Thursday, June 09, 2005

What we agreed upon - what we didn't.

Not having heard from Dr. Clam for a long time, and nevertheless changing my mission statement, I have decided to summarise a few conclusions boldly about abortion.

* Although we believe in an absolute good & evil, any action should be considered in the context of the various options at hand.
* As humans we should think of all killing as essentially evil.
* By any reasonable scientific definition of life, the typical abortion is killing.
* The future looks hopeful, in that we agree there is hope in a future where abortion is rare.
* We strive, in everything that we have influence on, to strive for the aformentioned hope, in various ways we both mentioned.

We also vaguely agreed on the following:
* Prohibition in this country or USA however it is implemented would at first greatly reduce overall abortion numbers, but make them much harder to measure, and we would have to assume a certain level of illegal abortions.
* There is a great democratic resistance (presently) towards even minor restrictions on abortion, especially in Aus, but to some extent also in USA.
* There are costs (short term and long term) with prohibition - hard to calculate, easy to argue about. The benefits of prohibition flow mainly to the individuals involved whose lives are "saved".
* We have both brought up the analysis of costs and benefits overall as a guide to specific policy, but could not agree on a baseline to make rough judgements that could be agreed upon case by case. e.g. What level of disability is insufferable or too expensive to keep alive.

These things we disagreed upon:
* The technologies that would make abortion rare: I believe that better contraception, education etc. and other factors mentioned at this link, for instance:
Making Abortion Rare will tip the balance.
* Dr. Clam believes womb replacement technologies will make abortion obsolete.
* I believe womb replacement technologies, even if they become available will not in themselves affect abortion rates *at all*
* Dr. Clam cited Demographic movement of immigrants from populations where abortion is rare/illegal as a hope for the future.
* I believe that, since immigrants tend to be relatively poorer than the rest of the population, economic pressures to abort will be higher for them, therefore it is likely their abortion rates won't be much different.