I just want to highlight a few points from O’Connor’s argument in our previous post on why pro-choice mentality is so alluring – when we think about abortion only in the context of the woman:
- We should be able to live how we choose – shouldn’t we? As long as we don’t break the law, shouldn’t we be able to make our own choices about matters concerning ourselves? And especially matters that affect our private life. The government has absolutely no place in the bedroom – in the decisions concerning my sexual life, my reproductive actions, and my autonomous choices. I think this video explains it well: http://www.canadiansforchoice.ca/whatif.html
- No one should impose their beliefs on me – especially pro-lifers. Don’t like abortion? Then don’t have one. It’s that simple. There’s no law in Canada that says women HAVE to have abortions – it’s their choice. For someone to tell me I can’t choose to have one for reason X, Y, Z is just imposing their morality on me, and I won’t have any of it.
- Debating a women’s right to choose is contesting the equality of women – which feminism has fought for in centuries past. And now a bunch of old white men and their hidden Trojan horse agenda are turning back the clock on women’s rights. We won’t have any of it – the abortion matter has been settled. This video illustrates our commendable progress: http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/images/voices-choices-video.html
- The decision to have an abortion is a choice, albeit a moral choice, but it is just like any other choice we have over our own bodies. And while it may be an incredibly difficult choice to make, it nevertheless must remain as an option for women in crisis pregnancies (for those that choose it), because no woman should be forced to carry her child to term if she is unwilling, unsupported by her partner or family, or unable to care for it.
So, how do we refute O’Conner’s argument and the pro-choice rhetoric behind it?
- We should be able to live how we choose – shouldn’t we? Yes, as long as we don’t break the law, and as long as our choices do not infringe upon the rights, but more importantly, lives, of others. You see, abortion by it’s nature cannot be viewed solely in terms of the woman’s choice. This is evident when we ask, abortion is the choice to do what? It is a choice that involves the intentional killing of an innocent human being. This is a fact revealed when we consider what the unborn are, and what abortion does. So the first premise to O’Conner’s argument fails in the context of abortion – it does not “interfere with the actions of others,” it is an intervention that ends another’s very life.
- No one should impose their beliefs on me – Yet in no society do we say, if you don’t like slavery, don’t own a slave. Oh, you don’t like it when children are tortured for fun? Then don’t torture them! Think rape is wrong – then don’t get raped! In all seriousness, we acknowledge that a mother who intentionally drowns her children has done something wrong – not just because she broke the law, but because she’s done something morally wrong. And it would not be “imposing our beliefs on someone” to adamantly insist that a woman who killed her children has done something wrong against another, moreover, to demand that it is wrong to kill the most vulnerable and innocent of humans among us.
- Debating a women’s right to choose is “turning back the clock” by contesting the equality of women – but this already assumes a woman has the liberty to make a choice that will kill an innocent child. It’s not like men have the liberty to choose to kill their children which women are missing out on, so how is this an equality issue? Pro-choice advocates use the guise of feminism to advance their argument for equal women’s rights. But it so blatantly fails in the face of abortion, because it is a choice that advocates for the killing of innocent children.
- & 5. The decision to have an abortion depends on one’s personal autonomy; it is a choice – but is it a choice like choosing to get a tattoo? You have autonomy over your body in the case of getting a tattoo; it’s a choice you can freely make. Obviously, abortion is not like that. Why the insistence that it’s a moral choice? Are other medical procedures moral choices – getting wisdom teeth removed? Tonsils? Appendicectomy? It’s obvious, again, abortion is different because it is more than just the removal of a part of a woman’s body, but the killing of a distinct, developing human being!
The conclusion that the only thing a woman must consider in having an abortion is her own conscience is based on flawed assumptions. Abortion is NOT a matter of personal choice, conscience, or individual beliefs – because we are talking about the killing of innocent human beings. When refuting pro-choice ideology, we must be clear on these 2 things: what the unborn are (and indeed, that they are innocent human beings), and what value/moral status the unborn have (that is, valued as persons with inherent dignity as human beings).