Myrddin wrote:Gary doesn't call himself "Pro-choice" nor does he call himself "Pro-Life" - so its a bit misleading to put a link to a Gary Francione article with your "Pro-choice" opinion. Like all good philosophers Gary doesn't make broad sweeping, blanket judgements - he looks at each case seperately. If anything Gary has said that the issue of abortion is problematic. The fact is you can't determine the rightness or wrongness of any act until you look at the particulars. For this reason I am neither "Pro-choice" or Pro-Life" - I avoid such labels. Reason is my label.
Well, I don't like the label "pro-choice" either, and I wrote that in my earlier post. I don't think I was being misleading. Nor did I say Francione was pro-choice or pro-life, only that he has written on the subject. However, I have to disagree with you about Francione. He writes in his essay "Abortion and Animal Rights: Are They Comparable Issues?":
"[E]ven if we grant that the fetus is sentient (at least at some phase of existence), or that a fetus is a rightholder ... we are still confronted by the question as to who is the appropriate moral agent to resolve any conflict between the primary rightholder (the woman) and the subservient rightholder (the fetus). The only choices are to let the primary rightholder decide, or to relegate the responsibility to a legal system dominated by actors and ideologies that are inherently sexist. In the abortion context, there are no other choices, as there are when the state attempts to regulate animal abuse or the abuse of minor children" (150).
Prof. Francione is strongly pro-feminist in his writings and he points out, as I have, that the pregnant woman is the only person qualified to decide if an abortion is right or wrong. It would be sexist for Francione, the state, or me to say whether a woman should go to term or not. And it is a patriarchal society that interferes with a woman's reproductive rights.
You are right. Abortion is a problematic issue. No one pointed that out better than Mary did in her earlier post. Abortion is not a cut-and-dry issue. Women who decide whether to get an abortion or not have to make a hard life and death decision. But they are the only ones who can make that decision. I may wonder about the sentience of the fetus, but it would be wrong and sexist for me to say a woman had to go to term or have an abortion. Yes, it is a case-by-case issue, but again only the woman can judge her own case. I actually have resisted writing much on this thread because I think it is a little sexist to be entertaining the idea that the state or I can tell a woman what is right or wrong when it is her reproductive rights.
Adam, you almost make it sound like Francione is an act utilitarian. Maybe I'm reading you wrong, but Francione has been very critical of this kind of consequentialism.
Francione, G. L. "Abortion and Animal Rights: Are They Comparable Issues?" Animals and Women: Feminist Theoretical Explorations. Ed. Adams and Donovan. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995. 149-159.