Friday, March 25, 2011

Senator Boxer Must Have Failed Analogies

Senator Boxer Must Have Failed Analogies

From the December 8, 2009 San Jose Mercury-News:

WASHINGTON — As abortion took center stage in the Senate's historic debate over health care reform, Sen. Barbara Boxer was right in the middle of the fight, comparing an effort to limit women's access to abortion to restricting men's access to Viagra.
Her combative stance on the issue was a familiar one for the third-term Democrat, whose support of abortion rights has been central to her political career.
"Why are women being singled out here? It's so unfair," Boxer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "We don't tell men that if they want to ... buy insurance coverage through their pharmaceutical plan for Viagra that they can't do it."
If the government decided that Viagra wasn't necessary (which strictly speaking, it isn't), and decided that it shouldn't be covered, you would not get any argument from me. But the bigger issue here is Boxer's misunderstanding of how analogies work. Boxer clearly doesn't understand that the moral discomfort that most Americans have with abortion isn't about sex; it's about killing what is going to be, in a very short time, a human being. And this is analogous to Viagra in what way?

Viagra helps men (and presumably their wives) achieve sexual satisfaction. This is not truly necessary from a health standpoint, but has no other morally worrisome aspects to it. Is Boxer arguing that abortion is some sort of sexual satisfaction procedure?

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