How Bad Is Forced Abortion, Really?

Vice President Joe Biden speaking at Sichuan University

There’s been a lot written recently about Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks this past weekend in which he indicated he “fully understand[s]” China’s infamous One-Child Policy:

But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand – I’m not second-guessing – of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.

As reprehnsible as they are, Biden’s comments should not come as a surprise.

Where’s the Outrage Over Forced Abortions?

It’s no secret that the one of the ways in which China has enforced its “one-child policy” is through forced abortions (along with forced contraception and sterilization).  Why, you might wonder, doesn’t such a policy warrant universal condemnation?

Here’s why.

The logic of the “pro-choice” position rests on the assumption that there is nothing morally wrong with abortion per se, assuming that the decision to have one is supposedly “freely chosen” by a woman.  Having an abortion, then, is no different, morally speaking, from having your appendix removed or having a tooth pulled.

Imagine, then, that a country had a policy in which citizens were forcibly removed from their homes by government officials and forced  to undergo appendectomies.

While such a policy would surely call forth some amount of international criticism on the grounds that the country is violating the individual liberties and bodily integrity of those subject to it, at the end of the day, such a policy would likely merely be “frowned upon,” so to speak.

Why?  Because there is nothing morally wrong with appendectomies per se, and so in the grand scheme of things, there are lots of things that are far more outrageous than a country forcing them on its citizens.

And so if someone like Joe Biden believes abortion is, in essence, the moral equivalent of an appendectomy, it should surprise no one that at most, he’s only willing to say that a policy that includes forced abortions is “not sustainable” — but even so, he’s not willing to “second guess” it.

If Abortion Is OK, How Bad Can Forced Abortion Really Be?

Advocates of legal abortion have boxed themselves in when it comes to decrying forced abortion.  They may concede that it’s a shameful violation of women’s human rights, but they can’t bring themselves to acknowledge how utterly, unspeakably wrong it really is, because if they did, their argument in favor of abortion per se would collapse in on itself.

Forced abortion is wrong because, in the first place, abortion is wrong.  And abortion is wrong because it kills the life of an innocent human person.

If you don’t start from this principle, you won’t possibly be able to articulate how wrong forced abortion — in China, or anywhere else — really is.

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