A Real Live Slippery Slope in Action for All to See

The current state of the abortion issue is just like watching a volcano erupt out to sea and build an island in double quick time.

The place we are in late modernity today vis a vis abortion is a prime example of a decision being made about a matter in which all of the presenting arguments at the start of the process are swamped and overrun by the landslide that follows once the decision has been taken. For all of the scornful who dismiss claims of slippery slope arguments as mere moral panic over nothing, then the abortion narrative since 1973’s Roe vs Wade surely silences that scorn.

 

If any little good could come out of our Western culture’s embedding of first the practice of, then the celebration of, abortion it’s this: The issue a cast iron example of a slippery slope in action.

We do not have to postulate, or construct flow charts, to determine whether radical social changes have huge unintended consequences, this is a clear example of where they do.  It’s like, as a biologist might say “evolution in action.”

Or when a volcano erupts out to sea and builds an island in double quick time.  Right there and then you get to see something unfold before your very eyes that you would not otherwise see.

The current state of the abortion issue is just like that. It is a clear example of what perhaps a tiny percentage of those advocating the change did want, but which a huge percentage did not envisage, and perhaps still today, even deny, especially if their word choice is any indication.  And it’s unfolded in a few short decades before our eyes like an volcanic island being, er, born.

The place we are in late modernity today vis a vis abortion is a prime example of a decision being made about a matter in which all of the presenting arguments at the start of the process are swamped and overrun by the landslide that follows once the decision has been taken.

For all of the scornful who dismiss claims of slippery slope arguments as mere moral panic over nothing, then the abortion narrative since 1973’s Roe vs Wade surely silences that scorn.

It is a prime example of how a narrative, and a practice, moves from “a few clumps of cells at an early stage” to the considered killing of babies who have actually been born and are lying there, clearly independent of, but fully dependent on, adults around them.

For many evangelicals who don’t view themselves as stridently conservative politically, there’s been almost a contentment down the decades to let bygones be bygones.

We lost the abortion argument legally, politically and culturally, – and emotionally – so it’s our role to be a little quieter now and get on with what social justice issues are still open to us.  After all if we do carry on too loudly about abortion we could be disbarred from even those justice issues that people, progressive secular AND conservative religious can get alongside each other with.

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