Abortion or bereavement?

Labour MP Ginny Anderson has introduced a Bill to amend the Holidays Act to allow parents bereaved through miscarriage or stillbirth to be given paid leave:

Stuff article:


The Bill itself:


This sounds like a good idea: a miscarriage or stillbirth involves the loss of a life to which the parents have usually become deeply attached.

However, Ms Anderson is also a strong supporter of abortion on demand (see Abortion Legislation Bill): https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2138964062898856

I don’t see how it is rational to hold both positions, and Anderson really needs to decide where her head is at.

We all know that pro-lifers say an embryo/foetus is a human being while pro-choicers say it isn’t.

If it is, then there is something (someone, really) to mourn and bereavement makes sense, but equally abortion is therefore a homicide.

If it isn’t, then abortion is fine but there is no-one to mourn – no substantive loss, just the loss of a specific hope for the future.

The attempt in the Abortion Legislation Bill to pretend that abortion is a health issue, rather than an issue with serious moral content (a “conscience issue”, let’s say), does not affect this reasoning.  Regardless of what the Bill says, the embryo/foetus is still there and it is still either a human life or not.  A Bill can ignore facts, but it can’t change them.

Anyway, it seems to me that Anderson is in a non-viable position and needs to decide:

  • human or not human?
  • abort or mourn?

I can think of only one way in which Anderson’s seemingly contradictory positions can be reconciled: “An embryo/foetus is a human life if, and only if, I want it”.  In other words,

“I decide what a thing is and whether or not it has value”.

At any other time, this would be dismissed as a ludicrous degree of hubris.  Now, though, it’s less remarkable.  In fact, the narcissism that passes for virtue today – manifested in unhinged entitlement and the denial of reality that is not self-created – may naturally lead to this kind of ugly absurdity.