Princeton Professor Liz Harman was discussing the “ethics of abortion” on Philosophy Time with professor Eliot Michaelson and James Franco? Like, Pineapple Express, This is The End, Freaks and Geeks James Franco?
Son of gun, he hosts a philosophy web series. Go figure.
Anyway, like I said the “ethics of abortion” came up and Harman gave a response that, even by pro-abortion standards (see Pro-Abortion NY Times Asks ‘What if Roe v. Wade Was Overturned?’ It Backfires and Cory Booker Compares Pro-Abortion Fight To Storming Normandy), is absolutely crazy pants.
FRANCO: Can’t you only judge that in hindsight?
Bingo. But there’s more from Franco:
So what you’re saying is if the fetus is never destined to become a person, it doesn’t have ‘moral status.’ If a woman decides to have an abortion with an early fetus, just that act or that intention negates the ‘moral status’ of that early fetus just because if she goes out and has an abortion, it’s pretty certain that it’s not going to become a person?
That’s actually a good question.
Let’s see the answer.
PROF. KILLEMALL: Right, so it might look like on my view abortion is permissible because you had the abortion but that abortion wouldn’t have been permissible if you didn’t have the abortion. That’s not quite the view, for I think two different reasons. So one reason is that, um, even you have moral status—and in my view back when you were in early fetus you had moral status—but it’s not that aborting you would have been wrong because if your mother had chosen to abort her pregnancy, then it wouldn’t have been the case that you would have had moral status because you would have died as an early fetus, so she would have been aborting something that didn’t have moral status.”
“So it’s not—my view isn’t that if you do abort, abortion is OK but if you don’t abort, abortion would have been wrong. But what it turns out is that it’s a contingent matter that you have moral status you actually have moral status but you might not have counted morally at all if you had been aborted. You would have existed but you just would have had this really very short existence in which you wouldn’t have mattered morally.”
I – I just don’t have the strength.
Lemme jump in with the macro point: this is the abortion argument in a crazy nutshell. It makes no sense. If you’ve ever actually talked to a person who describes themselves as “pro-choice,” you inevitably have to leave yourself a trail of gluten-free breadcrumbs. The philosophical points are confusing on purpose, because abortion is now and always has been murdering an unborn child. Yes, murder. There’s motive, intent, a murderer, a murder weapon, and a dead victim. It’s murder.
Well murder is an ugly thing, ain’t it? Most women don’t want to be murderers. So rather than say “I’m here to murder my unborn child because I don’t want to take care of a person as it’s the wrong time for me” pro-choicers contort themselves into philosophical pretzels like this professor did, saying it would’ve never been a person. Because I killed it before it could be a person. Ergo I am not a bad person, please love me for who I am.
James Franco’s reaction is appropriate.
But remember, this is the party that “loves science.” Read also ‘Slate’ Demands we Stop Equating ‘Science with Truth.’ They Can Screw Themselves.
Here, watch this video: