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When Choice Is Not A Choice

Liberals are anti-choice if they don't like yours.

By Will Offensicht  |  August 19, 2011

We recently reviewed a book about knights and knaves.  The central idea was that although people used to think that government employees worked hard to benefit society, such knightly behavior is a thing of the past - most government employees are now known to be as knavish as any businessman and work to benefit themselves before the public.

Unfortunately, many people who claim to serve others turn out to be serving themselves.  For example, the Wisconsin Republicans changed the law so that the state government would no longer withhold union dues from employee paychecks and automatically hand the money over to the union.  When left to collect their own dues by voluntary submission from each member, unions have found that their income drops like a stone.  Apparently most of the workers who were formerly forced to pay union dues don't value the "services" provided by the union bosses, at least not enough to pay the price they wish to charge.

The unions attempted to recall the politicians who voted to cut off their gravy train.  The politics became so open and so raw that even liberals are admitting that union politics has little to do with protecting workers, it's about getting taxpayers' money to unions so they can use it to re-elect Democrats.

But only if it's a girl.

Feminism Has Knaves, Too

Back in the early days of the republic, some women were treated badly, and early suffragettes worked to end real abuses and wrongs.  When modern feminists came on the scene, though, rhetorical excesses such as claiming that all sex is rape indicated that they weren't really interested in the lives of most women.

"Consciousness-raising" sessions reached out to women who didn't feel abused and made them unhappy with their men.  This was unhelpful both for the domestic tranquility that means a great deal to most women and to any unfortunate men in their lives.

One of the feminist fights concerned abortion "rights."  Forgetting that laws against abortion were put in place to protect women from the dangers of abortions urged on them by men who didn't want any more children, feminists demanded the unconditional right for any woman to have an abortion at any time.

Feminists even supported "partial birth abortion" where a baby who's close to term is forced to deliver feet first.  The doctor then stabs the child in the back of the neck while the head is still inside the mother.  This is considered to be abortion and not a murder only because the child isn't completely born yet.

Feminists believed that restricting even this horrible procedure would lead to limits on other abortions.  Arguing that being forced to carry an unwanted child was a form of slavery, feminists declared, "No one has the right to determine what a woman can do with her own body" and proclaimed the universal "right to choose."

Their support of a woman's right to choose isn't universal, of course.  The National Organization for Women opposed a bill which would have let pregnant women use handicapped parking on the grounds that pregnancy is not a disability and that pregnant women should be encouraged to walk more whether they chose to walk more or not.

At bottom, NOW supports a woman's right to choose not to have a baby, but is entirely uninterested in helping should she choose to give birth.

The Down-Side of the Pro-Choice Position

Feminists are learning that if you let people choose, they won't always choose as you think they should.  We've discussed the shortage of marriageable Asian women, caused because Asian mothers would rather give birth to sons than to daughters and thus choose to abort more girls than boys.

Women in Asian cultures quite rationally would rather raise boys because sons support their parents when they get old, namely themselves.  Daughters help their husbands support the husband's parents, not their own.

Most Westerners are confident that the government will take care of them when they get old and don't much worry about the gender or future usefulness of their children, though this may turn out to be a mistake.  Asians who don't trust government to take care of them want lots of sons.

The traditional method of choosing sons over daughter was female infanticide, that is, killing girl babies after they're born, usually by drowning.  There's very little difference between drowning a girl after she's born and piercing her skull before she's born.  The distinction, such as it is, is important to feminists, most of whom admit that killing babies after they're born is murder.

Modern son-choosers use ultrasound to determine sex as early as possible and abort girls.  This saves the mother's energy which would be required to bring the child to full term and reduces her period of enslavement to an undesired fetus.

Feminists are up in arms since most sex selection involves aborting girls.  Aborting boys is OK, but it's not OK to abort girls?  Are they demanding rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for unborn women?

Technology Amplifies All Issues

Ultrasound can't determine sex until the baby grows enough for the genital area to be visible, but recently-developed blood tests can show gender at 7 weeks.  USA Today reports:

Though the technology could help families at high risk of having a baby with rare genetic diseases, some experts worry that couples could misuse the blood tests by deciding to abort a fetus based on gender. ...

The technology raises serious ethical concerns, says Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Female fetuses are commonly aborted in India, he says. A May analysis in The Lancet estimates that between 4.2 million and 12.1 million were "selectively" aborted in India from 1980 to 2010.  [emphasis added]

If a woman has an unlimited right to choose, how could it be a "misuse" of the test to decide whether she wanted the child or not?  If abortion on demand is OK, how could aborting more girls than boys raise "serious ethical concerns?"

USA Today is not alone in worrying.  Instead of waiting until the second paragraph, the New York Times put sex selection in the first paragraph and suggested that the test is being misused:

While sex selection is not considered a widespread objective in the United States, companies say that occasionally customers expressed that interest, and have been denied the test. A recent study of third pregnancies in the journal Prenatal Diagnosis found that in some Asian-American groups, more boys than girls are born in ratios that are “strongly suggesting prenatal sex selection,” the authors said.  [emphasis added]

Both these papers have expressed strong support for a "woman's right to choose."  They've banged the drum in favor of abortion at any time, for any reason, without telling the father, without telling parents, and without telling anyone else, for decades on end.  They've argued that this choice is purely between the woman and her abortionist, no matter how young she may be.

If that's so, why are they all steamed up?  This test lets women find out earlier than ever whether they want to keep the child or not.  The earlier the abortion, the safer for the mother and the shorter her period of slavery to an unwanted fetus.

You'd think feminists would be dancing in the streets, but no; they're muttering about ethical concerns in an area where they've argued that there are no ethical issues at all.

Sorry, ladies!  Choice is either OK or it's not.  Pregnancy is either slavery or it's not.

If choice is OK, if a woman has the right to determine what she does with her body, there's no ethical issue over what that choice might happen to be, or any unfortunate side-effects of a particular choice.

If, on the other hand, abortion is in any way ethically questionable, then on what grounds is it OK to abort boys but not OK to abort girls?  Or does the "right to choose" apply only when women choose as feminists would choose, and it's not really about "choice" at all?

Were feminists genuinely interested in expanding women's choices?  Or were they simply seeking power any way they could find it, like all the other knaves we know?

Once again, liberals find themselves on a slippery slope.