Marco’s conjuration of 1960s Italy reminds me of something I read in Scientific American some years ago about the effect of prohibition on abortion rates, which claimed the effect of prohibition was actually to increase the rate of abortion. Leaving aside for a moment how one collects accurate statistical data on an illegal procedure, the quoted figures dubiously compared countries in North America and Western Europe (no former Warsaw Pact countries) with Latin American countries (no Middle Eastern ones). So, what does this tell us? (1) As I said before with reference to Rwanda, the Catholic church is miserably ineffective. (2) Our aim should not necessarily be to make abortion illegal, so much as to reduce its incidence to as near zero as possible. I do not mind if it is legal up until the 48th trimester, so long as it hardly ever happens.
Now, as a Pirate King, there are several things I can do to bring about de facto prohibition that may or may not reduce the incidence of abortion. To drive someone out of business nowadays all you need to do is make them uninsurable, and a few high profile acts of piracy could probably achieve that in a small country like ours. I could also take out a few chests of doubloons and summon lawyers from the Deep, commanding them to go forth and litigate: disgruntled ex-patients are everywhere for every kind of medical professional, including the professional murderers, and all they need is cash and encouragement. I expect this is more likely to drive abortion, not underground, but into the public hospitals, where doctors do not need to be insured. Is this a bad thing? The principle of nihilism- not philosophical nihilism, which denies the existence of objective truth, and is ipso facto bosh, but political nihilism, as practiced by bomb-throwing wackoes in the late 19th century- is that the task of the dissident is not to mitigate the injustices of the system, but to exacerbate them, because only then will people have a big enough grievance against the system to rise up against it. As a Pirate King, I have a great attraction to nihilism as a political creed. Eris is my one true love. Forcing anti-abortion citizens to fund abortions through their taxes is something I approve of, for it will radicalise them and draw them into the struggle. All the conventional ‘practical’ activities of mainstream ‘pro-life’ organisations- lobbying against medicare-funded abortions and an earlier end to human hunting season are weak and kittenish activities, unsuitable to a Pirate King. In so far as they mitigate the injustices of the system and prolong its existence, they are to be deplored.
As a Pirate King, I am certain that a more robust Al-Zaqawi style campaign could bring about a de facto end to abortions in public hospitals as well... but this is hardly going to be a long-term solution, and is likely to lead to the introduction of Marco’s ‘home abortion kits’.
Thus, my goal both as Pirate King and as Pseudo-Intellectual Blogger is to bring about structural change in society. I have no real interest in simply changing any of its piddling laws and mucking about counting beans to see if the compliance costs are worthwhile. Like I said in the long ago, I believe the structural change I seek is inevitable, and it is driven by two things: (1) Improvements in technology that increase the chances of survival and decrease the cost of keeping alive those born at a very young age. (2) Demographic change, as the secular left-leaning population of the West fails to reproduce itself. In order to bring about my desired goal, no grand Pirate King gestures are really possible. I should try to convince people that abortion is a bad thing. I should support the kind of funding initiatives Marco mentions, into miscarriage research, and scientific and medical research in general. I should support all measures that lead to a vigorous and healthy economy capable of supporting such research. I should support high immigration from socially conservative countries. I should support the most socially conservative political parties I can find. I should support the rapid democratisation of the Middle East, as this will encourage Muslim groups in Europe and elsewhere to shift their lobbying from foreign to domestic policy. I should adopt a bipolar approach to my friends and acquaintances, attempting to convince the ones who disagree with me not to have children or go into teaching, while exhorting the ones who agree with me to do so. I should do lots of other things, but sadly there is nothing really significant that I can do by myself...