Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sat Aug 21 10:27:20 PDT 1999

One argument which is frequently used against the death penalty *could* in principle be used against abortion. I can't locate the exact passage in Wendy Lesser's *Pictures at an Execution*, but it goes something like this: "I can just imagine a crime so horrible that it deserves the death penalty -- but I cannot imagine anyone so horrible that they deserve to impose the death penalty."

We have always known, though only materialists admit it out loud, that death is a tragedy not for the dead but for the living. The dead don't know they are dead. The death penalty, then, is ultimately to be condemned because of its corrupting effect on the working class, not because the condemned do not "deserve" to die.

Now the right-to-lifers *might* argue that abortions brutalize the public -- but they can't make that argument in good faith because it is so obvious that the advocates of abortion are, on most issues, far less brutal than the opponents. I wonder how many right-to-lifers supported the humanitarian bombing in Yugoslavia?


Doug Henwood wrote:

> Max B. Sawicky wrote:
> >I'm not much concerned about 11 week old fetuses. I've said a bunch
> >of times it's approximately weeks T-4 and forward to birth that are
> >most
> >troublesome, in thinking about abortion. No the concept of birth does
> >not mean much more, in this context, than the concept of becoming
> >two years old. It's a more spectacular milestone, but part of a
> >larger
> >process.
> T-4? Who ever spoke about abortions that late, except a bunch of
> fundamentalists trying to chip away at abortion rights? Evidently
> they've been somewhat successful.
> Doug

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