SUBSTITUTE UPDATE: The video is working now.
ADDED: I have long supported abortion rights, but I cringe at the level of moral reasoning in this short clip. Rebecca Traister says that technological advancement is making it harder to support late-term abortion, and the technological advancement she refers to is not the way doctors can keep a very premature baby alive, but the clarity of the images we now have of the being in utero. As if not being able to see someone deprives him or her of moral significance!
We can't see the people in other countries or in prisons, but we still realize we have to take account of them. Could it possibly be that without advanced imaging technology, you just couldn't summon up the picture of what was inside a 7-months pregnant woman? Why should I listen to the moral reasoning of someone with such a dangerous lack of imagination? And I don't mean to let Michelle Goldberg off the hook. Her baby-or-blob quandary is worse.
IN THE COMMENTS: Paddy O. responds to my comment ("As if not being able to see someone deprives him or her of moral significance!"):
We would want this to be true more than it is a human reality. There's a reason why images have changed global politics over the years. Auschwitz is simply unimaginable. But there are pictures. Movies like Blood Diamond and Hotel Rwanda makes a difference. In exactly the same way that Uncle Tom's Cabin made an impact.This is an important point about the power of photography.
We honestly have a hard time really caring for those we don't know, and can't see. Most of us anyway. That's why brutality likes to stay hidden and de-humanize the brutalized.
If we don't see the victims our rationalizations work. So we commit to not seeing them. We avoid the images. We avoid the stories. Even if we are not proponents we are saved from the burden of becoming opponents by the victims just being blobs, or uncivilized, or 2/3 human.
They don't feel like we do. Don't have pain like we do. So they can work harder, become conveniences to cast off or prize upon our whim.
Images change that. Because we can't help but see ourselves when we see other humans, in native dress or inside the womb. Our rationalizations become strained, even if we are desperate to hold onto them.
Humans are visual creatures who need visual stimulus for our emotions and empathy. Out of sight, out of mind, out of concern.
Technology is changing that in global affairs and in personal choices that seem to actually not just be about our own private choices at all but involve others-- real, feeling humans--whether we like the idea or not.