Monday, March 05, 2007

Adoption vs. abortion

A pregnant teenager is confronted with three choices:
  • A Allow the embryo to become human and give it up for adoption.
  • B Allow the embryo to become human and keep it.
  • C Prevent it from becoming human (i.e., have an abortion).
Note that I've avoided any presupposition that a new embryo is human, or that it is separate from the mother in some way, or that destroying it is killing anything.

From an ethical standpoint, it is certainly not obvious that C is better than A, or even permissible given the possibility of A. What's odd is that many episodes of popular TV shows hinge on the theme that A is much worse than B. Young mothers who can't separate from their newborn babies are presented as heroic, and those who can are portrayed as monsters. If I were an intellectual, I might speculate that this is an expression of our national guilt over abortion. It's only by making A look really, really evil that those who have chosen C can feel some relief at the choice they made. It's taken for granted that B, while noble, is foolish; rather than get oneself into having to choose between the morally terrible A and the practically terrible B, it's far better to take path C. (By the way --- advice to those who chose A: don't watch any TV show involving a pregnant teenager.)


Anonymous said...

i think that all women should choos adoption over abortion because to me abortion is murder and it is wrong and every one should be aware that abortion is killing a human so please choose adoption over abortion

airfoyle said...

As it happens, I agree with you (aside from some quibbles). Did something in my post make it seem as if I didn't?