Friday, April 13, 2012

Responsibility as the ultimate pro-life argument

Abortion is often framed as a conflict of rights: the rights of the fetus versus the rights of the mother.

And some feminists, like Joyce Arthur, go so far to say that even if a fetus is a person it makes no difference to the abortion debate because a woman has a right to bodily autonomy to the exclusion of all other considerations.

But the truth is, there are no rights without responsibility. Even bodily autonomy has its limits and its implicit responsibilities. For instance, you're not allowed to urinate in public. Or masturbate. Or walk around nude. Or get drunk.

Why is bodily autonomy limited in these circumstances? Because there are other considerations aside from bodily autonomy.

Some of these considerations include public health and public decency.

But wait, a woman's right to bodily autonomy trumps any other consideration in the case of pregnancy, because she's the one who's pregnant.

The thing is, if the fetus is a person, and that fetus is her child, she is responsible for that child.

And that's why abortion should be illegal.

It's not just that the fetus is a human being who has a right to life, and that right to life is more important than the right to bodily autonomy.

It's that the fetus is her child, and as the parent of that child, she has the responsibility to protect the life of her child.

I can predict the objections: But what about children who are pregnant? They can't be responsible for a fetus.

No, children cannot be held responsible for a fetus, since they often do not have the intellectual capacity to take care of him. However, those children have guardians, who become responsible for both children.

There are plenty of constitutions in the world that recognize that recognize life from conception.  The problem is that feminists get judges to ignore the personhood of the unborn to invent a right to abortion that never existed and was positively excluded when the constitution in question was drawn.

However, if the parents are ascribed responsibility to protect the life of the unborn child, then abortion becomes logically and thus legally impossible.