If you were under attack by a pregnant woman and had to choose between dying or using deadly force in self-defense, which would you choose? If you would choose self-defense, how do you reconcile harming the fetus to save your life with putting the fetus first when the life of the mother is on the line for medical or other reasons?
via A hypothetical situation for pro-life people | VolkStudio Blog.
Although Oleg circumscribes the question among the Pro-Life, I don’t think even the most staunchest Pro-Abortion defender would favor an unwanted termination of a pregnancy, specially if it is an obviously advanced case.
In the calm rational moment of now, the answer would be a yes-I-will-shoot knowing that I would probably be needing a visit from JD and some counseling afterward.
I hope I never face the situation because I just don’t know how I will react. Harming an innocent child is top in my taboo list.
15 thoughts on “One of those Reality-Trumps-Zen Questions.”
Hard choice. But I believe I’d choose to live. The same as if I were faced with a child wearing a suicide vest that his mom put on him. I do believe I’d have to shoot and live.
Harming an innocent fetus is a little bit down from the top of my list. #1 with a bullet (pardon the pun) is keeping me alive. No question about that. Not even if I knew the kid would indeed grow up to cure the common cold and pick winning lottery numbers for me forever.
In your advanced scenario of the pregnancy being well advanced there is a possibility that the fetus could be saved and delivered by C-section. They know how to pump blood and oxygen through an otherwise dead mother – they have not yet figured out how to bring me back to life.
These are not Zen questions. They are not even difficult questions. They were answered the day I decided to carry a handgun for self defense because that was they day I answered the question “Are you willing, ready, and committed to killing another human being in order to save your life?” If I could not have answered that question in the affirmative I would not have decided to carry a gun.
I’m personally pro-life (tho politically pro choice)
http://www.weerdworld.com/2011/lets-play-in-the-mud/ (for any who care)
Abortion is murder, and it’s first-degree murder because they are killing another person because they are an inconvenience.
Now the difference between a self-defense shooter and a murderer or a vigilante is Bad attackers act, good attacker REACT.
For you to be in a valid self-defense shooting the bad guy gets to choose when, and where the fight happens. They don’t give you any input, they don’t let you say “Look, if you attack me, I’ll kill you, and I don’t think either of us would like that very much.”
So really a pregnant woman who puts herself into a place where deadly force is justified SHE has chosen to kill her fetus.
The old Hollywood line of “He killed himself, I just carried the bullet” applies.
We can say we CHOOSE weather or not we can use lethal force in XYZ scenario, but I don’t know how true that is. I’ve read and studied the subject a lot and I have an idea what will get me to clear leather, and what will get me to walk away, but once that line is crossed I don’t think I’ll be thinking much about my attacker. I’ll be thinking about shot placement, my background, cover, and scanning for additional threats. I won’t hesitate if it’s a huge white dude with a knife (which is the courtroom jackpot) or a young black kid in gang colors reaching into his waistband saying “I’ll kill your cracka’ ass!” which we have seen can get you pilloried as a “Racist Murderer” no matter what the courts say.
A pregnant woman putting herself in a situation where my best bet is to shoot her dead and kill her baby sucks, but my daughter not having a father is FAR more important to me.
I can’t say it any better than Weer’d, so I won’t.
Agreed. Another +1 to Weer’d: harming a pregnant woman in self-defense would suck (well, it’d suck to have to harm anyone, but this is worse), but simply giving up and willfully leaving my wife without a husband and my kids without a father is unconscionable and absolutely unacceptable.
Relatedly, if the “pro-choice” (a.k.a. pro-abortion) people would simply view a justified killing in self-defense as a “medically-necessary 83rd-trimester abortion” (or whatever trimester is appropriate), maybe they’d be a bit more understanding of our point-of-view.
cargosquid, Exactly the same reply I had in mind, too. Well said Weer’d Beard. Well said.
Nobody ever said shooting someone in self defense would always be easy, and while it would be a little harder than most, the answer is still the exact same.
This brings a somewhat related question to mind.
In some states the murderer of a woman 6 months pregnant can be charged with the murder of the fetus yet a late-term (same 6 months along) abortion is viewed differently by many both legally and morally. What possible honest distinction could be argued?
While I understand the point of the question, it seems to be one of those hypotheticals that far more hypothetical the probable.
Nonetheless, I’ll take it on:
” . . . how do you reconcile harming the fetus to save your life with putting the fetus first when the life of the mother is on the line for medical or other reasons?”
I don’t, because I have no need to do so.
I’m getting really tired of the hypotheticals games… Everybody is ‘playing’ this game, trying to skew data to support ‘their’ particular take on self defense. NONE of us knows what we would actually do until confronted by a situation…
It would be a remarkable situation where I would have to choose between *killing* a pregnant woman and living.
That said, if I have to choose between saving the life of someone else and saving my own life, except in particularly extreme circumstances, my own life comes before anyone and everyone else.(And I expect them to hold the same stance.)
There are very few unclear ethical questions. We protect the innocent as best we can with priority going to each individual first, although one may make an altruistic choice (e.g. jump on the grenade to save a buddy).
Ethical challenges only arise if there are competing worthy goals or an unsavory choice to be avoided. So, this hypothetical is akin to having to swerve an out of control bus to either kill a kid or wipe out the group of nuns. Sheer numbers would dictate that regrettable choice. Seeking the greatest good in this messy world makes things more clear. We all know what is right, but our selfish nature, our cowardice, our weakness is why we choose to do the wrong thing sometimes.
I see these hypotheticals a little more darkly though. I see them being twisted by gun control advocates as, “See! They are blood-thirsty gun owners who will shoot a pregnant lady on a whim!” That is their twisted view of those of us wiling to defend ourselves. As noted though, each of us should defend innocent life as best we can and that includes us.
The only truly unethical choice would be to let the pregnant lady kill you (and maybe others) before eventually being brought down.
That does seem to generally fit their stance that “More dead victims is better.”
We are forgetting the one useful thing about this type of exercise: We do not know what our attacker looks like till he/she attacks.
If my wife is any indication, this is the best type of gun to pull on a pregnant woman:
Joking aside, I’d feel really bad. This might be one of those situations where I might do a CCW no no and try to shoot to wound.
Honestly, I can’t tell you what I’d do, and hopefully I’ll never be in that situation. I do know the Israelis faced it quite a bit. The Palestinians were sending pregnant women over as suicide bombers because they didn’t think 1) pregnant women would go through the same security checks and 2) the Israelis would shoot a pregnant woman. A few buss bombings later and Israeli snipers were shooting pregnant women wearing bomb vests.
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