TL;DR: maybe read something other than Steven Crowder every once in a while.
'cause this tested well
Any attempt to read deeper into this, especially from an ideologically-motivated, self-serving standpoint trying to come up with a "gotcha," is a fundamentally flawed undertaking. However, my guess is that the "rare" part is to mitigate damage from pro-life voters (which it does not seem to be doing well) and appeal to people on the fence who're uncomfortable with the idea of abortion (the ones who go out of their way to say they're pro-choice but anti-abortion).
I think what you're trying to do here is bring up some sort of cognitive dissonance in the latter group. If they're okay with abortions happening legally, then why are they uncomfortable with many
Well it turns out that instead of pulling reasons out of our asses and reading into noise emanating from our preconceived notions of how people work, we can probably find actual signals here. As a start, instead of attempting to put words and thoughts into the mouths and heads of these people, we can begin by reading what they have to say:
Officially I am pro-choice and anti-abortion. This view tends to leave people confused and angry that they think I am playing with their heads, so let me explain. I don’t think that a woman should be forced to carry a fetus to term. I also believe that abortion is a horrible experience for the mother and the fetus. I doubt that anybody looks forward to having one.
As a member of the clergy I understand these distinctions, and keep them in mind whenever we seek to enact laws that would basicly subjugate human rights to subjective and/or relative moral codes. I believe God gave mankind free will, even knowing that we would sin. In the end, abortion is between a woman and God, and whether or not she has one is her choice, both according to God and the Constitution.
Would I myself ever have an abortion? I'd like to think the answer is no, not ever -- unless my life was in grave danger. But it's arrogant and narrow-minded to think it's out of the realm of possibility and pointless to expect others to feel the same way. If I were in need of an abortion, it would be an intensely painful, private, personal decision between my doctor and I -- and not something I'd want the government and state lawmakers involved in.
While I don't personally share the arguments made by any of these three sources*, I think they all merit reading if you're interested in the issue + how people come to their viewpoints on it. I also didn't find any hard data near the top of my Google search for "pro-choice anti-abortion" but I believe that you'll likely find something from Pew or PRRI since they tend to have polls on just about everything.
However, even without that extra data, I think these three viewpoints are responsive to your allegation of "logical inconsistency." Your idea of a pro-choice, anti-abortion voter is someone who sees abortion as trivial and harmless (as just "not murder," essentially) but is at the same time uncomfortable with a society where abortions are common. But that does not apply to any of the three viewpoints above.
Matthew Gilman (first source) is pro-choice on grounds that include the first argument (abortion is not murder) but anti-abortion on the grounds that it's still a traumatic experience. No evil is committed, but it's a painful medical procedure that creates societal consequences. Even if those consequences are outweighed by the good of not forcing women to carry pregnancies to term, there's still an opportunity cost if abortion can be avoided altogether. (As an analogy, imagine that we lived in a society where lung cancer could be surgically removed with >99% reliability. Now, even though the procedure would work and save people's lives, cancer surgery is a risky and traumatic experience with often serious side-effects. So if you're given a choice between not getting the surgery and getting the surgery, getting the surgery would win out. But if you throw in the third option of not needing the surgery in the first place, then that's the best option overall.) I think it's pretty straightforward to see why Gilman would want abortions to be "safe" and "legal" (he believes that the good of women's choice outweighs the side-effects of abortion) but also "rare" (he furthermore believes that a) there's a third option where abortion can be avoided altogether, and b) avoiding the trauma of abortion is sufficiently worthwhile that this third option should be exercised as often as possible). This is basically the trauma argument.
Similar lines of reasoning exist for the other two arguments. The second source (Kelly Graham on Quora) presents a traditional "hate the sin, not the sinner" argument. From their perspective, the (legal, not moral) utility of preserving free will outweighs the bad of a rather serious sin- just like how God giving Cain free will outweighed the evil of Cain murdering Abel. So again, if there's two options- banning abortions (no evil, but no free will) and allowing abortions (evil, but through free will)- then allowing abortions prevails. But if you throw in the third option of not having abortions altogether- free will without evil (through humans choosing
to be good)- then of course that third option would prevail. Hence the preference for "rare" (in this case, no abortions at all).
Third one- Alison Freer- echoes the viewpoints of Mr. Gilman and Kelly Graham- but with different arguments for allowing abortion and against having common abortions. She echoes a variation of Gilman's "trauma" argument (with an additional focus on women's choice) but her argument for abortion has more to do with intrusion into private life. Same pattern, though, a "good" of abortion that's not outweighed by the "evil" of abortion- but an opportunity cost that makes the alternative of not needing abortions at all
I think where your interpretation of the issue breaks down is in your attempt to frame it as a straight good-vs-evil (in terms of utility) argument where the good and evil of a single abortion don't intrinsically differ from the good and evil of many abortions. However, this neglects the issue of opportunity cost, which single-handedly accounts for each of the three Google search result viewpoints above. Your idea seems to posit that if the good of a single abortion outweighs the harm, then there's no reason at all for someone to be uncomfortable with many abortions. But it's also worth considering the margin by which that good outweighs the harm and how it compares to the margins for other options- the basic economic idea of opportunity cost. Hence people can be logically consistent in their pro-choice but anti-abortion viewpoints.
I don't know if you're familiar with the concept of opportunity cost, so here's a simple illustration: at a proper cookout in Texas, you're not allowed to have well-done steak, but medium-rare is okay, and blue rare is better. So medium-rare is more "good" than "bad" but it has the opportunity cost of not eating proper rare steak instead. Similarly, you could formulate the pro-choice/anti-abortion viewpoint as: "Banning abortions is wrong, having an abortion is okay, but side-stepping the issue altogether is the best option." Banning abortions, like well-done steak, results in more bad than good (in the eyes of this group). Allowing an abortion is more good than bad, but not by as big a margin as just a pregnant woman not wanting/needing an abortion in the first place. So abortions are okay, but not needing to worry about an abortion in the first place? That's what the "safe, legal, and rare
" people would have in their ideal world even though they're willing to allow less optimal options.For the record, I am not here to engage you in debate on the morality or legality of abortion.
As previously mentioned, I do not share any of the three viewpoints above. You might find their arguments compelling or (more likely) not. In either case, however, they represent the viewpoints of the people you're attempting to profile here and should be taken at face value not as good arguments
but as arguments that represent the reasoning of this group. I.e., don't attempt to sidestep out of this by simply engaging flaws in the three viewpoints above instead of sticking to your original goalpost of cognitive dissonance.Therefore, this response pretty squarely answers your question. You'd be moving the goalposts pretty hard if you pretend it doesn't. I expect you to do so anyway, so in advance I'd like to tell you to go fuck yourself.
(As usual, I won't be hanging around on this thread. I usually just downvote, hide, and move on, but there's a compulsive part of me that's sufficiently troubled by your disingenuousness and intellectual dishonesty here that I had to respond but not engage just this one time. $10 is also nothing to me, so idrc that you made this thread without the intention of actually giving anyone those coins in the first place.)
* I consider myself pro-abortion but anti-choice, largely as I'm in favor of human extinction. That's an issue for another time, however.
Edited 4/18/2018 19:24:16