator.
Aside from this argument going out of its way to make it seem like anyone who opposes abortion is an outright pedophile, it's an incredible logical leap of faith.

First off, it's incorrect in the most basic definition of the word "fetish".

"A fetish is an object," explains clinical psichiatrist Dr Robert J Filewhich. "Fetishism is really a disorder whereby a person is experiencing extreme difficulties in their lives because of the fact that they like these particular objects to provide for them a great deal of sexual arousal. The only way they can achieve this type of sexual satisfaction is with an inanimate object, a non-living object."

Which is the first logical strike against Balbulican's "fetus fetish" argument. Whether the pro-abortion lobby wishes to admit it or not, a fetus -- or unborn child, as someone may prefer to call it -- isn't an inanimate object. It isn't a non-living object. It's very much alive.

The second logical strike is that a fetish is sexual in nature. But the vast majority of anti-abortion activists don't oppose abortion because they get hot and bothered by unborn children, they oppose it because they take moral issue with the termination of human life.

The third logical strike is the argument that the anti-abortion lobby has broken the context between a fetus and a human being.

But in order to make this argument, the pro-abortion lobby has to overlook the fact that a fetus is a gestating human being. Left to develop fully, it will become a human being with a life, a mind, and even (providing that one believes in the existence of any such thing) a soul of its own.

If anything, it's the pro-abortion lobby that has discarded the context of the issue when they insist that a fetus is nothing more than "a clump of cells" worthy of no more consideration than "a jumbo prawn".

So basically the "fetus fetish" argument is one that has struck out.

But even more indefensible is the insistence that, somehow, the anti-abortion lobby is responsible for Nadya Suleman's decision to have far more children than she can support.
"No wonder our foetishists find this story disturbing. It’s a staging of their own mania, writ large and performed live."
Yet this couldn't be further away from the truth if these people were actually trying.

For example, if one accepts the pro-abortion lobby's arguments about "reproductive freedom" -- a freedom that they insist should be absolute at any stage of a woman's life or any stage of a pregnancy -- then one cannot get away from the logical conclusion that a woman enjoying unrestricted reproductive freedom would have the right to decide to have 14 children, even if she can't support them financially.

If the state has no place making laws that impact on reproductive freedom the state would also have no place restricting the use of any fertility drugs that are known to be safe.

The only impediment to a doctor prescribing fertility drugs to a woman incapable of financially supporting children would be the doctor's own ethical standards. If that particular doctor's sense of ethics aren't up to standard, ethics alone aren't enough to prevent people like Nadya Suleman from engaging behaviour that is not only destructive of herself, but destructive of her children as well.

Perhaps if there were some means-testing process by which single women would have to prove they could support children before recieving fertility drugs the Nadya Suleman debacle could have been averted. But as the most zealous members of the pro-abortion lobby will almost certainly attest, if "they" -- the anti-abortion lobby, or "fetus fetishists" -- get the fertility drugs today, they'll come for the birth control tomorrow.

In the end, however, the preceding argument is insipid, and anyone with a lick of sense should know it. The pro-abortion lobby isn't any more responsible for the Nadya Suleman freak show than is the anti-abortion lobby.

Nady Suleman, and whomever allowed her to get her hands on the fertility drugs she reportedly used to have her most recent eight children are the ones responsible.

But one should never underestimate the tendency of both the pro- and anti-abortion lobbies to transform freak shows like this into political footballs they can gleefully kick back and forth, even if they couldn't argue the issue out of a paper bag.


  1. Personally speaking, I do agree that abortions are an abhorrent practice that are nontheless a choice that should be there, in case the birth endangers the life of the mother. It should be a last resort, nothing more.

    That aside, I've always seen the choice of abortion as one that should be strictly left up to the mother - it's not my right to tell them to do otherwise.

    So there - I'm probably seen as pro-choice, though it does sicken me when pro-choicers use such loaded language and ugly propaganda to push their point. It makes them no worse than their opponents.

  2. I agree with you to a large extent.

    I personally disfavour abortion. But I also understand the right of someone to have control over their own body. I also understand the consequences that would come with flat-out criminalizing abortion -- back alley abortions and a great deal of human misery.

    However, I also recognize that the state has a defnitive role in regulating the terms under which an abortion takes place later in the pregnancy.

    The pro-abortion lobby insists that any regulation on abortion at any point is unnecessary. They even denounce protections for doctors who would refuse to perform an abortion they deem unethical. They do this while pushing an agenda that would make that protection necessary, even if they would happily render it unattainable.

    So this kind of propaganda is nothing new to the pro-abortion lobby. What amuses me even more than that is that the author of this logically indefensible mess is refusing to defend that particular idea, even while he crows about how much he enjoys making other people defend their ideas.

    It would be hysterical if it weren't so bloody pitiful.


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