Notes on Abortion and Antinatalism

If you’ve been following my series on antinatalism (here are parts one, two, three, and four), please be advised that the fifth and, I promise, final installment — which concerns antinatalism and abortion — may be delayed a bit longer than anticipated.   While my first intention was to suggest a roughly prescriptivist-libertarian refutation of David Benatar’s enticingly heretical "pro death" argument that abortion is morally countenanced under antinatalist ethics, I now find myself struggling with a number of fundamental assumptions and issues and can only conclude that further study is warranted.   Consequently, I will be taking the necessary time to read and re-read some key texts in meta-ethics and legal theory (and whatever else is suggested along the way), but I will do my best to keep The Hog afloat with occasional popcorn-posts until all the pointless hard thinking is through.  My thanks to those of you who continue to check in.  If you have any suggested reading, please share.    

P.S. – It’s funny, in Benatar’s discussion of abortion ethics, there is a more or less obligatory allowance for distinctions "between one’s moral views and what one thinks the law should say," but contextually the only default assumption permitted is that "one can embrace the pro-life position as the correct moral position, but think that people should nonetheless have a legal right to choose."  That’s well enough, I suppose, but I have yet to encounter explicit acknowledgment of the inverse legal-ethical stance that sees nothing morally or intuitively objectionable about abortion as such while upholding a rights-centered consequentialist case that it should nonetheless be legally proscribed.  Yet it is from this strange trench that I am compelled to craft my argument, for reasons I now half-hope to abandon.  It may be seul contre tous, and so be it if it is; I rather prefer the badge of lone irrelevance. I only worry that I am missing something crucial, or worse, that my thinking is clouded by some oblique prejudices that I have yet to overcome.  Very frustrating.

Memento mori.