My 20 tweet thread that got miscarried was about abortion and the Principle of Double Effect.
One of the most annoying pro-abort newspeak terms is “terminating a pregnancy” used as a euphemism for abortion.
A moment’s thought will show that “terminating a pregnancy” is not the same as an abortion, since (1) giving birth terminates the pregnancy—it is, in fact, the NATURAL TERMINATION of the pregnancy, which is why we speak of it as a woman’s COMING TO TERM.
If an unborn child were removed from a woman without killing it, and placed in an incubator, this would also terminate the pregnancy.

Abortion is 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 the act of terminating a pregnancy 𝙗𝙮 𝙙𝙞𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙡𝙮 𝙠𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙪𝙣𝙗𝙤𝙧𝙣 𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙙.
(The other pro-abort newspeak euphemism I hate is “clump of cells”, which is either (1) inaccurate, if “clump” means “without structure” or (2) applies to all animals and humans at all ages, if the cells are structured as part of an organic whole, a living organism.
The cases wherein abortion are thought to be “more” morally permissible are cases of incest, rape, and when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.
The cases of rape and incest are emotionally hard because we do and should have compassion for a woman who is a victim of rape. But we should resist transferring our rightful anger to the child, who has done nothing.
In the thread I lost, I was talking about the case of a pregnancy which is a threat to the life of the mother.

I was making 2 points:

1 Abortion is not morally permissible even here
2 A procedure done to save the life of the mother that results in the death of the child 𝙞𝙨.
My whole intention in the thread was to explain why and how “a procedure done to save the life of the mother which results in the death of the child” ≠ “an abortion.”

The 2nd is a subclass of the 1st.
To properly make this ethical distinction, one needs to understand the Principle of Double Effect, which is basically a centuries old method of working out whether we are allowed to do X, when X will result in both a good effect and an evil effect.

Hence “double effect."
For example, if I shoot a man who is attacking me (i.e. in self-defense), that has a good effect: my life is preserved, and an evil effect: I have killed a human being.

In this case, it is allowed.
If I kill a man because I need his kidneys to live, this also has a good effect: my life is preserved, and an evil effect: I have killed a human being. In fact, it has the same two effects as the last example.

But it is not morally allowed.
The Principle of Double Effect is the working out of how we can tell cases like that apart.
Let me give you a statement of the Principle of Double Effect, which has 4 parts:
I do not feel like getting into it in depth, but one point of the PDE is that it is not allowed to 𝙙𝙤 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙡 in order to 𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙜𝙤𝙤𝙙.
Since it is morally wrong to directly, unjustly kill an innocent human being, abortion is always wrong. So we cannot do it even to save the life of the mother.

We can, however, act to save the life of the mother in a way we know will result in the death of the child.
Let me give an example.

An ectopic pregnancy in the fallopian tube will cause the mother’s death.
If the tubal pregnancy has ruptured the fallopian tube, it will almost always need to be surgically removed (a salpingectomy).

This will result in the death of the gestating fetus.

But it is 𝙣𝙤𝙩 an abortion.
One could make a case that abortion passes point 1 of the Principle of Double Effect, that the act 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙙 is at least morally permissible.

I think here what is intended really is “the termination of the pregnancy.”

Abortion is a 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙨 to this end.
Just as in so-called “euthanasia” the intention is “relief of suffering,” which again is in itself permissible.
I suppose it is possible that the intention in an abortion could sometimes 𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙗𝙚 “to kill a child,” but that seems like it would be true in a small minority of cases, at most.
So I think the “termination of pregnancy” rhetoric is not 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 euphemism, since “termination of a pregnancy” is a morally permissible 𝙚𝙣𝙙—but this says nothing about whether abortion is a morally permissible 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙨 to that end. (It isn’t.)
To give a hyperbolic example, one could have the morally permissible 𝙚𝙣𝙙 of bringing about world peace, and employ the 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙣𝙨 of destroying the entirely human race to achieve this good end.

That would be evil, if I have to say it.
Villains in fiction (and real life) often have in view some good end—but what makes them a villain is their use of evil means.

Although often they are hypocrites and have more selfish ends in mind.
To veer into geekdom for a moment:

Doctor Doom just nakedly wants to rule the world.

Magneto does too, but tends to justify his actions as the protector of oppressed minority—although he still wants to be King.
Back to abortion and the Principle of Double Effect.

Even though “terminating the pregnancy to save the life of the mother” passes 1, 2, and 4 of the PDE, it fails 3: it directly kills the child to save the mother.
No Excuses just gave this example, which is similar:

In giving palliative care, that is pain relief, if the life of the patient is thereby shortened this is not intended nor used as a direct means to pain relief.

In euthanasia, it is.
If the PDE can be justified, then it can be of great help in sorting out which means are permissible to which ends.

I believe it can be justified, but I certainly don’t have time to do it in Twitter thread.

I’ll refer you to David S. Oderberg’s Moral Theory for that.
Here is another statement of the Principle of Double Effect:
I may post an essay of Oderberg’s later, discussing the morality of euthanasia, but for now, I’m tired and need dinner.

If you have any questions, please do ask.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Eve Keneinan 𝛗☦️ن❌
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!