Sunday, July 11, 2004

"My Fetus" and the Sin of Pride

I read an article this morning by Julia Black, the maker of the British abortion documentary "My Fetus", on why she made the film. She hopes the film will persuade women to be "pro-choice" like her; "pro-life" activists believe the same film will persuade women to oppose abortion.

Black says she made the film to help clarify and justify her beliefs, and I think she's succeeded in that. She speaks of "tak[ing] control of [her] fertility" as if pregnancy were something that just happened to her, some lightning bolt from above that randomly struck her in the uterus, when she'd done nothing to deserve the punishment of an unwanted pregnancy. This shows a remarkable (or willful) ignorance as to how babies are made, a strangely artificial disconnect between sex and baby-making. She also speaks of her desires for a career and shows how she sacrificed what she admits was a human life so that it wouldn't interfere with her career. This shows a nauseating degree of self-centeredness-- in short, the sin of pride.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people think this way-- I used to think this way too, for one (thankfully brief) period of my life. It's so easy to fall for the idea that you matter so much to the universe that you deserve to do whatever you want with only the consequences you desire. What finally scared me off of this position, though, was seeing it through to its logical consequences. You could just crush (sometimes literally) anyone who gets in your way, and I knew that was wrong. Thankfully I'd already encountered the concept of reductio ad absurdum so I was able to trace that monstrosity back to its false premise, and reject it.