As always with something this emotionally naked and graphic, it’s difficult not to contextualize: As the writer himself asks, what would those who have arbitrarily drawn a line between a pregnant woman’s life and her health say about this account?
For clues, read the comments. A few committed pro-lifers couldn’t help but find clumsy ways to remind everyone that such stories are rare and that most instances of abortion are unnecessary, rooted solely in the mother’s lackadaisical or negligent attitude about parenting. We’re again expected by these people to accept the pro-life equation of abortion with murder.
Fine, fine. If it’s acceptable to say that abortion is “killing children,” then it’s only fair to call commenters like Christina, the hyperreligious, and others traditionallly labeled “sadly ignorant” or “uneducated” or “f*ckheads” what they are: mentally handicapped. This way, we can keep them from voting, wandering around in public without caregivers, and so forth. Sounds darconian, but why not? It suits my agenda, just as goofy terminology suits the mentally challenged arm of the pro-life zombie. Retards shouldn’t have the privileges the rest of us have.
Also, I have to check myself and ask how much confirmation bias contributes to my perception that people who hold ignorant or fringe opinions about things generally can’t spell or write for shit. I always spot more basic errors in the posts and comments of these people than in those I tend to side with.
I wonder to what extent this is the result of my giving my allies a subconscious free pass; I’d be willing to cede that this is part of the story, but not a big part.
Also, it would be wrong to propose that there’s a perfect or even superb correlation between someone’s ability to turn a phrase and the validity of his or her arguments (although I would argue for a strong one). Andrew Sullivan, who has repeatedly been prodded into saying very inane things by Sam Harris, is a good example of a “false positive” (pretty words, shitty arguments). I also know of more than a few “false negatives” (great arguments buried within awful presentations), but at the moment I can’t remember who they are, andI probably wouldn’t want to single them out anyway, because they’d just call me retarded and thereby try to revoke my Internet posting privileges.
Actually, I’m going to make a point sometime in the very near future of raising some extremely stupid points, ones I put no stock in at all, as eloquently as possible, as an experiment (which I would have been single-blind had I not just written that). For those who would reasonably say that I have been doing this daily for about thirty years, be advised that this time wil be different because I’ll be fully aware of arguing from bullshit (the argumentum ex stercore tauri logical fallacy).