I don’t personally support slavery, but I can’t tell you what to do with your own property

From the Pen of Matt Walsh: http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/07/29/i-dont-personally-support-slavery-but-i-cant-tell-you-what-to-do-with-your-own-property/

I am repeating and linking to Matt Walsh, hoping you will read him. The words below are his.

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A few days ago I made the point that every single argument commonly made in support of abortion is directly parallel to arguments people used to make in defense of slavery. Naturally, this assertion was met with outrage and indignation by a bunch of avid abortion fans. Strangely, not a single one of them could exactly explain WHY my point was invalid, instead opting to whine about it without proffering an actual response. For their benefit, I thought I’d take the time to fully flesh out the comparison between pro-slavers and “pro-choicers.” Behold.

Arguments commonly made in support of slavery and abortion:

Appeal to privacy: “Well, I don’t personally endorse or condone slavery, but who am I to tell someone what to do with their own property?”
Appeal to privacy: “Well, I personally object to abortion, but who am I to tell someone what to do with their own body?”

Appeal to the superseding right: “My property rights come before the rights of a slave.”
Appeal to the superseding right: “My reproductive rights come before the rights of a fetus.”

Appeal to popular sovereignty: “States can decide for themselves if they want slavery. If a state doesn’t like slavery, they don’t have to have it.”
Appeal to personal sovereignty: “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.”

Appeal to inevitability: “Slavery has been around for thousands of years, it’s never going to go away. We might as well have a safe and legal system in place for it.”
Appeal to inevitability: “Abortion has been around forever, it’s never going to go away. We might as well have a safe and legal system for it.”

Appeal to faux-science
: “Slaves aren’t really people. They aren’t like us. Look at them — they’re physically different, therefore we are human and they are not. They don’t have the same rights as white people.”
Appeal to faux-science: “Unborn babies aren’t really people: they’re fetuses. Look at them — they’re physically undeveloped. Therefore, we are fully human and they are not. They don’t have the same rights as born people.”

Appeal to economic concerns: “The economy relies on slavery. It would be a financial disaster if it ever came to an end.”
Appeal to economic concerns: “The tax base is strained already, most of these babies would end up on welfare. It would be a financial disaster if abortion came to an end.”

Appeal to the courts: “Slavery was vindicated by the Supreme Court in Dredd Scott. It’s already been decided, there’s no point in arguing it. Nine men in robes said that blacks are property, and so that settles it.”
Appeal to the courts: “Abortion was vindicated by the Supreme Court in Roe v Wade. It’s already been decided, there’s no point in arguing. Nine people in robes said that fetuses aren’t people, and so that settles it.”

Appeal to faux-compassion: “Slavery is in the best interest of Africans. They can’t function in the real world, they need to be protected and guided by the white man.”
Appeal to faux-compassion: “Abortion is merciful. These babies are unwanted. They would have a miserable life. Better to help them avoid it all together.”

Appeal to the Bible: “Slavery isn’t condemned in the Bible. If it’s wrong, Jesus would have specifically said so, but He didn’t.”
Appeal to the Bible: “Abortion isn’t condemned in the Bible. If it’s wrong, Jesus would have specifically said so, but He didn’t.”

There you have it. You’re free to jump onto the same ethical bandwagon as slavers and plantation owners, but you’re not free to hide from the reality of your own position. If you argue for abortion, everything you say on the subject is essentially a mad lib of what a 19th century slave owner would have said to defend his own favorite institution. This may be an inconvenient and upsetting reality, but it’s the reality all the same. Deal with it. But don’t cry about it. You chose to side with baby killing, now you must own it and everything that comes with it.

13 Comments

  1. Comment by ShireNomad:

    Ah, but you forget the key difference! Abortion supports the “rights” of women, a “good” category of people. Slavery supports the “rights” of rich Southerners, two “bad” categories (combined!) Therefore, abortion is good even though slavery is bad. QED.

    If only slave ownership had been the exclusive realm of women, it too could still be respectable! Tough luck for it.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      If only slave ownership had been the exclusive realm of women, it too could still be respectable!

      I am sure there is a good idea for a science fiction story in their somewhere. Or a really, really bad alternate history story crossed with an alternate lifestyle piece of bondage erotica, where Scarlett O’Hara has to tame her rebellious love-slave Rhett. I could call it GONE WITH THE WIND OF GOR. Hmmm….

      • Comment by Sean Michael:

        Dear Mr. Wright:

        Didn’t S.M. Stirling do something like that in his four Draka books? Where, altho the Draka were stereotyped white slavers, everyone else who were not Draka, whites, blacks, Asians, etc., were fit only to be slaves. Including, of course, sex slaves. I don’t mean this as a criticism of Stirling’s work, mind you! I read his Draka books with horrified fascination wherein he described an alternate history timeline where everything went wrong. As Stirling himself put it, the Draka books were meant to be DYSTOPIAN.

        Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          He did, but I did not read them. And I do not think Mr Sterling’s conceit for the book was that Southern Belles own slaves but not the menfolk.

          • Comment by Sean Michael:

            Dear Mr. Wright:

            Correct, it was not the point or “conceit” in Mr. Stirling’s Draka books that Draka women owned slaves but their men did not. I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the points Stirling was trying to bring out, IMO, was that by making themselves as tough and ruthless as their men, Draka women were dehumanizing themselves (and the males were no better).

            But all this has wandered away from the orininal point you were stressing, that the bad pro slavery arguments can be used to make equally bad pro abortion arguments.

            Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

            • Comment by CombatMissionary:

              It appears to be moving in the direction of how modern feminism dehumanizes women and turns them into people holding nothing but carbon copy traits of bad men (philanderers, narcissists, defined only by their sexuality, treats men as disposable conquests, takes money when convenient, walks away when they become inconvenient leaving shattered lives in their wake, etc. ad nauseum). Apologies for butting into your conversation.

      • Comment by Mrmandias:

        Abort! Abort! Abort!

    • Comment by Christopher:

      What would happen if the woman was a rich and white Southerner? A paradox?

  2. Comment by Richard A:

    Rich, WHITE, Southerners. That’s three bad categories combined.

  3. Comment by RachelK:

    I’ve noticed another unsettling parallel with slavery and our current peculiar institution. If a woman gets a completely unnecessary abortion for shallow reasons–deciding that she doesn’t want to look fat in her wedding dress or that she doesn’t want to reschedule her cruise vacation, for instance–pro-choicers will agree that she’s being stupid and shallow and even selfish, but not immoral. She has a right to do what she wants with her body, after all.

    They wouldn’t react that way if she were killing a person for a stupid, shallow, selfish reason. They wouldn’t react that way if she were killing her dog for stupid, shallow, selfish reasons. They would, however, react that way if she decided to destroy a valuable piece of property for stupid, shallow, selfish reasons instead of giving it to charity. Fetuses and property are on essentially the same moral ground. The same is true of the doublethink that goes on with a pregnant pro-choicer cherishing her own unborn child and thinking of it as a baby while still championing the rights of others to kill their children, or feeling sad about a miscarriage but not thinking twice about a friend’s abortion. The fetus only has as much intrinsic worth as the mother assigns to it. We don’t feel that way about people or pets. We feel that way about an inexpensive piece of property with a lot of sentimental value.

    • Comment by gbaker:

      Your mention of the term “doublethink” is most appropriate. I know of few subjects where doublethink is utilized as much. If the mother does not want the child, it is a fetus with no rights. If the mother wants the child, it is a child, and she can sue for for support or prosecute if assualt causes the death of the child. While abortion advocates often claim that “no one has a right to tell a woman what she can do with her own body,” their response generally becomes less certain if you broach equate freedom of action with prostitution or selling a kidney for profit. On the moral front, I have heard a number of advocates shocked (shocked I tell you!) about the abortions going on for the purpose of sex selection, which some at least give the appearance of characterizing as a moral issue. Frankly, I think it’s impossible to look honestly at abortion and accept is a moral choice.

      • Comment by Mary:

        Hardly. They did in fact fight tooth and nail against the notion of treating an intentional murder of the baby in utero as anything different from an assault inflicting the same physical injuries on a non-pregnant woman. That’s choice, you know.

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