Abortion arguments

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The following are some common Pro-Choice arguments on abortion, and problems with the reasoning.

Right to Choose

The obvious question not being confronted is what choice is at stake? The choice to kill another human being to bypass the consequences and responsibilities that should accompany the choice to create another life; in essence the choice to murder one's own children so sex can be engaged in freely without responsibility or consequence.[1] Sometimes women die from abortion.[2] Since abortion is deliberate and thought about in advance, it is comparable to a premeditated killing.[3]

Rare Circumstances: Life of Mother and Rape

BBC News has an article called "Abortion in self-defence" arguing that abortion should be allowed in cases where the mother's life and health are at risk, and that this is justifiable self-defense. However, BBC News acknowledges that abortion is NOT justified for the following reasons:

"But supposing the mother is not in physical danger, what then? There are a number of cases where some people argue that a woman should have the right to an abortion, such as: damage to mental health, damage to family, damage to career prospects, damage to financial prospects, damage to plans for her life. The self-defence argument for abortion seems to fail here, because although a threat to life can be a defence to a charge of killing someone, none of the above would be an adequate defence in a case of homicide, nor would they be regarded as reasons that justified euthanasia. But if we don't regard the foetus as a person with a right to live, or if we regard it as a being that doesn't have a full right to life, then these cases of self-defence may be arguable."

-BBC News.[4]

However, (A) danger to life of the mother, like rape, is a very rare circumstance that accounts for less than 1% of all abortions[5], (B) all major legislation put out by the Right to Life movement over the past decade has included exceptions allowing abortions for rape and life of the mother (e.g. Mexico City Policy, Born Alive Infant Protection Act, Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, etc.) and (C) at least 13 states had legislation allowing abortion for rape or life of the mother BEFORE Roe v. Wade[6] - abortion was legalized for other reasons.

The bottom line is that apart from such extremely rare circumstances, BBC News acknowledges that "The self-defence argument for abortion seems to fail here, because although a threat to life can be a defence to a charge of killing someone, none of the above would be an adequate defence in a case of homicide, nor would they be regarded as reasons that justified euthanasia."[4] Choosing to kill another person, in other words, is unjustifiable unless the mother's life is in danger or, debatably, if rape occurred. In fact, those who bring up cases like rape and life of the mother are doing so because, deep inside, they themselves know that choosing to murder another human being is justifiable only under such extreme circumstances, and NOT for abortion on demand.

The only way to justify abortion apart from such circumstances is, as BBC News says, "if we don't regard the foetus as a person with a right to live, or if we regard it as a being that doesn't have a full right to life".[4] You see, this is not about the right to choose at all, and such a slogan distracts from the real issue - the real issue is whether the fetus is a human being deserving of a full right to life. Because if it is a human being worthy of the right to life, then there is no excuse for "choosing to kill" via abortion on demand.

Right to One's Body

The Pro-Choice movement likes to say that women should have a right to their bodies. However, such a right should logically not allow one to harm others with that body, including physical assault, murder, rape, or theft, and therefore, this is not an absolute right, but a privilege that is not intended to exceed another's unalienable rights, including the right to life. As Hugh V. McLachlan of Glasgow Caledonian University pointed out in 1997, there is no entitlement to one's body and "we have rights duties, liabilities, restrictions and disadvantages as well as rights concerning our own bodies."

"Consider the assumption at issue in the abstract: 'That particular X is your X and, therefore, you are entitled to do what you want with it'. As a matter of pure logic, the claim is an absurdity. What if 'X' stands for a Thompson Machine Gun? Should we say: 'That is your machine gun and, therefore, you can do whatever you like with it?' On the contrary, although there might be some things which you and only you can of right do to and with the gun, if that particular machine gun is your machine gun then it is incumbent upon you in particular to ensure that certain things are not done with it. Is the situation any different when 'X' pertains to one's body or to parts of it? I do not think so."

-Hugh V. McLachlan, Glasgow Caledonian University.[7]

As McLachlan continues to point out, this emphasis on rights neglects the other side of the coin, responsibilities or duties. He gives on pg. 177 the example of an insurance policy, and how using one's body to commit suicide can invalidate such a contract.[7] Logically, creating another human life should likewise bring responsibly for actions toward that life - how is the decision to create another human life of lesser importance than the decision to sign an insurance contract? Why should one be able to kill a separate person to void the sexual decision to bring about another life, yet not be able to kill oneself without voiding an insurance contract?

"Certainly a woman has a right to control her own body, but the unborn entity, though for a time living inside her body, is not part of her body. Hence, abortion is not justified, since no one's right to personal autonomy is so strong that it permits the arbitrary execution of others."

-Francis J. Beckwith, Christian Research Journal.[8]

Ultimately, the real question is whether the fetus in question is another human being to be accorded unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness under the Declaration of Independence, for if so, no right to one's body should give power to infringe on its unalienable right to life. Your right to your body does not include the right, in other words, to kill others using that body to avoid the responsibilities and consequences of a sexual decision to create another life. That is what in the real world is called "murder" and it is reprehensible. Therefore, the real question is at what point a fetus becomes a human being.

Right to Privacy

To get abortion legalized, the Pro-Choice movement had to argue that women should have a "right to privacy".[9] However, logically, if the fetus is a human being and thus murder would be committed, privacy is no excuse for such murder. Logically, killing someone in the privacy of one's own home should no more be an excuse for murder than killing them in the privacy of one's body. Furthermore, as Judge Henry J. Friendly pointed out in the nation's first major abortion case, Hall v. Lefkowitz, abortion is actually a complete violation of privacy when you look at it, requiring intervention in a woman's most private areas by a physician and variety of medical personnel.

A holding that the privacy of sexual intercourse is protected against governmental intrusion scarcely carries as a corollary that when this has resulted in conception, government may not forbid destruction of the fetus. The type of abortion the plaintiffs particularly wish to protect against governmental sanction is the antithesis of privacy. The woman consents to intervention in the uterus by a physician, with the usual retinue of assistants, nurses, and other paramedical personnel, indeed the condition calling for such intervention may very likely have been established by clinical tests... Yet, even if we were to take plaintiffs’ legal position that the legislature cannot constitutionally interfere with a woman’s right to do as she will with her own body so long as no harm is done to others, the argument does not support the conclusion plaintiffs would have us draw from it. For we cannot say the New York legislature lacked a rational basis for considering that abortion causes such harm. Even if we should put aside the interests of the father, negligible indeed in the many cases when he has abandoned the prospective mother but not in all, the legislature could permissibly consider the fetus itself to deserve protection.[10]

Women Choose, Not Men

The Pro-Choice movement likes to say men and fathers should have no say in the abortion debate, only women. However, as Thomas J. Lucente Jr. points out, this is similar to saying one can't criticize the President unless one is the President.

"The pro-abortion crowd will argue that because I am a man, I should not be allowed to have an opinion on abortion, unless, of course, I support the mass murder of 50 million babies in the last 39 years. That's akin to saying I can't criticize the president unless I have been the president."

-Thomas J. Lucente Jr.[11]

As Alan Keyes has pointed out, the Pro-Choice movement essentially is arguing for the baby's rights to be dependent on the mother's desire for it, making women slave-owners, essentially - this is very different from the Declaration of Independence which says the Creator gives us our unalienable rights, rather than them being dependent upon other people.[12]
"Either you can subscribe to the American creed which says that God endowed us with our rights, or you can subscribe to the abortion creed which says that those rights are the consequences of our mother's will."

-Alan Keyes, speech at Southern Methodist University, Feb. 24, 1997.[13]

"... abortion is to our time what slavery was to the 19th Century, and if anyone of conscience went anywhere in the 19th Century and did not confront the American people with the evil of slavery, then they were not doing what statesmanship required... Well, it's a part of her body utterly dependent on her body, not viable apart from her body. She has, therefore, absolute power over this being, and given that absolute power she has the absolute right to dispose of it according to her will. We don't recognize what that's saying? What that's saying is that power makes for right. Might makes for right. If I have you in my power, I may dispose of you and your life according to my will. And if that argument is now accepted, and we have embraced it as a fundamental principle of law, then we have rejected the right principle. For if our right, our most basic and conditional right, the right to life itself comes to us not from God but from our mother's choice, then there is no human right that transcends in its claim, human choice and human power. Abortion is the paradigm, the ultimate paradigm of despotism, tyranny, oppression, slavery, holocaust."

-Alan Keyes, speech in San Francisco, March 3, 2003.[14]

Ultimately, every American has a responsibility to stand up for the rights of other Americans when they are being murdered - regardless of gender. And to say a mother should be able to murder her children whenever she feels like it, apart from the father's opinions, is simply wrong.

References

  1. Hoffman, M.C. (2012, May 28). Abortion is ‘murder’ for the purpose of population control, says Turkish prime minister. Life Site News.
  2. See "Documented Incidents of 365 Women Who Have Been Killed by "Safe" and Legal Abortion." 365 women who have been killed by 'Legal' abortion
  3. First-degree murder is defined as "a killing which is deliberate and premeditated."
    First Degree Murder. The Free Dictionary.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Abortion in Self-Defence. BBC News. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named rare
  6. Abortion History Timeline. National Right to Life Committee.
  7. 7.0 7.1 McLachlan, H.V. (1997). Bodies, Rights, and Abortions. Journal of Medical Ethics. Vol. 23. p. 176.
  8. Beckwith, F.J. (1991). Doesn't a woman have the right to control her own body? Christian Research Journal. At ChristianAnswers.net.
  9. Levin, M.R. (2005, March 14). Death by Privacy. The National Review.
  10. Randolph, A. Raymond. Before Roe v. Wade: Judge Friendly's Draft Abortion Opinion. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Vol. 29.
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named lucente
  12. Jefferson, T. (1776, July 4). The Declaration of Independence. Retrieved from USHistory.org. Independence Hall Association.
  13. Former Presidential candidate, Alan Keyes shares his views on the commonalities between abortion and slavery. AbortionTV.com.
  14. Abortion Quotes. NotableQuotes.com.