This is nuts! This may be one of the craziest things we’ve ever posted here, folks. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, nothing too crazy, you know? But I feel I can at least grasp concepts as well as the rest of you. This, however, gets really weird. Let me through some quotes at you.
“I think if a fetus hasn’t ever been conscious, it hasn’t ever had any experiences, and we aborted it at that stage actually nothing morally bad happens.”
“But, what I think is actually among early fetuses there are two very different kinds of beings. So, James, when you were an early fetus, and Eliot, when you were an early fetus, all of us I think we already did have moral status then.”
“But some early fetuses will die in early pregnancy due to abortion or miscarriage. And in my view that is a very different kind of entity. That’s something that doesn’t have a future as a person and it doesn’t have moral status.”
These are a few of the quotes from Princeton University professor Elizabeth Harman given in an interview with James Franco (for some reason).
So what’s she saying… I think, and I encourage you to discuss this with me in the comments, is that because they weren’t aborted their futures mattered but that the futures of victims of abortion do not matter. I mean kinda duh, right? The baby has been terminated… that doesn’t make it right.
So co-host of this is philosophy professor Eliot Michaelson. It’s a video series where he and Franco interview academics.
Michaelson asked how the future of a fetus determines whether it has “moral status.”
“Why would we think that what’s actually going to happen to a fetus in the future is going to make this big difference between having some moral status and not?” Michaelson asked.
She again replied that there’s only a moral standing when a woman decides not to abort…
“There is a real question of, how could we know? Well, often we do know. So often, if we know that a woman is planning to get an abortion, and we know that abortion is available to her, then we know that fetus is going to die—that it’s not the kind of thing like the fetuses that became us. It’s not something with moral status, in my view. Often we have reason to believe that a fetus is the beginning stage of a person. So, if we know that it’s that a woman is planning to continue her pregnancy, then we good reason to that her fetus is something with moral status something with this future as a person.”
In response, Franco asks, “If a woman decides to have an abortion with an early fetus, just that act or that intention negates the ‘moral status’ of that early fetus just because if she goes out and has an abortion, it’s pretty certain that it’s not going to become a person?”
Because she’s spewed nonsense the entire time she struggled to defend her position past her previously stated “points”.
“Right, so it might look like on my view abortion is permissible because you had the abortion but that abortion wouldn’t have been permissible if you didn’t have the abortion. That’s not quite the view, for I think two different reasons. So one reason is that, um, even you have moral status—and in my view back when you were in early fetus you had moral status—but it’s not that aborting you would have been wrong because if your mother had chosen to abort her pregnancy, then it wouldn’t have been the case that you would have had moral status because you would have died as an early fetus, so she would have been aborting something that didn’t have moral status.”
“So it’s not—my view isn’t that if you do abort, abortion is OK but if you don’t abort, abortion would have been wrong. But what it turns out is that it’s a contingent matter that you have moral status you actually have moral status but you might not have counted morally at all if you had been aborted. You would have existed but you just would have had this really very short existence in which you wouldn’t have mattered morally.”
So again, in Harman’s view the “moral status” is only endowed when a fetus “has a future”… But doesn’t that seem illogical? What chance does an aborted baby have then? You can’t retrospectively just strip away a life, it’s meaning, and it’s “moral status” just because it’s terminated. That’s sort of the entire point of the pro-life movement, isn’t it?