Brief thoughts: Abortion and Reproductive Rights

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The pro-abortion, pro-choice crowd argues that abortion is a reproductive right. However, there is a problem with this line of reasoning.

In order to have an abortion, reproduction must have already taken place i.e. a human life must exist in order to abort it. A right to reproduce, or have offspring, is not the same as a right to abort, or terminate the life of said offspring.

In actuality, abortion is a counter-reproductive action since it kills a human being that is already living.

It is possible that babies in the womb would like the same reproductive rights that others have, but in order for that to happen those babies must first have the unequivocal right to life.

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tagged as in apologetics,Culture,morality,theology

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michael Buratovich March 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Mark,

How true. The pro-abortion advocate would argue that reproduction includes conception of the child, carrying and providing life support for the child, and giving birth to the baby. He or she would probably assert that “reproductive rights” includes the right to forgo any of these stages of reproduction at any time in the pregnancy, and to not grant such a right it to violate her right to personal autonomy. However, we certainly do not provide that right to parents once the baby has been born. Any parent who forgoes the care of a child is guilty of child abandonment and their children are taken from them and they are placed on the central registry. However if the baby is in the womb, physical dismemberment is somehow legal. This is an argument based on location, degree of dependence, size, or level of development, none of which are morally sufficient reasons to reckon the unborn unworthy of the right to life.

2 Stumpy March 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm

And yet…

If we define life as beginning at fertilization, then we are saying that unimplanted, fertilized eggs discharged during menstruation are human beings with rights. This presents a bit of a problem, it seems to me. If we define life as beginning at conception, then we have to deal somehow with ectopic pregnancies, which are potentially lethal for the mother. We also have to wonder about situations in which a medically dangerous pregnancy involves an anacephalic fetus; do we require the mother to bring the child to term at the risk of her own life? These aren’t hypothetical questions, but actual situations, and there are lots more where they came from. Before we can endow an embryo with human rights, we’d better darn well be equipped to answer such questions with compassionate and realistic answers.

I daresay that most of the public, Christian or not, would support reasonable restrictions on abortion as long as they include room for medical decisions that take into account situations that aren’t clear-cut. What people fear are extremist, absolutist positions that would make murder out of medical necessity. If the pro-life movement is going to make any further headway than what they’ve done so far, they’re going to have to take into account the notion that religious arguments are meaningless to non-religious people, and that only a very few people fit the stereotype often applied to those who are pro-choice, that they believe in unrestricted abortion purely for the purpose of birth-control. An argument will have to be made that society can adopt a ‘fetus is a human being’ value and still be compassionate about serious medical situations and also respectful of the idea that sometimes difficult choices must be made.

With regard to the original question, “reproductive rights” are any rights having to do with the reproductive process, not merely a “right to reproduce.” Those who are arguing for abortion as a right are simply using that term because abortion is related to reproduction as a process, not because abortion brings about reproduction. In other words, they are saying that women should be allowed to make decisions about their reproductive systems, including whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

With deep respect,

Stumpy

3 Mark March 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Michael, thanks for thinking that through.

Stumpy, interestingly enough, I did not use a religious argument. (Not that you claimed I did. I’m just pointing that out.) Of course, there are more complex cases to consider, but those objections are from cases that represent the lowest percentages of reasons for abortion.

As far as accepting a fetus as a human being, what else is it? And is a fetus alive? Of course, a fetus is alive which is why those who choose abortion must kill it.

4 Greg March 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I dare anyone to watch an abortion and tell me someone is not dying…for someone to die, they MUST have been…alive.

5 Chris Gagner March 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

If we have a right to abort a life before birth if we don’t want the child, why don’t we have a right to leave the newborn in a dumpster to die after it’s born? It’s not old enough to take care of itself yet, so maybe a newborn isn’t actually living. It’s a total double standard. See how stupid it sounds.

6 Leia Peison July 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

birth control fails. rape happens. if i ever become pregnant, i will have an abortion. it is none of your business

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