Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Moral value versus market value
I have come to a conclusion as to why I think prohibition of abortion the way Dr. Clam envisions it is doomed to fail (for the moment) and the required pre-conditions for it not to fail in a self-defeating heap (n.b. these pre-conditions are by no means impossible, so it does not mean he shouldn't aim in that direction). The reason I believe that homicide laws work well for between birth and "old" age is that the "moral" value given to life based on Dr. Clam's assumptions match up fairly well to the "market" value of life as judged, voted on and paid for through our tax system, or otherwise translated (eg. insurance). Before birth this match starts to deviate markedly, as people are not prepared to allow the same amounts of money for investigating miscarriages as they would other deaths. If the example of 1960's Italy is anything to go by, abortion laws generate into a farce as people with means could get them at no risk of being prosecuted, while those without were often scapegoated. As the entire point with abortion was mostly that the parents (or society) could not afford to bring them up effectively - this meant the artificial selection of people without means by breeding beyond their means (relatively speaking). This point was not lost on voters who eventually voted in a referendum to scrap the abortion laws as they stood (in Italy). Therefore the pre-condition for anti-abortion laws to work (in my opinion) is for the moral value to be reconciled with the market value as decided by voters. A sign that this could be happening would be a heap of money being poured into miscarriage research. This doesn't seem to be happening - however there definitely does seem to be a case for later term deaths/abortions law reform.