Monday, June 26, 2006

Tale of the Tapeworm

Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon, writing against the Raving Atheist, claims that the pro-life thinking of the RA is logically unsound. Referring to the RA's volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, she writes: "RA’s argument is a fetus has different DNA, which means I’m sure that when he finishes his volunteer work at the CPC, he goes and pickets for the right of tapeworms not to be removed, due to the rights due to them from having separate DNA than their hosts."

I find it difficult to believe that Marcotte is serious writing such a statement as that. As one who prides herself on her ability to point up logical fallacies in arguments, she must know that the reason the RA cares about the existence of a preborn child's DNA is that the DNA belongs to a human being.

What's interesting about Marcotte's throwing out such a statement for shock value is that she's stating in the most explicit terms the "fetus as parasite" argument that underlies many pro-abortion rationales on her blog and on those of other Third Wave feminists.

The question, then, is: Since a woman's body is designed to help conceive, then support and foster, a gestating human being, why would Marcotte or any woman consider such a child a "parasite"? I'm assuming that the women who make such a statement are not willfully cruel — for the logic of their analogy, if carried through, would mean that any child dependent upon its mother would be a parasite and deserving of death. (They'll say that the analogy extends only to a child who's physically inside the mother's body. However, if a woman begins by viewing her preborn child as a parasite, that child, upon being brought to term and remaining dependent upon its mother, would still be the creature that began life as a parasite. People don't begin life as a tapeworm and end it as Amanda Marcotte.)

I haven't myself quite figured out why a woman would use the parasite analogy, but I have an idea that it begins with the woman's view of her own birth. A woman who feels unloved is going to see herself as a parasite upon her own parents, spouse, or lover. In viewing the child gestating within her as a parasite, she is extending her own feeling of worthlessness and alienation to her baby. By exterminating the child, she is insuring that it will never be the burden upon others that she believes she herself was or is to those close to her.

That's the reason for the enduring appeal of Margaret Sanger's slogan "every child a wanted child." Those who support the abortion of "unwanted" babies are responding to their own trauma of feeling unloved — and perhaps, without realizing it, exacting revenge upon the people who didn't want them.

The more delicate subscribers to the parasite philosophy use the same excuse for aborting the "unwanted" as euthanasia advocates use for starving the disabled: "I wouldn't want to live that way." When someone makes such a statement with the express object of killing another human being, they are really speaking of themselves. They wouldn't want to live that way; therefore, nobody should be permitted to do so. Murder, after all, is suicide turned outward. The truth that such people don't want to hear is that when they kill the "worm," the demons remain.

There is hope after abortion. Visit Rachel's Vineyard.