]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]     ANSWER TO FREEMAN PANCZENKO ET AL.     [[[[[[[[[[
                                                          (9/18/1989)

                By Brant Gaede (Freeman 07656GAED), 9/18/89

I.  Rebuttal to 12 points of criticism.

    1.  Killing a fetus is generally not murder for while it is a
human life it is essentially without rights under the philosophy
cited.  However, see part II below.
    2.  Here we have a misstatement of the Law of Identity, use of
the "stolen concept," and an example of  the  fallacious  "analytic-
synthetic dichotomy."  See: Branden, N., "The Stolen Concept," The
Objectivist Newsletter, Jan. 1963, vol. 2 no. 1, The Objectivist,
1965 and Rand, A., Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Mentor,
1979.
    3.  This is very interesting.  The "will to death" of course is
the motivation of James Taggart in Atlas Shrugged.  But let's not
assign it just to the "left" but to collectivists generally.
    4.  I see no difference among "has...[a] social context" and
"part of a [social] context" or "exists  within a [social] context,"
etc.  The fetus's  only context is the  biological one with its
Mother.   If a fetus cannot interact socially with others because
it's in a womb, then there is no social context.  It has no need or
use for rights for it can take no chosen actions to better and
further its existence.  It has no right to life for it cannot
exercise any rights or be prevented from doing so.  It lives on
automatic pilot, courtesy of its Mother.  I think a life-oriented
culture would encourage a Mother not to have an abortion, by taking
the stigma out of sex.
    5.  I agree, but I don't think I have used a "Kiss-of death"
as an argument, though there is no harm in depicting the nature of
some of your opponents, Ralph Nader, for instance under the principle
of "know thy enemy."  Know thy friends, too.
    6.  In regard to the third sentence I would like to know "Why?"
My view is "Or get an abortion."  The Mother may have discovered she
made a mistake.  A "duty" you can't discard or pass off, albeit at a
price, is slavery.
    7.  The tendency of technology to cheapen products in the long
run would be applicable to medicine if government would get out of
medicine with all its regulations and money which both drive up costs
and penalize innovation.  No one would have any more right to remove
a baby from an artificial womb and "discard it" than take a premature
baby out of an incubator and "discard it."  That would be murder.
    8.   Historically the Catholic Church has fought human progress
and betterment, from science to the application of anaesthesia to the
doctrine that man does not exist for his own sake and must be subor-
dinated to "God's Will."  One can easily project that the Catholic
Church will be against artificial wombs by its history, but if that
doesn't prove out?  Great!  In the meantime it's quite legitimate to
speculate on the future.
    9.   I believe that the hidden agenda is to enslave the Mother
(and Father) to an unwanted pregnancy and destroy their lives with
the morality of altruism.  See, also, #8, above.
    10.  If you are talking about human rights and lives, a concern
for the unborn certainly does imply a conjoint concern for the born.
The robberies/ex-robbers analogy is screwy and doesn't even fit.
    11.  This is interesting, but I don't think it would be
legitimate as such to sell a child, which doesn't mean that being
paid to be a surrogate Mother (or Father) isn't O'K.
    12.  Yes,the poor suffer terribly because of socialist economies,
something else the Catholic Church tries to foist off on them.  It is
the parents' lives and happiness I'm primarily concerned with, not 
the unborn. 

II.  I sent away for the packet of information provided by Doris
Gordon's "Libertarians for Life."  She states

           Our human nature on which our rights rest is acquired
           immediately at conception, when we acquire our human
           genes.  To deny this basic fact of genetics is to sub-
           ject our natural rights to the arbitrary opinions of
           others, after as well as before birth.

    My position of course is that rights are acquired at birth
("social context"), only genes at conception.  Rights are only
partially grounded in biology.  They are activated by human social,
volitional, rational, acting, nature.  A human being has all the
rights he can exercise.  A fetus, 3/4 inch long and seven weeks old,
is a long way from a human right.  Everything it is and does is
biological and non-volitional.  A new born baby gets a right to life.
He doesn't yet have the right to be a nuclear physicist because he
can't be.  None of Mrs. Gordon's arguments address or criticize Ayn
Rand's definition of human rights as in Rand's book The Virtue of
Selfishness, so one must assume that from being her "follower" she
has simply cut herself off from the Objectivist intellectual milieu.
She has no arguments (that I have yet seen) that I need to answer,
but I wish to elaborate on my own position on abortion and how
technology can extend human rights into the womb by changing the
nature of birth, even though it is doubtful the fetus at all stages
of a pregnancy will ever be fully protected from a woman's
legitimately exercised right to have an abortion.
    The right to have an abortion means the woman has the right not
to be pregnant, even if she chose to become pregnant and then changed
her mind.  She may want a girl instead of a boy.  The fetus may be
damaged or defective.  She may not want any (more) children.  Etc.
It is all her business, not mine.
    However, there is no right to abuse and damage the fetus with,
say, an inappropriate drug and give birth to a crippled child, which
by means of disability is denied his human birthright.  The unborn
are entitled to an implication of rights.  If they are going to be
born they must be treated as if they did indeed have a right to life
for that is what they are going to get.
    Also, an abortion must not kill the fetus if it can survive
outside the womb.  Why?  Because the right to have an abortion is not
necessarily the right to kill the unborn, only to end the pregnancy.
The woman should pay for her abortion (why should you or I?) and for
the subsequent medical care due her child.  The alternatives would be
no abortion, charity, possible loss of custody.  If she carries the
child late into a pregnancy and suddenly decides she wants an
abortion, her doctor doesn't have to go along with it.  Or her
doctor's hospital.  Or her insurance company (maybe).  They can
inform her that the risks to the fetus could make all and sundry
liable for damages.  It could constitute a form of child abuse.
    If the technology is available to keep the fetus alive outside
the womb, then the right to an abortion ends and the right to life
begins for that technology practically bestows the idea of a social
context on the unborn by making an abortion a birth.  Abortions could
then only be done to save the Mother, child or both or if the risks
were significantly negligible, as in a Caesarean section.
    If twins are born, when the first comes out he has no more rights
than the one still in except that, conceivably, the not yet born may
be lost in an effort to save the Mother's life.  The Mother can't say
kill the unborn twin for, again, the right to an abortion is not the
same thing as a right to kill.
    In Conclusion, there is nothing sacred about human life, per se.
Rights are epistemological constructs and have no metaphysical
existence even though they refer to human nature.  They don't come
into existence because a bunch of genes get together to form an
organism.  It's not enough.

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