Monday, January 30, 2012

Joyce Arthur doesn't understand rights and neither do most people

Why do Joyce Arthur's arguments seem plausible?

Because people think that rights are something the State accords to individuals.

That's not true.

When you are a human being, you have rights.

Full stop.

If there appears a conflict of rights between two individuals, then you deal with the conflict.

You do not deprive a whole class of people their rights because the consequences are undesirable.

She writes:

Giving rights to fetuses or banning abortion does nothing to “protect the unborn” or women. Every country in the world where abortion is illegal has a well-developed abortion underground, and abortion is generally more common in countries where it’s illegal than where it’s legal.

That begs the question: how well are these abortion laws enforced?

If abortion laws are a dead letter, then they're no basis of comparison, are they?

And we know that the data used to make such statistics are faulty. Faulty generalizations are made from small samples.

The truth is, we do not know the extent of abortion in countries where it is illegal. The pro-aborts have a vested interest in making it seem more prevalent and more acceptable than it really is. Just ask Bernard Nathanson, founder of NARAL, who invented statistics out of thin air to make his case when he was lobbying for legalized abortion.

To come back to Woodworth’s challenge about whether the fetus is human, he completely misses the point because he’s confusing the medical/biological aspects of “what is a human being” with the legal/social aspects of personhood.

So some human beings are not persons in her opinion. Where have we heard that before?

The biological status of the fetus is irrelevant since women need and have abortions anyway.

Only if you define "need" as "want".

However, given Woodworth’s fixation on the lack of legal rights for 9-month fetuses about to be born, it bears repeating that abortions after 20 weeks are rare in Canada and done only under exceptional circumstances, largely in cases of fetal abnormality where the fetus cannot survive after birth.

Rare in comparison to first trimester abortions.

They are not rare at all. There are hundreds of late-term abortions in Canada.

And there are dozens of late-term abortions done on Canadians in the States that are paid for by the Canadian taxpayer.

Women now have established constitutional rights in Canada under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including the right to life, liberty, bodily security, conscience, and equality, all of which are directly implicated in women’s decisions around pregnancy.

Women also have responsibilities to other human beings. There is no such thing as a right without a responsibility. Respecting the life of one's unborn child is a reproductive responsibility.

. In contrast, fetuses do not have legal rights and cannot be given any, since two beings occupying the same body would result in a serious clash of rights.

A clash of rights does not extinguish rights. We have clashes of rights all the time. Do we deny whole classes of people rights just because theirs have to clash with those of another group?

Note how rights are defined by who has them. In reality, rights are defined by who bears them. Equal rights means that all rights are the same. All human beings have the right to life. All human beings have the right to free speech, to property, etc. There's no such thing as "women's rights" or "Black rights" etc. Rights don't have an identity.