When I was writing my previous post on abortion I had forgotten about this old comment from the Mises blog, (I think) back when I still believed in God and objective morality (though I was still less bothered by abortion itself than the bad legal arguments for its Constitutionally protected nature). I still like my James Bond analogy.

I think Block makes a lot of good points on eviction (if such technology existed, my position would be the same as his). However, I still dissagree with him. If you wake up connected to a violinist, neither you nor he has the right to cause the death of the other by removing them from the kidney they are using. If Ernst Blofeld drops James Bond from a helicopter into my raft, which is in water infested by sharks in a blood frenzy, neither of us has the right to kick the other out. Were another raft available, I could kick Bond off of mine and into it. All those examples are analogies to pregnancies resulting from rape, which are a tiny minority of all aborted pregnancies (conception and illegitimacy both rose after Roe, as use of contraceptives declined). A pregnancy not resulting from rape would be like if I placed Bond on my raft while he was unconscious. He cannot consent to this action, so there can be no contract, but I did consent to placing him on it.

I also think Block is too dismissive of the possibility of anti-abortionists from achieving their goals without changing strategy. Anti-abolitionists did not need to change their philosophical stance, but it did take them a long time to achieve their goals. In addition, the “Roe effect” means that groups that oppose abortion (and tend to be less keen on contraception) will grow in size and have more political power. It has been said the the recent generation of youths is the first to be more anti-abortion than its predecessors, and this process may well continue.

That’s probably the most I’ve written about the legality of abortion without ranting about “substantive due process”, “the right to privacy” or interpretations of the 10th and 14th amendments. Usually that’s what ticks me the most off, even though common sense would seem to dictate that I’d be most enraged by what I believe to be ongoing and legally sanctioned mass murder.

I think at that point in time I still had not come across any writings on the ethics of obligation (for example: if you push a person who can’t swim into deep water, you are obligated to rescue them) but I seemed to be groping at something like it.