Is it just me, or does there seem to be a more developed line of reasoning within pro-abortion rhetoric? I have come up against it a few times now and even seen it slightly baffle a TV talk show host.
It goes something like this: women’s rights cannot be arbitrarily removed or even “balanced” with fetal rights. It is impossible for two beings in the same body to exercise competing rights and imposing a duty of care on a pregnant woman towards her fetus would result in extensive and unacceptable intrusions into her bodily integrity, privacy, and autonomy. (paraphrasing Joyce Arthur from her Huffington Post debate.)
Obviously, this has been articulated many times before, in various ways and by various people including Supreme Court Justices. There is always a conflict of rights in these important social issues (slavery, for example).
But the crux of the abortion issue is this: the woman stands to lose some of her rights to bodily integrity, privacy and autonomy to a lesser or greater extent during her pregnancy. This loss is temporary. However, the child stands to lose his or her ENTIRE LIFE. It’s an absolute, complete, unmitigated loss of existence, including all of the rights that are predicated upon life, including bodily integrity, privacy, autonomy etc.
The argument needs to be made, often, that women do not have an absolute right over the lives of their children (as recognized in law by almost all of the countries in the Western World except Canada). A woman’s temporary claim of her right to autonomy cannot trump the absolute claim of life itself of the unborn child.
In fact, society can and should make demands upon the woman to bear her temporary loss for the sake of the very life of the child. Life is worth so much that we have no qualms about asking people to risk their lives daily for its protection from such things as the ravages of war, injustice, and crime.
Life is a precious. Period.