I feel that pro-life people only care about the life of the baby and not the parents involved. From what I’ve come to understand, their position basically bestows personhood upon the baby while it is still in the womb. While that’s a great thought, this viewpoint presents a problem. There is an instant conflict between the mother’s rights as a person and the baby’s the moment she decides she does not want the baby. Who’s rights should prevail?
Pro-life proponents are saying that the baby’s rights should prevail. However, has anyone taken this viewpoint to its natural conclusion? As a person, the baby has a right to a full and healthy gestation therefore it should be against the law for a woman to do anything incidental to jeopardize that. There should be legislation in place that forbids her from smoking and drinking because both have been shown to cause birth defects. She should also be made to exercise and eat a healthful diet as doing the opposite could adversely affect the health of the baby.
What type of punishment should befall a woman who breaks the law? Should she be thrown in jail? Should her baby be transplanted to the womb of another, more responsible woman? What about people who cause the death of a baby while in the womb? If a pregnant woman got into an accident and miscarried should the person responsible be convicted of manslaughter? What if the mother was at fault in the accident, should she be convicted of negligent homicide? We sentence people who murder others to death row, shouldn’t a woman who aborts her baby be fitted with the same punishment?
Since the baby is considered a person, then it also has the right to decide whether or not it wants to be born. If a baby doesn’t want to be born then you are in effect violating its right to not be born when you impose your will that it should be born. I have met some people in life who have regret the day of their birth because of the life that they’ve had to endure. And even when they get here, we further impose upon their right to death by making suicide illegal and prosecutable and opposing euthanasia.
Not only that, if you are going to bestow personhood upon one baby then all babies should be included. A child conceived by rape and molestation is no less human than a child conceived between willing partners. Why do Pro lifers deride abortion but accept it in cases where the woman has been violated. The circumstances surrounding conception has no bearing on the baby’s humanity. If you believe that “God” infuses a soul into the baby at some point of their gestation, “God” is still going to infuse a soul into that baby. If you believe the unique genetic, mathematical identity of a child is set at conception, it will still be the same for babies conceived in undesirable circumstances. It seems awfully hypocritical to only support life in “approved” situations. If you commit to being pro-life than you must be pro-life across the board irregardless the circumstances of conception.
For many people, the consequences of their beliefs are unacceptable and so they try to cop out by making exceptions. My view is that any time you advocate the death of a baby for any reason you support abortion.
I think I said this before but I advocate allowing abortion to remain legal. I say this because firstly our society is not a utopia. All contraceptives fail, including abstinence. There is still a wage disparity between men and women that make single parenthood near impossible and teenagers are not being taught how to be responsible with their bodies because certain groups are afraid that knowledge will lead to an increase in sexual activity in teens.
Secondly it all comes down to who’s rights should prevail. If you say that a baby’s life while still in the womb should prevail then you subjugate life already in existence to potential life and you have just stripped both the woman and the man (to a lesser extent) of the rights associated with their personhood. It may seem incredibly selfish for people to pit their current situation against the future of their unborn child but which one has more relevance? What is happening now or what might happen in the future?
Many of the arguments that I have read from Pro-life proponents have to do with the potential contributions a baby may make after their birth. What about the potential contributions of the life already in existence? Don’t those count? What if the baby does not make any contributions to society or worse become a detriment? What about if the parents themselves are a detriment to society? Should an unwanted child be forced onto parents who are abusers, alcoholics or child molesters?
I also see a lot of demonizing of women who do have abortions. Both of my older sisters became pregnant at a young age. One at 18 and the other at 17. The eighteen year old wanted to have an abortion but changed her mind at the last minute. The seventeen year old did not. I don’t care what you say but you will not convince me that women are deciding to have abortions on a whim nor will you make me believe they are leaving the abortion centers jumping in the air and clicking their heels saying, “Whew, that was close.”
I feel that I understand, clearly, the goal of pro-lifers and that is to give every life a chance to live but those lives also include the parents, the mother and the father, of the child they are desperately trying to save. I also feel that pro-lifers are going about this the wrong way. Banning abortion is not going to stop abortions but education in sex, sexuality and pregnancy prevention as well as the realization of pay equality and support for single parents I’m sure will significantly reduce the need for them.
Just something to think about this fine Monday morning.