“But What if Your Mom Had Aborted You?”

My responses to this extremist thought experiment.

Lisa Martens
May 17, 2019 · 3 min read
Photo by Meghan Schiereck on Unsplash

“But what if your mom had aborted you?”
“Uh…well…then I wouldn’t be around now, so I couldn’t be upset about it.”

“But what if your mom had aborted you?”
“She considered it, and we have discussed this. I knew she got pregnant as a teenager and considered it. I asked her about it one day. I feel much better knowing she ended up choosing to have me. Imagine how shitty I would feel for my whole life knowing my mom was forced to have me? Don’t you think that’s a lot worse than me knowing my mom may have gotten pregnant by accident, but she chose to have me? So, to answer your question, I am aware that it was a possibility, and discussing this with my mother made us closer, and made me feel more loved, and further reinforced in me the right to choose.”

“But what if your mom had aborted you?”
“I guess she would have went to college earlier instead of waiting until I was older, and she probably would have kept modeling, and she would have partied some more, and then had a child when she felt more settled down. Sounds fine by me.”

“But what if your mom had aborted you?”
“Who says she didn’t? Maybe this is all a dream. Maybe you were aborted, too. And we’re in purgatory together. Isn’t this a great thought experiment? Let’s see how ludicrous we can make it. Still shouldn’t be making laws based on crazy thought experiments, though. Or maybe we should. So, if this is purgatory, we should make it a law that anyone who leaves has to tell us what it’s like on the other side. So when someone dies, from our perspective, they’re actually leaving purgatory. So we should hold the families accountable for telling us what happens in the afterlife. If a family does not come up with the answer, their dead relative obviously didn’t follow the law, and so we will arrest the family and put them in jail for 99 years. Doesn’t that sound stupid? It does, doesn’t it? Let’s do it.”

“But what if your mom had aborted you?”
“I guess you’re going to talk about all the things I’ve done, and be like ‘none of that would have happened,’ but there are people right now living in poverty and in shitty conditions who could be geniuses and no one seems concerned about rescuing them and giving them a free education, and also, the idea that abortion should be illegal because one of those potential babies ‘might’ cure cancer is really prejudiced against people of average or below-average intelligence. Again, it promotes the idea that these babies are born into some kind of societal debt and have to ‘perform’ for the privilege to live. So what, you pass these laws, and now every baby born who would have been aborted owes you something? And if they’re not super-geniuses who can cure cancer, then what? What do they owe society for allowing them to live?”

“But what if your mom had aborted you?”
“Why don’t we go into the opposite thought experiment, in the world where my mom would have been forced to keep me? I volunteered in Nicaragua, where abortion is totally illegal. Women and girls would get pregnant, abused, violated, and then they couldn’t leave their husbands or abusive partners because they had children. In a world where abortion is illegal, my mom could be violated, forced to keep the baby, and spend her life in poverty being abused. I would be raised in an abusive household. So if that’s the world you’re talking about, I would prefer her to have the right to abort me and control her own life. Even if a woman is never violated in that way, outlawing abortion will make people live in constant terror from the time they get their first period. They will be afraid every single day of being violated and then forced to carry the baby to term. I don’t want to have kids in that world. I wouldn’t want my mom to have kids in that world, either.”

“But what if your mom had aborted you?”
“You’re assuming I’m a huge fan of being alive. Very presumptuous of you.”


Lisa Martens

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