Should the ‘Morning After’ Pill Be Available to All Ages?

I can’t remember Dalrymple ever having written of abortion before, and as he is a doctor I have wondered what his view of it would be. Now, on Pajamas Media, he addresses one aspect of the issue, the decision by America’s secretary of health and human services to require a prescription for use of the morning-after pill by minors.
That the secretary was making a political decision is certain; what is not certain is that she or anyone else could make a non-political decision, for facts do not compel policies as if, once enunciated, there was no choice to be made — though, of course, facts (one may hope) do affect policy decisions.
“First, the facts,” says the editorial magisterially, if a little condescendingly, as if bringing enlightenment to the benighted. But, as the on-line commentary that the editorial provoked demonstrated, facts do not always speak for themselves, nor is there universal agreement about which facts are relevant, conclusive, or even best-described.
The idea of handing out morning-after pills to 10 and 11 year olds with no questions asked seems callous and unfeeling. On the other hand, so does forcing them to go through with pregnancy or abortion because of delayed access to the pill. People can disagree on the matter without being moral monsters.

3 thoughts on “Should the ‘Morning After’ Pill Be Available to All Ages?

  1. Jay C

    Dalrymple has written of abortion several times before, he has not devoted a full essay to the matter but has implied he takes a moderate line. He wrote something like “the view that a conceptus has the same rights as a fully grown man, and the view that a woman has the absolute right to do what she wants with her body, are both mistaken.” He criticises the shrillness and inflexibility of ideologues on both sides who will not accept a measured and respectable debate because they believe in such absolute first principles.

    He says abortions are wrong in some cases but humane in others in a second article, without elaboration.

    There is a book available where Dalrymple does write in extenso on the matter, along with four other people including the “choice” fundamentalist Ann Furedi who defended an abortion at 38 weeks on the grounds of absolute personal autonomy of the mother. She writes on the left-libertarian Spiked website that such an attitude represents an “extension” of moral imagination. It is sold online, but I have not yet bought it; the Dalrymple writing from it is not available for free on the internet as far as I am aware.

    Well done for making the step from MAP to abortion. There has been an insidious attempt by some medics to change the definition of “pregnant”; if the blastocyst has not yet implanted, they say, the woman is not pregnant so one cannot speak of abortion. In fact, life begins at conception and there is no reason for pregnancy to begin at any later stage. Ella is an abortifacient for certain.

  2. Clinton

    Thank you, Jay. Can you give any more information on which Dalrymple pieces you are referring to? Especially the book. I’m not aware of any of those pieces.

  3. Jay C

    “To argue that a woman has a right to an abortion because she is sovereign over her own body is no less a moral position than that to kill a conceptus is ethically equivalent to shooting a man in cold blood in the street. Personally I think that both these positions are wrong, and that so long as the debate is posed in these terms it will remain crude and generate a lot of hatred.”- A Strange Alliance, NER

    ‘People these days are reluctant to submit themselves to external sources of moral authority, which they consider inherently illegitimate…What right, asks modern man, has anyone to tell me how I should organise my life? In other words, in the reigning cultural climate, it will be very difficult to achieve with regard to abortion a respect for the general sanctity of human life while at the same time recognizing that abortion is some circumstances humane. The crudity of modern moral discourse, in which ignorant armies clash by night, prevents the prevents the necessary subtle distinctions from being made.’

    Introduction to essay in Abortion: Who’s Right? -which has a left wing bias and is edited by foeticidal fanatic Ellie Lee who suggested a woman should have the right to KILL her healthy baby as the umbilical cord is about to be cut if it repulses her.


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