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Re: Texas and the Taliban

A member of the Taliban forces points his gun at protesters, as Afghan demonstrators shout slogans during an anti-Pakistan protest, in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 7, 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

In response to The Moral Rot of the Texas-Taliban Debate

The comparisons are, of course, grotesque. But they also are illiterate: Relative to Catholic social teaching and the general tendency of the American pro-life movement, at least, Islamic law is relatively liberal on the question of abortion. The classical view, as I understand it, is that abortion is considered permissible in the first four months of pregnancy.

I don’t want to oversimplify the issue: Interpretation and practice vary widely from situation to situation, but, if we are talking about the Taliban, perhaps we should consult our friends over at the Guardian, not notorious for its pro-life positions:

Councils in Taliban-controlled areas are most likely to justify an abortion based on poverty, said Farhad Javid, country director for Marie Stopes International, the leading post-abortion care provider in Afghanistan. Communities under Taliban influence are often desperately poor and burdened with large numbers of children, Javid said.

The historic Planned Parenthood and eugenicist position — that abortions should be permitted to reduce poverty in the interests both of particular families and communities — is, in this case at least, literally the Taliban position. That report is, to be fair, from 2017.

Legal practice, as stated, varies across the Islamic countries: In the United Arab Emirates, for example, there is a nearly comprehensive ban on abortion; in Turkey, abortion is legal for the first ten weeks; Pakistan’s law is vague, but the country has one of the world’s highest abortion rates.

One thing is very likely: As barbaric as the Taliban is, American abortionists will end many more young lives this year than the Taliban will, even if their executioners go to working 24-hour shifts. The Taliban kills publicly in the name of Allah, while we Americans kill privately, in a clinical setting, in the service of Eros. Hurray for us.

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