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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

some thoughts on abortion and technological advances

I sometimes think up imaginary conversations while driving, and today's concerned abortion. I imagined someone asking me how I felt about abortion. The initial answer: "Queasy...." However, I went on, I basically thought that up to some point in the pregnancy, it should be the mother's (if that's the right word) decision. Trying to figure out just where that point was, I ended up with an answer dependent on technology we don't have yet: once we have artificial wombs capable of nurturing a fetus until it's full-term, it should probably not be the woman's option to kill it rather than off-loading it.

Althought that raises lots of sticky questions: who pays for the out-of-mother gestation? Can a woman still abort if the state won't pay? And what parental rights, if any, does a woman retain who was ready to kill her fetus? May she veto a social service agency's decision as to where to place the baby? A factor further confusing things: once it's possible to end pregnancy early without harming the fetus, many women will want to do so, without any present intention of avoiding the maternal role post-partum. At that point, it will often be impossible to determine who was ready to abort, and who decided later that she wanted to give her baby up for adoption. I don't know whether parents who give up babies for adoption have any leverage, at present, as to what happens to the baby.

That's as far as I can follow this tangle for the moment.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The genocide resolution: more than one way to skin a president

I haven't seen any discussion of what seems to me a likely motive for the Democrats' persistence in pushing the genocide resolution.

The Democrats have been unable to muster the political will-muscle combination to force a withdrawal from Iraq. However, passing this resolution is likely to do serious, possibly fatal, harm to the Iraq military mission. Turkey may well withdraw various key permissions. Our position might finally become as untenable as the Democrats keep pretending it already is. Gee, I wonder who'd be happy about that (aside from AQ in Iraq, Iran, etc.)?

This way, they can undercut "Bush's war" while acting self-righteous about something supposedly unrelated.

UPDATE: At least one commentator has now made this point -- Thomas Sowell.