i'm glad the mississippi personhood thingummy failed. probably, what is and what is not a person is not a matter best left to voters. on the other hand i'm not sure it's best left to philosophers or scientists either: it's a wickedly difficult or impossible question in various cases. to tell or remind you of my views on abortion: i am pro-choice. but i am queasy. i think it has been central to the progress of women in some ways, and specifically i definitely agree that every woman ought to control her own sexuality and reproduction. on the other hand, how much a fetus in vitro counts morally is a serious, and perhaps an impossible question. not nothing, and the question of whether abortion is an exercise of the autonomy of the person on whom its performed or the worst sort of violation of another person is just a really hard question. i was pretty clear when i was 16 and my 14-year-old girlfriend had an abortion. i got queasier, i must say, after seeing a number of births, and having some children. so if ron paul is pro-life obstetrician, i can respect that and understand it.
really it is a relief not to be a lobbyist, an activist, or a politician. in other words, if the head of naral were queasy, she couldn't say so. and she probably couldn't get queasy. her commitment is immune to revision or experience. obviously, so is a fundamentalist pro-life position. in a way, the extreme and absolute nature of the positions reflects the deep obscurity and difficulty and ambiguity of the question: you need subjective certainty - an absolute rigid faith one way or the other - precisely because the questions of objective truth are impossible to answer. it has to be an absolutely clear answer, precisely because ther is no answer. well, i have the luxury of living with that, because it does not matter what i think.
now if it faces me again with one of my daughters, or god forbid a hypothetical pre-menopausal lover of my own, then i will leave the ultimate decision to her, of course. and i do think that's where it belongs. but i also won't feel exactly right about it.