27 November 2018

What it Should Mean to be Pro-Choice

Mr Holdsworth takes on one example of the Culture of Death trying to control language.

A loose transcript:

If you haven’t already seen it, Breaking Bad is a show about a high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal cancer and in a desperate bid to make sure that his family is financially secure, he starts cooking and selling crystal meth. He convinces himself that he’ll be able to manage the consequences of this decision enough so that the positive side effects will outweigh the negative. Unfortunately, this initial bad decision forces him to confront even more moral dilemmas than he expected and things quickly spiral out of control as he makes one immoral decision after another to avoid the consequences of the first bad decision. The only remedy to his predicament is to interrupt the cycle of bad decisions by refusing to continue avoiding the unavoidable consequences of his first bad decision. That kind of responsibility and willingness to accept the consequences of our decisions and actions is what it means to be a free agent. If you aren’t willing to be accountable for your decisions then you don’t deserve the right to make them. That’s why most parents limit the freedoms of their children until they’ve learned to be responsible for their choices. Like, you wouldn’t give a 9 year old a credit card and say, “Go crazy.” Because they aren’t ready for the responsibility that is required for that kind of freedom. It’s like democracy. When movements towards democracy were gaining momentum in Western countries, a common argument against them was that the mass populace was too uneducated and uninformed to make responsible decisions about who should govern them. Based on recent events, some of you might be inclined to agree with that line of argumentation. There is a point to be made there. For democracy to work; that is, the right to have the freedom to choose who should represent your interests in government, the people making those decisions have to take responsibility for it by making sure that they are educating themselves about the issues and the candidates. If people aren’t willing to assume that responsibility, then they don’t deserve that freedom. Being pro choice or pro freedom should mean a willingness to make responsible decisions and to face whatever consequences might come from bad decisions. That is the cost of freedom. Having freedom to make choices necessitates the possibility of making bad choices but if we insist on avoiding the consequences of our bad choices, we’re not really wanting freedom. Freedom introduces risk and if you’re not willing to face that risk, then you’re not willing to be free. Instead, what the pro choice moniker has come to mean is that we want to have easy access to abortion. But here’s the thing: abortion exists as a measure to avoid the undesired consequences of our decisions, specifically pregnancy and parenthood. It promises the alleviation of the responsibility we should be willing to embrace if we expect to be given freedom to govern ourselves. Now you’d be right to point out that not all pregnancies are the result of free choices. Some people are victims of sexual assault and can’t be considered culpable if pregnancy occurs. But considering the most credible estimate for the percentage of abortions due to rape is about half a percent, we really can’t justify using that extremely rare occasion to continue reinforcing this self-contradictory view of freedom and choice. As someone who strongly believes in personal freedom and liberty, I take exception to the pro-choice movement’s use of language to assert that the promotion of easy access to abortion is about exercising liberty when freedom of choice brings with it responsibility for those choices. So, if we want to promote choice as something that is tied to freedom and liberty, we should also promote responsibility for the choices we’ve already made and demonstrate more of a willingness to face the consequences of our choices whether we like them or not.

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