Friday, January 24, 2014

Towards a Concept of Fetal Rights

I'm happy to see greater secular involvement in the fight against abortion.

But I'd like to suggest a slight modification of vocabulary.

I would like fetal rights to be used at the secular concept rallying point in the socio-political fight against abortion.

Pro-Life is a philosophy that is very much tied to religious ideas of Culture of Life.

The pro-life philosophy is perfectly defendable on rational grounds.

But it's basically an ideology.

To be pro-life means to uphold the intrinsic value of every human being, and to oppose all unnecessary killing (i.e. not in self-defense).

There are many people who support fetal rights, but whom don't exactly fit the pro-life mould.

For example people who:

* Want to bomb Iran into the Stone Age
* Want every murderer executed
* Are ready to kill anybody they catch committing acts of pedophilia
* Support euthanasia
* Support organ donation (Organ donors aren't always completely dead when their organs are harvested).
* Want to kill Muslim Terrorists first, ask questions later
* Support vigilantism

It is true such people may with great difficulty be called pro-life.

Rather than get hung up on who's pro-life and who's not-- i.e. who follows a consistent life ethic, and who doesn't, I think we should consider rallying around the idea of fetal rights.

Legal abortion is supported by people of various ideological backgrounds, but feminists are the ones who provide the intellectual framework to justify it under the banner of "women's rights".

Similarly, abortion restrictions are supported by people of all kinds of ideological backgrounds, but  it's difficult to find room for them because we focus require everyone to be pro-life rather than support fetal rights.

I believe the pro-life philosophy will increase support for fetal rights.

But until everyone is under the pro-life tent, I think that we have to make room for people in our midsts who are not exactly Christian conservatives.

Switching from a a pro-life banner to a fetal rights banner can help bring people in, rather than alienate people because the don't tick off all the pro-life boxes.