From our American correspondent, Esteban:
OK, this may seem like quite a stretch, but there seems to be an inconsistency from many people re: forced quarantines and abortion. No, really, hang with me a minute, I’ll get there.
Assuming you believe that a fetus is a human being, the moral argument for permitting abortion is that you cannot preserve its life without imposing a significant burden on the pregnant woman. If she doesn’t want to go through another 6-7 months of pregnancy and you tell her, sorry, you must, that’s no small imposition on her life. Somewhat analogous to being told that you’re a great match for someone who needs a kidney and you have a spare.
A quick, but probably necessary, aside to deal with the “just a clump of cells” thing. That’s bollocks, it may be effective politically, but it’s bollocks. You sit with a woman who is happily pregnant, look at her sonogram and tell her that the image that looks like a baby sucking its thumb is just a clump of cells or meaningless tissue. Good luck with that, mate.
Now let’s move to the current quarantine situation. Young, healthy people are being ordered (in many places) not to go to school, work or recreation. Why? Because other people (old and/or with immune system issues) are at risk from the Wuhan virus and we need to slow the spread. So, you have to surrender your freedom because it might be beneficial to others.
Mind you, I’m not sure what the right answer is to either situation. In the case of abortion, if you believe the fetus is a human being you still have a clash of interests or rights. Likewise, re: quarantines, there is a risk of nightmare overloads in ICU units and desperate measures may be necessary.
But it strikes me that those who see no issue with being pro abortion and pro forced quarantine aren’t being consistent. Or perhaps I’m missing something?