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Monday, March 24, 2003

Is autonomy the sticking point?

I've been mulling over why hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the war, when these same people for the most part do not speak out against the killing of very small babies.

One might say that these people don't recognize the fetus as a very small baby, so there is no hypocrisy. However, by and large, almost everyone including those of us who get abortions, do recognize that it is a very small baby. We think it is a very small baby but that we are nevertheless justified in terminating it for one reason or another.

However, I realized this morning how it is that protesting the war but not protesting abortion is a consistent position. It is consistent because it consistently upholds a strong position or belief about autonomy.

In the case of abortion, people who support a pro-choice position do so because even though a homicide is occurring, they have strong beliefs about the autonomy of the woman to make that decision as it respects the intimate territories of her body. They resent the idea that anyone outside her body could have any right to protect a person that resides so completely within her territory.

In the case of those who protest the war, they support the right of Saddam Hussein and his regime to do whatever they wish to their own citizens within their territorial borders. It is his country and he can do whatever he wants to anyone within it. Anti-war protestors resent the idea that anyone outside the country could have a right in justice to protect anyone within the borders of Iraq.

On top of that, anti-war protestors do not recognize any possibility that Saddam Hussein might initiate hostilities outside his autonomous territory. That's just ignorance, and not a potential source of inconsistency or hypocrisy.

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