A Comment on Population Control and Abortion
Note: A blog commenter prompted me to give my brief comment on Reproductive Health bill and to clarify my position on abortion. This is what I said:
Someone has to speak against the RH bill considering the fact that most of the country’s intellectuals are in favor of population
control. I am against this anti-population bill for the very reason that I’m an advocate of individual rights. This legislative proposal is anti-Man; it contravenes reality. The kind of mongrel economics that the bill’s proponents have been presenting to the public is just the approximate of the truth and the lies that are being peddled to justify the enactment of population control measures in the Philippines. Their ‘economic’ justification for the enactment of this bill is anti-economics and anti-economic reality at best.
This is the reason why I published a series of online blogs about the controversial RH bill. I observed that the most passionate advocates of population control in RP are the Filipino Freethinkers (Free-Farters), the liberals, the socialists, and the communists in Congress.
However, this doesn’t mean that I’m not in favor of abortion. I am an atheist for the very reason that I don’t want to destroy reason. Most atheists in this country, the free-FARTERS in particular, are the most ardent supporters of this anti-population bill. But this doesn’t mean that all women in this country must undergo abortion. I believe that every human being is responsible for his/her own body. Any woman who has no capacity- physically, financially, emotionally, intellectually or psychologically- to deliver and/or raise a child has the right to demand abortion. An embryo is not a person. This means that any society has no right to deprive any woman of her right to undergo abortion. To deprive any woman of such a right is to condemn her to carry an un-chosen obligation all throughout her life. I believe that abortion is a moral right, which should only be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved. An embryo has no rights simply because rights do not pertain to a potential, but only to an actual being (the woman). An embryo cannot obtain any rights until it is born. The living (the woman) take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).
In regard to the issue of abortion, let me quote Ayn Rand:
Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly. Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.
Ayn Rand also stated the following in her article The Age of Mediocrity:
If any among you are confused or taken in by the argument that the cells of an embryo are living human cells, remember that so are all the cells of your body, including the cells of your skin, your tonsils, or your ruptured appendix—and that cutting them is murder, according to the notions of that proposed law. Remember also that a potentiality is not the equivalent of an actuality—and that a human being’s life begins at birth.
The question of abortion involves much more than the termination of a pregnancy: it is a question of the entire life of the parents. As I have said before, parenthood is an enormous responsibility; it is an impossible responsibility for young people who are ambitious and struggling, but poor; particularly if they are intelligent and conscientious enough not to abandon their child on a doorstep nor to surrender it to adoption. For such young people, pregnancy is a death sentence: parenthood would force them to give up their future, and condemn them to a life of hopeless drudgery, of slavery to a child’s physical and financial needs. The situation of an unwed mother, abandoned by her lover, is even worse.
I cannot quite imagine the state of mind of a person who would wish to condemn a fellow human being to such a horror. I cannot project the degree of hatred required to make those women run around in crusades against abortion. Hatred is what they certainly project, not love for the embryos, which is a piece of nonsense no one could experience, but hatred, a virulent hatred for an unnamed object. Judging by the degree of those women’s intensity, I would say that it is an issue of self-esteem and that their fear is metaphysical. Their hatred is directed against human beings as such, against the mind, against reason, against ambition, against success, against love, against any value that brings happiness to human life. In compliance with the dishonesty that dominates today’s intellectual field, they call themselves “pro-life.”
By what right does anyone claim the power to dispose of the lives of others and to dictate their personal choices?
I have to state this very important issue to make it clear that my position against the RH bill is not the same as the arguments of the religionists against anti-population measures. My argument against this bill is fundamentally grounded in man’s individual rights. That is, that every human being has the right to his life, liberty, property, and his pursuit of happiness. I am against this bill for the very reason that it is against ‘reason.’ The arguments of the religionists against this bill is firmly grounded in the mystical premise that an unborn child has the same rights as that of the woman being condemned to carry an un-chosen life-long obligation. They say they are pro-life, but such a claim is a blatant rationalization of their mystical beliefs. A woman has the right to her own life and to her own body, which means no one, not even a society, has the right to impose on that woman to carry a heavy burden throughout her life by denying her the right to abortion.
It is very disappointing to observe that no one has ever opposed this bill on the ground of individual rights. This is why I have to speak against the lies and idiocy of the bill’s advocates and supporters. Their economic justification for this bill is against economic realities. However, it is most disappointing to know that what they’re demanding is not a political measure to serve women and the poor, but dictatorship.
So let me repeat what I stated in my previous blog entitled The Psychology of the Anti-Population Cult:
It is ironic that those who reject philosophy or ideology are now currently engaged in a battle of ideas. The bill’s proponents and supporters are pushing for an idea that would coerce employers to provide reproductive health services for their employees against their will, and inflate government power. This idea is based on the morality of altruism, as its proponents and supporters believe it is our duty to serve the poor and the weak.
My rejection of this altruist/socialist bill is grounded in the concept of individual rights—that the government is not—and should not be—in the business of providing welfare to the people, but of protecting their rights. If the state were altruistically committed to a so-called equal distribution of wealth and welfare, it had to acquire them from those who are able to produce. The fundamental premise of my argument is based on individualism and the economic principle of which is capitalism. The only social system that can save this country from worsening poverty is capitalism—and the only solution to overpopulation, which is not even a problem, is to reject the morality of altruism, the concept of statism, and embrace reason, individualism, and a philosophy for living on earth. This way, the Filipino can achieve a new renaissance for this country.