Friday, February 20, 2009

On the fetus as infection

Not long ago, I heard a feminist professor state on the radio her belief that pregnancy is a form of anti-sympathetic symbiosis, that the fetus should be considered an invasive force, a kind of infection, and that it ought to be destroyed as such. This is one of the nastiest, most pernicious lies I have ever heard. To argue that life, spontaneous, innocent, and pure, is, in fact, malignant, is to stand morality on its head and strip from humanity its claim to essential goodness. I believe that the proponent of this idea, and those who agree with her, will have much to answer for, if not in this life, then after.

Feminism does great service in bringing to the attention of the public and the lawmakers the need for justice in guaranteeing women the same rights as men. But to the extent that it has become a lobby for abortion rights, it does great evil. For those same rights which it militates for in adult females, it would cancel out in the weakest and purest of all females - unborn children.

In this way, feminism is led into a contradiction when it becomes a pro-abortion lobby, for you cannot argue against the rights of women before they are born, but for their rights after they are born, since the latter can only exist because of the former. Thus, the law of logical priority - that is, that the effect is subordinate to the cause, since the effect could not exist without the cause - demands that the rights of the unborn be protected at least as vigilantly as the rights of adults. Or to put it another way: You cannot consistently advocate the rights of women, while, at the same time, advocating the destruction of unborn baby girls.

The contradiction in which this professor finds herself is so stunning as to make one wonder why she does not see it. Put simply: She was, herself, a fetus at one time, and so, at one time was a malignancy, a form of infection, the very existence of which mandated its destruction. By her own argument, she should not exist, and, since she should not exist, she ought not be able to make her argument. Her argument is thus its own negation: 'I was an infection, I should have been destroyed; since I should have been destroyed, I should not be here to make this argument; my argument, then, should not be made.' The argument is therefore canceled out by her very making of it; she is declaring that her argument ought not to exist. Put another way, she is stating, in effect: 'What I am saying should not to be said at all, since I should not exist. But since I am saying it, my very existence refutes what I am saying.'

This would, of course, be comical, were the implications not so terribly tragic.