Here’s a perspective for you.
Time Period: The twenty first century.
Location: Western world.
Economic Condition: Most people in this time and place are much better off financially than almost anyone else in any other time or place even if they can’t have a holiday this year.
Medical Situation: Health care is better than ever and projected life expectancy is twice what it was 150 years ago.
Technology: Fantastic. Have you played call of duty? It’s incredible!
Ideology: Democracy, the rule of law, freedom, civil rights.
Oh, and the legal right to kill your unborn child.
For those of you who didn’t get the point: I would have thought that it worked the other way around. The better off we become as a society, the more we have, the easier our lives, the more freedoms we enjoy, the less we want to kill our own, helpless, innocent, unborn children. But apparently it works in the exact opposite way. The more all these advancements improve our lives, the more selfish we become, and the more we’re happy to believe that our own wishes and desires supersede the lives of those we’re supposed to protect and nurture.
The Arguments for and Against Abortion
This is not an article that will list all the arguments of both sides of the debate in a fair and even-handed manner. For two reasons. Firstly because the pro-abortion side is wrong, if not downright evil and secondly because it seems to me that while both sides of the debate bring a long list of arguments to support their position, in both cases there’s only one main argument, which, in a huge coincidence that absolutely proves huge coincidences do occur, is conveniently contained within the name of each side’s movement: pro-choice and pro-life.
Here’s a chart to show how the main argument of each side is expressed by the respective movement’s name.
For the ability of women to choose what to do with their own bodies
Who cares! You’re killing helpless, innocent, unborn children
Chart Showing How the Main Argument of Each Side Is Expressed by Its Movement’s Name
That’s right, the main argument for allowing a person to murder their own unborn child … I mean for allowing the ‘aborting’ of some random bundle of cells is something called bodily autonomy. Bodily autonomy basically means that a person has complete control over their own body. No one else can tell a person what they should or should not do with their own body, as each person has the right to determine all body related issues for themselves. Since pregnancy is a body-related issue, it’s therefore down to the person with the pregnancy to make the choice (it all fits so nicely) whether to continue the pregnancy or become a baby killer.
The pro-life response is that the right to life is far more important than the right to bodily autonomy.
To which the pro-choice response is it’s not a life until one of the following: brain function, the end of the first trimester, foetal viability, the beginning of consciousness, birth, first sensible thought, first paycheck, forty, divorce, death or any other point in between, depending on your personal belief. Fortunately, there’s no textbook answer to the question of when a human life begins and despite it being argued and debated by philosophers, thinkers, theologists, scientists and everyone else for thousands of years without a conclusion being reached, you can just come along and decide for yourself based on the usual “It’s just what I think” rationale and nothing to do with the fact that it coincidentally supports the conclusion you want.
Arbitrary decisions regarding what constitutes life has been tried countless times in the past and it didn’t work out too well then. At least not for those people who were seen as less human for example, blacks, women, people of a different religion, or that person who insulted you by pointing at your boils. Humanity’s come a long way from dehumanising certain groups so that they would be less disturbed when they brutally murdered them. Now this is reserved for the unborn, because, you know … choice.
The pro-life response to the claim that life begins at say (I’m aware of the irony), foetal viability is, “What the hell are you smoking? Even before foetal viability it’s got arms, it’s got legs, it’s got a head. How the hell is that not a life. So what that it’s not viable, it’s viable inside the womb. You’re not viable in space does that mean you’re not alive?”.
To which the pro-choice response is, “Why are you allowed to decide when human life begins once you’ve told us we can’t?”
To which the pro-life response is, “Ok, we don’t really know, but surely we should err on the side of caution! Meaning, if we decide for example, that human life begins at conception, but the truth is it begins at foetal viability, then we’ll never accidentally kill anyone. But if we decide that human life begins at foetal viability, but the truth is it begins at conception, then we’re ‘accidentally’ (because we decided without really knowing) killing hundreds of thousands of babies a year.
“Besides everyone agrees that after birth a baby is alive and there’s nothing intrinsic to the act of childbirth which suddenly makes life start, so it’s starting at some time between conception and birth. It’s also logical to conclude that the later we are into the pregnancy the more likely it is to be a human being! Yet you’re still ok with late term abortions.
“And as for early stage abortions, even if the truth is that human life does not begin at conception, but at say foetal viability or earlier at the end of the first trimester, so an abortion before then doesn’t kill a live human being, you’re still preventing something which is not a human being, but if left alone will by itself and in a relatively short period of time become a human being, from doing just that, all for your own convenience.”
To which the pro-choice response is, “I don’t care about a developing human being.”
To which the pro-life response is, “Why not? It’s almost a human being. Besides, it’s potential life.”
To which the pro-choice response is, “I don’t care about potential life either.”
To which the pro-life response is, “Of course you do. It’s the reason why I’m not allowed to kill you – because it stops the life you would have had which at the moment of my killing you exists only as potential. You don’t want me to kill you because you value your 20, 30, 40, 60 years of potential life, so why don’t you care about the 80 years of potential life of this foetus?”
Here’s another perspective for you.
Abortion is wrong, because it’s either killing the most helpless members of our society, by the very people who created them, or just not allowing them to develop.
It’s done because the parent doesn’t want or can’t cope with having a child. Or it’s ‘just not the right time’, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
In other words, they stop their own child from having 70 to 80 years of life with all that that entails, because it would inconvenience theirs. Is there anything more selfish? Pregnancy and child rearing are difficult, so no life for you.
It’s ironic that people have an abortion because of selfishness, as it proves they would not make a good parent who needs to have the opposite trait of selflessness. This is not an argument for abortion – “since I’m too selfish to be a good parent, I might as well not be one”, it’s an argument for people not to be selfish.
It’s also noteworthy that it used to be the parents who gave up their lives to save their children. Now it’s the children who must give up their lives for the convenience of their parents.
The Pro-Choice Argument of Bodily Autonomy Is a Lack of Perspective
The truth is that bodily autonomy is almost irrelevant when it comes to the abortion debate.
Can you hear Leftist heads exploding too?
It’s really quite simple.
However obsessed we are in the Western world about rights, no one believes that one person’s right to do something can ever override another person’s right to life. The right to life is far more important than any other right including the right to bodily autonomy. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that.
Which is why pro-abortionists are forced to argue that a foetus is not a life, so now there is only one right, that of bodily autonomy. In other words, those who are pro-abortion can’t just argue for bodily autonomy as that is immaterial in the face of the right to life, they must argue that the foetus is not a life so that abortion becomes permitted in the same way as anything else is permitted under the whole free-society-where-a-person-can-do-whatever-they-like-as-long-as-it-doesn’t-hurt-anyone-else thing (also known as bodily autonomy) the Western world has got going recently.
This means that the abortion debate can’t be about whether a woman has the right to bodily autonomy – everyone agrees they do – or about whether a woman has the right to bodily autonomy when that right will kill someone else – everyone agrees they don’t. The question is only whether there is another being with a right to life in this situation or not.
But for some reason pro-abortionists spend a lot of time focusing on the argument of bodily autonomy and not on the logical, scientific, evidence-based reasons why a foetus is not a life.
The reason for this is obvious. The argument that a foetus is not a life becomes more absurd as the pregnancy goes on, and the argument that one need not care about an entity that is not a human being but will soon develop into a human being if you just left it alone, makes you look particularly miserly and mean in a ‘life for me but not for thee’ type of way, so most people remain unconvinced by it and one therefore needs to resort to an argument that carries far more emotional weight, induces far more fear – you may have heard about “A WAR ON WOMEN!” and “ENDING A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CONTROL THEIR REPRODUCTIVE DECISIONS!”; even the movement’s name is designed to suggest that other people are trying to remove YOUR CHOICE! – and is guaranteed to get the unthinking masses worked up into an angry frenzy whenever it’s mentioned.
And so we’re told with a straight face that laws imposing restrictions on abortion take us closer to a world where women have no reproductive rights at all! Have you not read / seen the Handmaid’s Tale?
Let’s have a little perspective, and maybe even some background.
The Handmaid’s Tale – I can’t believe I’m writing about this – is the story of a world where a radical political group have taken over the United States government and created a patriarchal society where women are subjugated by not being allowed to own property, handle money or read. You know, how some imagine the past, where evil white men ran the world and treated women as slaves. Women have no rights at all to the point where the few that are fertile are enslaved and forced to become pregnant and bear children. Of course, it seems that most of the men in this imaginary world, were happy to jump on board with the national move from a democratic and free society to a totalitarian one, presumably because their innate sexism meant they needed little inducement to give up their freedoms as long as they could have more rights than women.
Yes, the plot is a total surprise.
Now if you want, for some easily fathomable reason, to ignore the fact that the entire abortion debate hinges on whether the foetus is a life or not and instead focus on the argument that making abortion illegal would deprive women of their bodily autonomy and reproductive rights, then you have a lack of perspective.
Because there’s far more to bodily autonomy and reproductive rights than the right to have an abortion.
For example, if a woman wants, she can go and get a tattoo or a piercing or have a limb cut off. Isn’t that bodily autonomy?
If a woman wants to eat herself into obesity, no one can stop her. Believe me. Oprah has tried.
If a woman wants to become a man, there is not a single person in the world who can stop her. It’ll be science that does that.
A woman’s right to bodily autonomy presumably includes the right not to be murdered, raped or tortured.
A woman has the right to date, live with, and marry whoever she wants. Or not to.
A woman has the right to decide to have as few children as she likes or as many children as she likes, when she likes and with whoever she likes.
In fact, when it comes to bodily autonomy and reproductive rights, women can do pretty much whatever they want with their body.
It’s just that if they do, and they get pregnant, please don’t kill the baby.
It’s not nice. Especially for the baby.
How’s that for perspective.
It makes you wonder what all the fuss is about.
I’m joking. I know what all the fuss is about. It’s about you not taking responsibility for your actions and your life and leaving your child to suffer for them instead.
The only way that making abortion illegal leads to depriving women of their right to bodily autonomy would be if abortion was the only element of bodily autonomy. But it isn’t. There are actually quite a few elements included in the general right of bodily autonomy. Just because they’re not on your tiny mind when you’re arguing for the killing of unborn children, doesn’t make them go away. It makes you a person who doesn’t take everything into account. The truth is that if abortion were made illegal, women would still have plenty of bodily autonomy and reproductive rights. In fact, to say it better, they would have full bodily autonomy with a complete set of reproductive rights with one exception.
Yes, you need to have a good reason to make that one exception and that’s the debate regarding the status of the foetus, but to say that making abortion illegal would deprive women of their bodily autonomy and reproductive rights, is to fail to take into account the full extent of body-related rights that exist.
In other words, to have a lack of perspective.
The Pro-Choice Argument of Bodily Autonomy Is a Childish Perspective
All this talk about perspective made me think.
I wanted to make sure I had perspective too.
As explained, some people lack perspective and believe that making abortion illegal would deprive women of all their bodily autonomy and reproductive rights. But why are those pro-abortionists who understand that we’re only talking about one specific right, still so concerned about the rights of women? The reason to override it is serious and it’s not as if one right being overridden by another more important right is not happening all the time.
I think the answer is, that everywhere else the rights that people have with their acceptable inroads apply equally to men and women. In the case of bodily autonomy, only women have an inroad into their reproductive rights, while men’s rights remain intact.
You see we live in an era where the most important thing, the most fundamental rule is the principle of equality. If men have complete bodily autonomy, then so must women. It would be an outright violation of this sacred law to place even one restriction on the behaviour of women when no such restriction would be placed on men, even though it’s only because such a restriction is inapplicable to them.
To support this idea, I would like to point out that those who are pro-choice object not only to the lack of bodily autonomy, but also to the fact that men have a say about something that only affects women. They sometimes accuse men of trying to control women and make decisions about what goes on in a woman’s body. So you see that they think about abortion as an issue of equality and you can’t create a law that will only affect women, despite it being reasonable and despite the cost of millions of innocent lives.
So that’s why so much fuss is made about a woman’s bodily autonomy and reproductive rights, even though when you take everything into account, we’re only discussing one right and a reasonable reason to override it. Because if you made abortion illegal you would be giving women one extra restriction more than men.
And that’s just not fair.
Which is where the childishness comes in.
Because fairness is for children. It’s not fair, it was my turn to open the door. It’s not fair, she sat in the front yesterday. It’s not fair, his piece of chocolate is 1% bigger than mine. It’s not fair, she has more sprinkles than me. It’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair.
I would like to point out at this juncture that obviously I don’t actually think a child will say 1% in the midst of their complaint. It’s just I have a habit of writing things that seem weird when you read them but will make a lot more sense once you’ve read what I’ve written a bit further on. This way you’ll think I’m super clever. And of course, I can write a whole paragraph about the fact that I’m doing it. Just in case you’re interested.
Back to the point.
For those of us who became mature adults, we understand that a lot of life is unfair and often that can’t be changed. Health, looks, intelligence, starting financial situation … there’s no such thing as fairness. It’s the job of an adult to focus less on all the unfairness and more on what they can do to achieve success. This is especially true of an unfairness that’s justified. For example, if your friend’s parents worked hard and left them an inheritance of £10 million but yours did not, moaning about the unfairness of it is childish.
So yes, making abortion illegal would be unfair as there would be a restriction that applied to women only. The adult thing for women to do, especially considering we’re talking about one difference, would be to accept that life is not fair and to deal with it as best as possible, not to overlook the killing of millions of innocent children just to ensure that final 1% of fairness between men and women – that would be childish. (Oh, now I get it! Actually, I don’t.)
This is especially true when you consider other unfairness gaps. You probably live in a first world country in the West with a quality of life that those starving in war-torn dictatorships, working 16 hours a day for a meagre wage can only dream of, while others are starving in war-torn dictatorships working 16 hours a day for a meagre wage, blissfully unaware of the unfairness applied to women when people try to prevent them from murdering their own children. The point is, the unfairness gap created by making abortion illegal would be so infinitesimally small compared to other, more problematic unfairness gaps that you should be utterly embarrassed to have brought the whole thing up in the first place.
A Final Bit of Perspective
I thought I’d end with another bit of perspective for you.
Although I’ve got a feeling you’re not going to like it.
You may have noticed some of the harsh language used throughout this article when referring to abortion and those who support it. You may have noticed I think that abortion is the killing of helpless, innocent, unborn children, by their own mother, usually for their own convenience, and supporters of abortion are people who support the killing of helpless, innocent, unborn children, by their own mother, usually for their own convenience.
And some people don’t like that.
They might say something along the lines of, “How can you label all those who support abortion as people who support the killing of helpless, innocent, unborn children, by their own mother, usually for their own convenience? It’s not very nice.”
To which I reply, “You’ve got your priorities mixed up. You’re completely right that it’s not very nice to label those who support abortion as people who support the killing of helpless, innocent, unborn children, by their own mother, usually for their own convenience, but there’s something far worse than my name calling. And that is being a person who supports the killing of helpless, innocent, unborn children, by their own mother, usually for their own convenience.”