An astounding majority of the stagnation and hostility of the abortion debate stems from both sides impugning the other’s motives. Most pro-life people simply want to protect the lives of the unborn, not control women’s bodies. Most pro-choice people simply do not view a zygote or a fetus as a human life, or, as the polls point to, view abortion as a necessary evil that ought to be limited to rare occasions.
I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn’t want, and wasn’t ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel.
Jamil concedes here that what she terminated was not a sack of cells. It wasn’t an insentient fetus incapable of pain. It wasn’t an entity devoid of a heartbeat.
She calls the thing she terminated a baby.
The shockingly less pernicious argument with this concession would have simply been to argue that her abortion was a trade-off. She could say that her abortion was the best decision for her, and the baby was just collateral damage. Slate’s Will Saletan frequently writes in this philosophical space, and while I disagree with him, he has a body of ideologically consistent and interesting moral cases for the pro-choice cause.
But instead, Jamil comes to a horrifying logical conclusion: that kids in foster care couldn’t possibly have a life worth living.