yes. it’s good specifically for you.
i believe the question of abortion is an exceptionally-simple moral and ethical one. it is fundamentally and absolutely barbaric to force any living thing to undergo pregnancy and childbirth. it is physically difficult and destructive, not to mention emotionally draining. its impact on life is larger than any other potential shift in medical status. perhaps, however, you are a barbarian who enjoys seeing females incur pain and suffering lasting their entire lives, childbirth not being the end of the impact of pregnancy but only the end of the first almost-year of decades of physical destruction resulting from carrying an infant to term. perhaps you have undergone it and believe other females should suffer as much as you. perhaps you are a sadist. this isn’t about religion. there’s no large-scale religion out there that subscribes to the idea that you should force anyone to carry a child and give birth. none. if someone has told you the bible says abortion is wrong, either they haven’t read the bible or you haven’t. if they’ve said there are passages in the qur’an that say females can’t select not to be pregnant, they’re corrupting the message of the prophet. and those are the only two popular religious systems at the moment anyone is even pretending speak against abortion — judaism, hinduism, sikhism and even philosophies like buddhism, daoism and confucianism are openly pro-choice and pro-women.
but perhaps you really feel strongly it’s bad for society or for you specifically. perhaps you’re such a bad person you worry if abortion was more accessible you would have been terminated. maybe that’s what it is — you don’t think you deserve to have been born and wonder what would have happened if your mother had had easier abortion access. i can probably put your mind at ease on that one. legalization of abortion hasn’t changed the number of abortions, only the number of women who survive them without significant health degradation. so if your mother had wanted to terminate you, she probably would have. you have nothing to fear.
so let’s get to something a bit more functionally-useful. if the argument about it being brutal, barbaric and unthinkably evil to force pregnancy and childbirth on another living thing doesn’t strike you as a basic truth — which it should — there is a perhaps-stronger argument. abortion is good for you. no, i don’t mean it’s good for women or good for potential-mothers or good for those who like autonomy and freedom. i mean it’s good for you. and it’s good for society. you in particular, though. let’s explore that a little. i suspect you’ve never thought about the practicalities of it in terms of it’s impact on you in particular and those around you but it really has quite a few and they’re all positive.
- population. this planet has dramatically too many people. there is absolutely no debate about whether earth is overpopulated, only what can be done about it and how large this problem actually is. the problem certainly exists. the impact of overpopulation is, as we have seen in recent years, significantly-increased risk of viral outbreaks, degradation of the environment, reduced availability of food, less available land and destruction of natural environments for housing, food-production and commerce. we need there to be less people. that either means less children being born or killing people to make the population sustainable. i’m not sure if you’re for or against killing people but i’m going to hope you’re against it. hope is good. i like to think everyone agrees with me that slaughtering large segments of the population for sustainability is a bad idea. the other solution to this problem is a dramatically-lower birth rate. we can only achieve that in practical terms by allowing people to select not to give birth and accept the social responsibility that there are already too many children so any new ones should be carefully planned and desired — and there are even too many of those. reducing the population over time will have the single largest potential improvement of any change we could make to this planet in terms of the survival of our species on it.
- healthcare. many of us live in places where there is poorly-provided socialized medicine. others in places where medicine is mostly-private but working on a market-demand system. in either situation, there is incredibly-strong demand in the medical system in general. this has two significant impacts on us as individuals. it reduces the supply of doctors and other healthcare professionals — try to find a good local doctor accepting patients and i suspect you’ll have difficulty and if you want to find a mental health practitioner you’re likely out of luck unless you want to be on a waitlist indefinitely. and it increases the cost of those services. whether that means the cost is increased in terms of government spending on healthcare putting more pressure on already-overloaded taxation systems or translates to you paying more and more in health insurance and in-hospital billing, the link is clear. more pregnancies, more births and more children being brought into the world combine to add a massive stress to an already-broken healthcare system through the vast majority of the world.
- housing. there are far too many people but the largest pressure-point in the contemporary housing market is new families looking to shift from small-apartment life to small-home and large-apartment life to accommodate young children. this is depleting the supply of affordable housing and pushing the housing market into a tailspin of pricing increases. the knock-on impact of this is the dramatic increase in cost of new-build supplies and labor, shortages in available housing and the inability of many people to afford either to remain in their current homes or move to new ones. with each new child born, your housing situation becomes more difficult.
- environment. children in the modern west require vast amounts of energy, water and manufactured goods to grow up. far more than most adults in practical, everyday terms, in fact. even if it was less, we are still talking about a significant impact on supply-chain systems and an already-overburdened world of production, transportation and disposal. in other words, having children means buying things for them, which had to have been made somewhere, using them and disposing of them when they’ve reached their end-of-life points. this increases demand for chemical and materials mining, extraction, processing and distribution, pollution from production, cost in financial terms and environmental degradation from disposal of used items, especially plastics. as children change far more quickly, disposal cycles tend to be much faster for children and as they are less discriminating consumers in general there is a tendency for their products to be lower-quality and more disposable — at least, on average. this means children are a significant factor in environmental damage. not to mention the impact their requirements for food-production and land-use have on an already-taxed ecosystem. more mouths to feed, bodies to clothe and individuals to keep busy means more damage to the world around us. while i’m sure we’re not suggesting we stop feeding and clothing our children — at least i hope we’re not — forcing the number of extra people created seems irresponsible in at least this way. added to the others, that is.
forcing another to experience pregnancy and childbirth is unthinkably horrific. it is evil. it is immoral. and it goes against the principles of all accepted philosophies and religions. if this means nothing to you, however, not only is abortion good for society but for you as an individual. it reduces the stress on a healthcare system that is, if not already failing you personally, will in the future. it reduces the pressure on the housing system, limits population growth at a time when it is out-of-control to the point it threatens our extinction and it reduces our impact on the natural world, which i’m sure you love to experience as much as me. it has no negative side-effects on those not directly undergoing the procedure — if you’re not the one having the abortion, you can’t possibly suffer from it. but you can certainly benefit.
so there’s no reason, unless you’re an ethical person, to think about the women who shouldn’t be forced to do these horrible things to their bodies. think about yourself. be selfish. be self-obsessed if you want to. look at the benefits to your society and you in particular of allowing abortion. it’s good for you.
thanks for exploring this with me.