LQCs: On Abortion: Magical Thinking v. Reality

I’m not going to belabor the current abortion issue; it’s been going on for decades (and I’ve written about abortion before here), and the arguments haven’t changed. But before I comment or quote from any more links, let me summarize my position and why I believe the opposite positions are invalid.

The key to the matter, for me, is that the embryo is not a human being in any meaningful sense. It is not conscious; it does not feel; it does not think. To imagine otherwise is to engage in magical thinking, and moreover, to reduce a complex matter to simplistic, artificial terms (as conservatives are wont to do). If you quote Bible verse to justify anything at all, the Church was quoting other Bible verses 60 years ago to justify that abortion was not problematic. If you have an utter certainty that life begins at conception, than this is a religious conviction, not backed up by any kind of scientific evidence, or rationale (how *could* a zygote be human in any way? Only implicitly from its DNA. It’s indistinguishable from the zygote of many other creatures). The Catholic Church’s belief (as I understand it) that upon conception a “soul” is magically endowed, is arbitrary magical thinking, with no basis in reality. It’s the kind of idea that simplifies matters not to have to think about the range of stages of any kind of life, is all (unlike, say Carl Sagan’s take on abortion based on stages of development of the embryo, which is nuanced in a way conservative and religious thinking seldom is). Those who would make such religious arguments in order to impose their beliefs on everyone else in the nation are engaging in religious tyranny.

Secondary considerations are that these laws, throughout history, are driven by deep, evolutionary-inspired motives to expand the tribe at any cost, whatever the cost to the independence of women, or to any men who do not prioritize the impregnation of women (e.g. gays). These motives may have made some kind of sense thousands of years ago, among desert tribes struggling to survive, whose strictures about tribal behavior happen to have survived into modern times. But those strictures make no sense now, especially as the expansion of the human population is threatening to destroy the planet’s biosphere and doom us all. At the same time, the expressions of “disgust” about the process of abortion exhibits yet another primitive, conservative, response about interaction with the world. Not an informed one, that understands the processes of the world. (This issue is of course completely independent of the understanding of the embryo; but it helps explain why men find it so easy to subjugate women and demonize sexual minorities.)

Tertiary considerations currently include the way that the past few Supreme Court justices, at their confirmation hearings, essentially *lied* when they claimed that Roe v. Wade was ‘settled law,’ as if it were unthinkable it would be overturned. And then the first chance that got, are voting to overturn it. What’s surprising is not (Republican) duplicity, but that anyone believed them at all. The very reason conservatives voted for Trump, it’s been widely noted, is that they wanted a president who would put conservatives on the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. That’s been their goal for 50 years. I can only imagine that Republicans look back on those hearings, and think about Susan Collins and others who took them at their word, and think, what chumps. Ha ha.

Yet, as I’ve said before, overturning Roe will not make abortions go away. Conservatives are so naive about that. If Republicans wanted to eliminate abortions, they should support laws that give women options to reduce pregnancies. And, since they are so concerned about ‘life,’ support social programs to benefit the children otherwise aborted. But they are against all such social support programs.


About the “science” conservatives love to cite in support of their position.

OnlySky, Dr. Abby Hafer, 6 May 2022: A biologist explains why ‘heartbeat laws’ are nonsensical.

More Republican/conservative duplicity.

Salon, Amanda Marcotte, 6 May 2022: Republicans are lying to you about Roe, subtitled, “GOP talking points include calling forced childbirth ‘compassion’ and concealing plans for a national abortion ban”

On Tuesday, Axios leaked a three-page talking points memo from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). The strategy that the Republican campaign strategy group suggests is to lie. A lot. Lie every chance you get. Lie about everything, all the time. Lie so often that the media stops bothering to fact-check you and your opponents grow exhausted trying to disprove your lies. It’s a tried-and-true trick for the GOP.

Obvious point, increasingly clear:

Robert Reich on Facebook

If you outlaw abortions, ban mask mandates, dictate what educators can teach in schools, and stop people from voting, you’re not the party of “limited government.”


Washington Post, Dana Milbank, 6 May 2022: Supreme Court’s hacks reward Republicans’ betrayal of democracy

There is indeed a toxic spectacle and a betrayal going on here, but it isn’t the leak. It’s the betrayal of democracy by McConnell’s Republicans and the toxic spectacle of the Roberts court aiding it.

The reported 5-to-4 split on the draft shows that this cataclysmic ruling would be forced on the public by the narrowest possible majority. This means the ruling is possible only because of the seat on the court McConnell and his Republican colleagues effectively stole by refusing for 293 days to confirm — or even consider — President Barack Obama’s duly nominated candidate Merrick Garland.

Republican respect for women:

USA Today, Rex Huppke, 4 May 2022: Trickle-down creeponomics: Gaetz calls women protesting Roe draft opinion ‘over-educated’

Subtitled: “I’m glad Matt Gaetz spoke his feeble mind because it shows what’s driving the push to overturn Roe v. Wade and, in many Republican-controlled states, end women’s reproductive rights: sexism.”


I have a couple more links to articles that take deep dives into Alito’s draft ruling, and the way it relies on deeply regressive views of women and their status as human beings.

That’s religion for you.

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