What if Abortion is Perfectly Natural?

 

In the animal kingdom, animals kill their offspring. I have seen it myself among housecats as well as chickens. I suspect cats of all sizes do this. Dogs, mice, pigs, bears, dolphins, and baboons practice infanticide pretty regularly. And they do it for reasons that are not illogical!

Males kill offspring because the offspring are a distraction for the mother of the newborn – and men like to be the center of attention. Ask any new father whether his wife remembers his existence, and it makes (some) sense. Killing the brat is a purely selfish act – and it is also entirely natural.

Women, on the other hand, are more practical. They will kill and eat their young when they are nutritionally deficient, but also if the young seem unlikely to be able to thrive because they are unusually small or deformed in some way. Female animals kill when food is scarce. Female animals kill for what people might call socio-economic reasons. It is also perfectly natural.

Abortion fits in quite reasonably with the above. Men are in favor of abortion because kids are a distraction for the mother, and reduce her sexual interest in the man.

Women, on the other hand, support abortion for the very same common-sensical reasons that motivate the animals who abandon or eat their young: babies are a major inconvenience, and they come with a multitude of costs.  (Though at least in nature, the mother might kill or isolate a runt to enable the remaining litter to survive is still showing maternal instincts. Humans who kill babies because they are inconvenient are not being maternal at all.)

In which case, abortion is hardly unnatural. On the contrary, it is the dovetailing of normal animal instincts with the human technology to kill the unborn.

Animals also cull the weak or the sick newborn. Sometimes the newborn might just be… different. It can still trigger the same instinct that leads many species of animals to show hostility toward abnormal members of their species. Humans do the same thing, with state support. In Scandinavian countries Down’s Syndrome has been essentially eliminated, by killing the babies in the womb. Is it so different from how a mama bear, with a well-established fame for protecting her cubs, will kill and eat an abnormal newborn?

Killing our young is being more in touch with nature and our animal instincts! Indeed, suppressing our desire to exclude or harm those who are different requires us to suppress our natural instincts!

As with animals, the reasons we kill babies do not have to stem from desperation; it can merely be a matter of preference. The gender imbalance in Asian cultures is directly attributed to killing girls either through sex-selective abortion or after birth. “In China and India alone, an estimated 2 million baby girls go “missing” each year. They are selectively aborted, killed as newborns, or abandoned and left to die.“ (Link) Infanticide is commonly found in every primitive/native/pagan society known to man.

If the idea of infanticide or filial cannibalism fills you with horror, you might count the Torah among your holy texts:

And she who is most tender and dainty among you, so tender and dainty that she would never venture to set a foot on the ground, shall begrudge the husband of her bosom, and her son and her daughter the afterbirth that issues from between her legs and the babies she bears. She shall eat them secretly, because of utter want, in the desperate straits to which your enemy shall reduce you in your towns. (Deut. 28:56)

I cannot read even this passage out loud without loss of composure. On the day when we mourn our greatest failures, and the losses that resulted from them, the Ninth of Av, we read of women eating their children. It is our worst nightmare.

What on earth would bring this curse down on us?

Because you would not serve your G-d with connection/joy and goodness of heart over the abundance of everything. (Deut. 28:47)

Whoa. Now play it back. What are the dominant features of people who think abortion is a good idea? They have no relationship to G-d. They tend not to be happy. And they are deeply ungrateful for all the good that exists in their world. Which are more-or-less the traits you would need to have in order for parents to knowingly choose to kill their own child in a time when we are so rich by historical standards that nowhere in the Western World does having a baby mean that others will actually starve.

But, hey! At least they are being true to nature. Which might help explain why I understand that mankind’s job is always to try to overcome our instincts, and to be better than nature.

In the Torah, the woman who eats her afterbirth and young is deeply shamed – destroyed – by the act. She would be devastated by it. My mind boggles at the thought of doing the same thing with pride.

[an @iwe and @eliyahumasinter work]

 

P.S. I noticed that the mammals that kill their young tend to be not kosher. Though I think any non-human mammal with a large litter will still isolate and abandon the runt.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    iWe: But, hey! At least they are being true to nature. Which might help explain why I understand that mankind’s job is always to try to overcome our instincts, and to be better than nature.

    Could we have dominion over and subdue the earth if we didn’t?

    • #1
  2. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Yes, there’s a big difference between being human and an animal.  And a big difference between those who believe that and those that argue that we are just another animal because…biology (we have a fair bit in common with yeast on the DNA level).  Well, it’s not all biology, is it?  I don’t think so.  Nor do you.  Nor does Torah.  

    • #2
  3. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    iWe: to be better than nature.

    Yes, this.  Natural ≠ Good.

    • #3
  4. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    iWe: Males kill offspring because the offspring are a distraction for the mother of the newborn – and men like to be the center of attention.

    Nonsense.  Males kill other males’ offspring in order to promote their own lineage.  The Moms don’t cooperate.  (At least this is true of lions. There’s lots of species).

    https://wwnature.com/why-do-lions-kill-cubs/#:~:text=Researchers%20believe%20that%20male%20lions%20kill%20their%20cubs,How%20Lionesses%20Protect%20their%20Cubs%20from%20Male%20Infanticide

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOrwYAdWenQ

     

    • #4
  5. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    iWe: Males kill offspring because the offspring are a distraction for the mother of the newborn – and men like to be the center of attention.

    Nonsense. Males kill other males’ offspring in order to promote their own lineage. The Moms don’t cooperate. (At least this is true of lions. There’s lots of species).

    I have personally witnessed tomcats killing their offspring. Multiple times. We used to have to lock them up to keep them from doing it.

    So yes – males will kill offspring who are not theirs, presumably for the reason you give.

    But they ALSO can and do kill their own offspring.

    Previous research has shown that infanticide occurs most frequently in species where one or a few males dominate a large group of females. Infanticide has occurred in many types of mammal species, including baboons, dolphins and lions. Scientists have developed several theories as to why that is, including that some males might see newborns as competitors for resources, according to Smithsonian.

     

    Male prairie dogs have also been known to commit infanticide. Oddly, they often attack the pups of females they have previously mated with. 

    So… not “nonsense.” 

    • #5
  6. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    More citations:

    1:

    Yes, there are times when a tom cat will kill a kitten. They will especially kill the baby male kittens.

    2:

    Will my cat kill a new kitten?

    A cat could kill a new kitten. This could be for several reasons such as by accident, for example, a mother cat could smother the kitten. Or, a male cat may feel jealous or want attention from a female, etc.

    Male cats can kill kittens (Click here if it’s carrying it away). In many cases, they will intend to cause serious harm to the kitten. Males could also potentially kill their kittens if they feel a need to do so, although they are more likely to kill the offspring of another male.

    • #6
  7. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    “Human nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put on earth to overcome.”

    –Rose, in The African Queen

    • #7
  8. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Fritz (View Comment):

    “Human nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put on earth to overcome.”

    –Rose, in The African Queen

    So why not use genetic engineering to make humanity slightly less horrible? It’s not like nature gave us a particularly good deal.

    • #8
  9. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    iWe (View Comment):

    More citations:

    1:

    Yes, there are times when a tom cat will kill a kitten. They will especially kill the baby male kittens.

    2:

    Will my cat kill a new kitten?

    A cat could kill a new kitten. This could be for several reasons such as by accident, for example, a mother cat could smother the kitten. Or, a male cat may feel jealous or want attention from a female, etc.

    Male cats can kill kittens (Click here if it’s carrying it away). In many cases, they will intend to cause serious harm to the kitten. Males could also potentially kill their kittens if they feel a need to do so, although they are more likely to kill the offspring of another male.

    Interesting, thanks for the examples.  What does it mean that these are all Felines?

    And how does this differ from the not-uncommon phenomenon of a non-paternal boyfriend “accidentally” abusing or killing his girlfriend’s baby?

    • #9
  10. Brian Scarborough Coolidge
    Brian Scarborough
    @Teeger

    We are not animals. We have an animal-like body but we are created in the image of God. That is why the murder of a human being is sin. When one animal kills another of its kind we do not call it murder but nature. 

    Just because it is natural for us to do certain things does not make it right. People do all sorts of evil things that come naturally to them and we often punish them for it.

    I have a well-meaning co-worker that put up a little sign on her desk that said “Human*Kind – Be both” I asked her when has she ever done anything that was not human. Sin and evil are very human things. Sinning is the most natural thing in the world. And we have a choice as to whether or not yield to wrong impulses.

    This separates us from the animal world. Now if you believe that we are just highly a evolved species not created in God’s image then it would be fine to do anything that comes naturally. But since we are created in His image, we are answerable to Him.

     

     

     

    • #10
  11. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Brian Scarborough (View Comment):

    We are not animals. We have an animal-like body but we are created in the image of God. That is why the murder of a human being is sin. When one animal kills another of its kind we do not call it murder but nature.

    Just because it is natural for us to do certain things does not make it right. People do all sorts of evil things that come naturally to them and we often punish them for it.

    I have a well-meaning co-worker that put up a little sign on her desk that said “Human*Kind – Be both” I asked her when has she ever done anything that was not human. Sin and evil are very human things. Sinning is the most natural thing in the world. And we have a choice as to whether or not yield to wrong impulses.

    This separates us from the animal world. Now if you believe that we are just highly a evolved species not created in God’s image then it would be fine to do anything that comes naturally. But since we are created in His image, we are answerable to Him.

    I address this in part of my weltanschauung.

     

    • #11
  12. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    iWe (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    iWe: Males kill offspring because the offspring are a distraction for the mother of the newborn – and men like to be the center of attention.

    Nonsense. Males kill other males’ offspring in order to promote their own lineage. The Moms don’t cooperate. (At least this is true of lions. There’s lots of species).

    I have personally witnessed tomcats killing their offspring. Multiple times. We used to have to lock them up to keep them from doing it.

    So yes – males will kill offspring who are not theirs, presumably for the reason you give.

    But they ALSO can and do kill their own offspring.

    Previous research has shown that infanticide occurs most frequently in species where one or a few males dominate a large group of females. Infanticide has occurred in many types of mammal species, including baboons, dolphins and lions. Scientists have developed several theories as to why that is, including that some males might see newborns as competitors for resources, according to Smithsonian.

     

    Male prairie dogs have also been known to commit infanticide. Oddly, they often attack the pups of females they have previously mated with.

    So… not “nonsense.”

    My understanding of cats is that one litter can have multiple fathers.

    • #12
  13. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Stina (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    iWe: Males kill offspring because the offspring are a distraction for the mother of the newborn – and men like to be the center of attention.

    Nonsense. Males kill other males’ offspring in order to promote their own lineage. The Moms don’t cooperate. (At least this is true of lions. There’s lots of species).

    I have personally witnessed tomcats killing their offspring. Multiple times. We used to have to lock them up to keep them from doing it.

    So yes – males will kill offspring who are not theirs, presumably for the reason you give.

    But they ALSO can and do kill their own offspring.

    Previous research has shown that infanticide occurs most frequently in species where one or a few males dominate a large group of females. Infanticide has occurred in many types of mammal species, including baboons, dolphins and lions. Scientists have developed several theories as to why that is, including that some males might see newborns as competitors for resources, according to Smithsonian.

     

    Male prairie dogs have also been known to commit infanticide. Oddly, they often attack the pups of females they have previously mated with.

    So… not “nonsense.”

    My understanding of cats is that one litter can have multiple fathers.

    It is called heteropaternal superfecundation. In heat, the mama cat sends out many eggs thst can be fertilized by different males.

    • #13
  14. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    It is called heteropaternal superfecundation. In heat, the mama cat sends out many eggs thst can be fertilized by different males.

    Songbirds can have multiple male partners — and she can expel the semen of the male at will! I saw it on a David Attenborough show, so it must be true. 

    • #14
  15. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    It is called heteropaternal superfecundation. In heat, the mama cat sends out many eggs thst can be fertilized by different males.

    Songbirds can have multiple male partners — and she can expel the semen of the male at will! I saw it on a David Attenborough show, so it must be true.

    Well, maybe. There are some questions about Mr. Attenborough’s honesty.

    • #15
  16. PedroIg Member
    PedroIg
    @PedroIg

    I just returned from my local Whole Foods at which I saw a rather large fellow sporting a black t-shirt with the following words printed in all white capital letters:  “I WILL AID AND ABET ANY ABORTION”.  Where does one even begin?  After my initial revulsion, my thought was “That person must be in such a dark place.  He needs prayers.” 

    • #16
  17. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    PedroIg (View Comment):

    I just returned from my local Whole Foods at which I saw a rather large fellow sporting a black t-shirt with the following words printed in all white capital letters: “I WILL AID AND ABET ANY ABORTION”. Where does one even begin? After my initial revulsion, my thought was “That person must be in such a dark place. He needs prayers.”

    He needs to be sent to the “Yellowstone” Train Station.

    • #17
  18. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    PedroIg (View Comment):

    I just returned from my local Whole Foods at which I saw a rather large fellow sporting a black t-shirt with the following words printed in all white capital letters: “I WILL AID AND ABET ANY ABORTION”. Where does one even begin? After my initial revulsion, my thought was “That person must be in such a dark place. He needs prayers.”

    I find it particularly creepy when men are all about the abortions. Ick.

    • #18
  19. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    PedroIg (View Comment):

    I just returned from my local Whole Foods at which I saw a rather large fellow sporting a black t-shirt with the following words printed in all white capital letters: “I WILL AID AND ABET ANY ABORTION”. Where does one even begin? After my initial revulsion, my thought was “That person must be in such a dark place. He needs prayers.”

    I find it particularly creepy when men are all about the abortions. Ick.

    I find it creepier when ladies celebrate death. You gals are supposed to be symbols of life and the fairer sex after all. 

    • #19
  20. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    PedroIg (View Comment):

    I just returned from my local Whole Foods at which I saw a rather large fellow sporting a black t-shirt with the following words printed in all white capital letters: “I WILL AID AND ABET ANY ABORTION”. Where does one even begin? After my initial revulsion, my thought was “That person must be in such a dark place. He needs prayers.”

    I find it particularly creepy when men are all about the abortions. Ick.

    I find it creepier when ladies celebrate death. You gals are supposed to be symbols of life and the fairer sex after all.

    That’s just your “male patriarchy misogynism” speaking!

    • #20
  21. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    PedroIg (View Comment):

    I just returned from my local Whole Foods at which I saw a rather large fellow sporting a black t-shirt with the following words printed in all white capital letters: “I WILL AID AND ABET ANY ABORTION”. Where does one even begin? After my initial revulsion, my thought was “That person must be in such a dark place. He needs prayers.”

    I find it particularly creepy when men are all about the abortions. Ick.

    I find it creepier when ladies celebrate death. You gals are supposed to be symbols of life and the fairer sex after all.

    That’s just your “male patriarchy misogynism” speaking!

    Something weird is going when a dude saying that that ladies are nicer than dudes is misogynist. 

    • #21
  22. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    PedroIg (View Comment):

    I just returned from my local Whole Foods at which I saw a rather large fellow sporting a black t-shirt with the following words printed in all white capital letters: “I WILL AID AND ABET ANY ABORTION”. Where does one even begin? After my initial revulsion, my thought was “That person must be in such a dark place. He needs prayers.”

    He needs to be sent to the “Yellowstone” Train Station.

    I must be living under a rock. I don’t get the reference. 

    • #22
  23. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    Dogs, mice,pigs, bears, dolphins and baboons don’t have ready access to multiple means of avoiding pregnancy. 

    • #23
  24. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    iWe: In the Torah, the woman who eats her afterbirth and young is deeply shamed – destroyed – by the act. She would be devastated by it. My mind boggles at the thought of doing the same thing with pride.

    IIRC, that was a thing in Hollywood a few years back . . .

    • #24
  25. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    iWe:

    But, hey! At least they are being true to nature. Which might help explain why I understand that mankind’s job is always to try to overcome our instincts, and to be better than nature.

     

    There are a lot of actions that are “natural” to fallen nature to which G-d has called us to overcome. Killing the competition or that which gets in the way of a person’s desire to be “god” of his or her own life is perhaps an extreme example, but it’s still on the continuum of behaviors that arise when we become enslaved to our fallen nature. Most of the 611 laws of the Torah that became the foundation for Western Civilization are instructions on how to be better than our fallen nature. 

    • #25
  26. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Abortion is normal, so is murder, theft, rape, and many things some humans do of varying harm to others and even to themselves. Humans did these things rather normally for many thousands of years especially as some  groups of humans organized to free themselves from hunting and gathering  every consumed calorie and figured out  how to produce in one place.  Populations expanded and  thrived until a group learned how to cause the process to serve their interests rather than the planters and harvesters’ interests.   That was pretty much all human history with some groups lasting much longer than others at staying on top and getting folks to produce for them.  The big change occurred when Americans designed a system that kept the central authorities from gathering power and running matters for their personal interests.  What was amazing, probably to everyone, is that the bottom up notions allowed an explosion of technologies to produce more stuff thereby creating modern society.  To survive and also live well the world imitated the US and all who played in that system  thrived by learning from each other, and selling and buying rom each other.   But we let it slip from our grasp and began again to gather power and control at the top.  The top thinks it can have the modern economy created by bottom up creativity but stay in charge and shape it to serve its interests.  They’re wrong and the old system of top down governance and economic management will suffer a gigantic collapse and what emerges and what technologies remain in place are difficult to predict, but collapses and chaos getting there are guaranteed.   Then the little places that did the same and could thrive because they were small enough to have the top and bottom interact directly, Holland, Denmark the Netherland, Israel,  we might hope will survive and start the process all over again.  We could try to save ourselves, but don’t seem to have the wits. 

    • #26
  27. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    This post tugs my mind in different directions. We speak of natural in both good and bad senses. Humans as a species very distinct from others operates to control the natural world. Or more precisely to limit the threats from the natural world and to leverage natural laws to give and maintain alpha predator status. We speak of the Creator and natural rights, which is clearly different from Darwinian power dynamics. We struggle with a vocabulary that needs genders to alert us to good and bad meanings or shadings.

    • #27
  28. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Rodin (View Comment):

    This post tugs my mind in different directions. We speak of natural in both good and bad senses. Humans as a species very distinct from others operates to control the natural world. Or more precisely to limit the threats from the natural world and to leverage natural laws to give and maintain alpha predator status. We speak of the Creator and natural rights, which is clearly different from Darwinian power dynamics. We struggle with a vocabulary that needs genders to alert us to good and bad meanings or shadings.

    The story of Genesis is perhaps the most beautiful story addressing this conundrum that you have described so eloquently. Humans are made in the image of G-d in Eden but they immediately screw up. If they are made in the image of G-d, why did they screw up? 

    After they are exiled from Eden, Cain murders Abel because Abel did a better job of honouring G-d. One generation out of Eden and humans invent murder. 

    Yet throughout the Old the New Testament humans are made in the image of G-d and they are horrible sinners. Sometimes at the same time. I think of David repenting to G-d after committing adultery and murder but there are many examples. 

    Christianity made Judaism weirder and more intense. G-d could be made into a Jewish Carpenter. It also made humanity more harsh. Killing an innocent Jew meant killing G-d himself. Yet the Christ G-d forgive all as a man as well as a G-d. 

    Nothing incorporates both the constrained and unconstrained vision of humanity as much as the Christian religion. It is extremely intellectually schizophrenic and intense as far as I can tell. 

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    The story of Genesis is perhaps the most beautiful story addressing this conundrum that you have described so eloquently. Humans are made in the image of G-d in Eden but they immediately screw up. If they are made in the image of G-d, why did they screw up? 

    We are made in the image of G-d, but that doesn’t make us G-d. We can only aspire to His goodness. And remember, He gave us free will.

    • #29
  30. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Nothing incorporates both the constrained and unconstrained vision of humanity as much as the Christian religion. It is extremely intellectually schizophrenic and intense as far as I can t

    It’s not so schizophrenic when you realize that God prioritizes free will — freedom — above all else. Because authentic love can’t exist without it. Self-giving to the point of dying on a cross.

    Otherwise we’re just God’s automatons. 

    • #30
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