Is Christopher Hitchens pro-life?

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Answered by: Stephen, An Expert in the Political Matters Category
The short answer is: yes, sort of. I take that back; there are very few "short answers" when discussing Christopher Hitchens' opinions. The man does not possess a non-nuanced thought; his position on abortion is not exceptional in this regard. However, he has stated, in public and on multiple occasions, that he believes that the term "unborn child" is "not a propaganda term" and that the unborn child "has right on its side."

What he means to express by these statements is a feeling that all should be done that can be done to protect the life of a fetus in utero. This conviction is, he says, bolstered by "every recent advance in medicine and embryology" which are forever pushing back the date of viability.

The salience of this position is that Christopher Hitchens is almost always thought of as a "left-leaning" thinker. His opinions on the Iraq intervention, notwithstanding. Some stumble over his pro-life stance more than other opinions of his because it seems to be the one at most in conflict with "liberalism" and what might be loosely termed "western progressivism."

The question is asked: How can a man who has spent most of his career arguing for the emancipation of the human personality from superstition and totalitarianism have such an "anti-liberal" pro-life stance? The question becomes even more difficult when one considers that his famous attack on Mother Theresa was composed, in large part, as a diatribe against her anti-women's liberation advocacy in Calcutta. He said, "[Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction." Is it not hypocritical to force women to bear unwanted children, Christopher? Why is Christopher Hitchens pro-life?

As was mentioned in the beginning of this article, Christopher Hitchens's opinions are always subtle and sophisticated in their complexity. In an article published in the National Catholic Reporter (I believe) entitled, "It is time life and choice met in historic compromise" He lays out a pro-life slash pro-choice compromise. Under his plan, women in extreme situations (rape, incest, life-threatening pregnancies) will be given state funded abortion, all other women are to be told that the rest of us as a society have an interest in a "candidate member of the next generation" and will find a state-funded means of providing for and educating the child. Oh, and contraceptive will be made available by the state as well.

One of the fatal flaws of other pro-life advocates is their inability to envision a future (asked what punishment mothers who get abortions should receive should abortion become illegal most of them have never considered the question) Christopher Hitchens, unlike almost all others in his camp, has a genuine pro-life plan for the future. Most choice advocates agree that they wish to see lower numbers of abortions, so in this sense they are also pro-life, and Christopher Hitchens may just be the man to moderate this battle.

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