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Reader’s Comment of the Day: Animals beat us at parenting


In response to Pippa Jones: We should be reducing the abortion time limit, not extending it, Phil R wrote:

The justification of abortion has never depended upon a consistent definition of human life. It depends upon a consistent understanding of human autonomy. Life after all is a continuum. Any boundary between life and some hypothetical condition of ‘non-life’ is therefore going to be arbitrary by definition. A boundary set at 24 weeks is arbitrary. A boundary set at first breath is likewise arbitrary. Nothing occurs at either boundary to establish some ontological change that moves the child from non-person to person.

The boundary instead facilitates the autonomous choice of the adult. It is a legal boundary only. Before this date, the adult may set aside the obligations of parenthood. If such a legal boundary is not put in place, then parenthood becomes an imposed obligation of sex, and this is what so offends the autonomy of adults. “Why should I be responsible for a kid just because I have sex?”

Animals know how to care for their young. But we kill them lest we have to share our time and money with them.

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