A few days ago, Salon.com ran an essay from Camille Paglia in which she presented her case for abortion. She proceeded with Nietzschean logic to assert that the pro-choice crowd must stop hiding behind solipist logic and admit that abortion is murder. It is clearly the assertion of deadly power of the strong over the weak. However, it is justifiable murder because it preserves a woman’s autonomy . . . in her own words:
Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue. The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman’s body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman’s entrance into society and citizenship.In a 1995 essay in the New Republic, Naomi Wolf ostracized herself from the pro-choice, feminist movement when she candidly made the same assertions. As cold, ruthless and immoral as this thinking is, I suppose it has the merits of clear thinking and intellectual honesty.
On the other hand, I support the death penalty for atrocious crimes (such as rape-murder or the murder of children). I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty. Surely it is the guilty rather than the innocent who deserve execution?