Why Does the “What if I Hadn’t Been Born” Question Annoy Pro-Choicers?

Opinion   |   Dave Andrusko   |   Nov 27, 2012   |   6:43PM   |   Washington, DC

Some of the sweetest comments I’ve received all year came in response to my reflections on a column by Rachael Larimore–“Why the ‘What If I hadn’t been born’ question so annoys pro-choicers.” Larimore, the managing editor for Slate.com, is no dyed-in-the-wool pro-lifer, which perhaps makes her observations all the more telling.

Well, the debate continued at Slate and at other sites. Larimore responded and, in turn, was responded to. Let me offer a couple of summary points about those who found Larimore unpersuasive.

To this day, the pro-abortion mind cannot get off of how the unborn child doesn’t “look” like a baby, especially early in his or her development. But what I found fascinating, which was obvious given the topic of “what if I hadn’t been born,” is how easily the pro-abortion mind glides to the proper conclusion.

Which is? Heck, if you weren’t born, you wouldn’t have known that you were obliterated along the way. And moms and dads will just transfer the love they would have bestowed on you to the next child (assuming there is a next child). Proponents of this use miscarriages as an example.

The first objection—well, what do you do with that? Can you think of a more efficient more way of lethally marginalizing whole categories of people than airily announcing “they don’t look like us”? And at the risk of stating the obvious, what the unborn child looks like at, say, ten weeks is what each and every one of us fortunate to be alive looked like at that stage. That’s what homo sapiens look like.

And as for point number two, “But here’s the thing,” Larimore writes.

“Our government protects our right to our lives as much as it reasonably can—it’s illegal to murder or assaulting someone, and you can be severely punished for causing accidental deaths—but it can’t guarantee us life. Tragedies happen: People die in accidents, or prematurely from cancer. To suggest that society shouldn’t recognize a right to be born just because some pregnancies end in miscarriage is like saying the government shouldn’t protect us because we could get hit by a bus anyhow.”

Let me just throw in one quick sidebar reference before I finish up with Larimore’s dazzling conclusion. She drolly chastises pro-abortion feminists for simultaneously insisting that they are ‘moral actors’ and demanding to be treated as adults yet scream like adolescents once they get pregnant that they must be able to abort otherwise they are reduced to “mandatory incubators.”



Here are Larimore’s reflections back on her original column (P.S. she was born to teenage parents one year before Roe v. Wade was handed down):

“And in the end, I guess that is really why I wanted to get the “What if I had been born?” question out there. As I wrote in my previous post, I don’t consider myself to be especially important or special. The world at large is not a better place just because I make a mean jambalaya or volunteer in my son’s classroom or rescue that dog running around my neighborhood. But it’s a damn good life to me, and if raising an uncomfortable question can make even a few people think about how precious life is, to make them realize that it’s possible for someone who ‘shouldn’t have been born’ to grow up in a loving home with caring, dedicated, hardworking parents and turn out OK herself, well, then I’ve accomplished something.”

LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in his Natioanl Right to Life News Today.