Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why are people pro-choice (part 3)

This is the third in an ongoing series of posts about the reasoning pro-choicers use to arrive at their point of view. In part 1 and part 2, we covered the back alley abortion argument and the when does life begin argument. Today's reason is:

Reason #3: It's my body, my choice.

This may actually mean one of two reasons. The first meaning is that the fetus is part of my body, and I have the right to do what I want with my body. An abortion is just like liposuction - taking away part of my body. Of course, this falls prey to the same logic we applied in part 2. Without regurgitating the whole thing I submit this one quote and direct you to read Part 2.
Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris, was the discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down syndrome. Dr. LeJeune testified to the Judiciary Subcommittee, “after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being.” He stated that this “is no longer a matter of taste or opinion,” and “not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.” He added, “Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”
Note that this is a scientific fact. With technology like DNA analysis we can prove that the fetus is not part of the mother's body, but is a unique individual, from the moment of conception on.

But perhaps what the pro-choicer means is "I accept that it is a separate and unique life, but my right to control my body trumps the fetus' right to use it for warmth and nourishment. The two arguments that can be made are defense and privacy.

The defense argument goes something like "if an intruder entered my house and attacked me I would have the right to defend myself, even if I killed the attacker. Therefore I have the right to abort the baby that has entered my body." Mother Teresa was well aware of this argument when she said:
"America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts -- a child -- as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. (Mother Theresa -- "Notable and Quotable," Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14)
She saw at once the problem with this argument is that it purports the child to be an attacker. The child is not attacking the mother. It is not threatening her, and in fact is there naturally. In over 99% of abortions, the woman willfully chose the behavior that put that child in that position. Even in the case of rape, the child is not the one who attacked the mother. Rather than being the case of defending against an intruder, it's like inviting a neighbor for tea and then murdering them.

The privacy argument reasons that although I could not kick someone out of a public place, it is perfectly reasonable for me to kick them out of my own home, because it is my place. How much more so do I have the right to "kick out" the fetus, within my own body, which is more my domain than my home.

This falls to similar logic. Although you can kick someone out of your private house, you can't kill them because they are in your private house. Even more so if you invited them in in the first place. Human life trumps property rights in law (and in Asimov's three laws of robotics).


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