This post is actually a response from a few comments I received from a previous post “To Everyone Who Doesn’t Understand Why A Woman Would Have an Abortion”.
First and foremost, I’m very grateful for the chance to have a good discussion about this topic, because too many times it gets very emotional and irrational.
I will be responding to several comments from a previous commenter like I said, I think this person’s remarks are probably widely held by many other pro-choice people.
Her first comment:
“the stark reality is that two beings sharing the same space and resources cannot have equal rights. It’s just not possible. They can both be considered valuable, but when push comes to shove the legal rights of one must trump the other. If it’s the fetus that’s considered the most valuable then the mother is stripped of her rights to bodily autonomy and thus is considered legally nothing more than an incubator for the fetus. That isn’t compassionate, empathetic or caring. The mothers bodily systems providing everything for the fetus, always with some physical cost and for some at a great physical cost even to the point that it can cost her her life if things go terribly wrong. Thus in my view the ONLY reasonable way to deal with this issue is to give the woman the ultimate control over her health and body.”
The first part is a very common view…that 2 things that occupy the same space and use the same resources can’t have the same rights. This is a very interesting comment to me because I live in a household of not 2, but 5 people. We all occupy the same space, and use the same resources (for food, shelter, utilities, bathroom, etc.) Yet, are we all unequal? No, because we all have inherent worth…it shouldn’t matter whether or not we share a space or use the same resources.
For a more relateable example..let’s use a mother and her 1 year old child (I think this is more of what the comment was getting at). The child is completely dependent on the mother for life. Literally, without the mother, the child will die. This is similar to a human fetus. Would you assert that a 1yr. old child does not have rights when you compare it to his/her mother? This child uses the same resources as the mother, and occupies the same space, so when “push comes to shove” who gets rights?
See…I think it’s extremely unfair to make an ultimatum for “who gets the rights”. This concept that only ONE can have rights. They BOTH have rights. That’s why we must love them both.
But here’s the kicker…. If both are valuable, one of them can’t do something that will hurt the other. That is unjust.
If there were NO other people in the world..one person could do whatever he wanted. There’s no one else to consider.
For example, he could drive recklessly, launch fireworks, shoot guns at any given time, etc. However, the moment other people come into the picture…he no longer has the right to do those things. A man can’t just shoot a gun recklessly in a populated city, he might harm another. This is NOT because we don’t care about his “right” to shoot his gun, but we care about everyone else’s “rights” to be safe and not get shot. If you really care about equal rights, then some individual rights must be sacrificed if they violate other people’s rights or well-being.
Abortion hurts the inherent dignity and worth of the human being growing inside the mother. And often times, abortion ends up hurting the mother too…This is why I can’t support abortion.
By being pro-life, many people think that means we love the baby more than the mother…and that’s just not true. I love them both. Once there is a human fetus or embryo or whatever you choose to call it (by the way it’s all human life…human embryo, human fetus, human child, human adolescent, human adult…they are all stages of a human life and that is undeniable) the mother has to act in accord with the consideration of that fetus.
Yes, sometimes it’s hard! Responsibility is tough. One can’t engage in sex without being prepared for the responsibility that comes with it…and sometimes that means a baby.
I refuse to think it is “cruel or unfair” towards the woman to be pro-life.
We’re in a dilemma because if we value the mother more than the child…the child dies, but if we value the child more than the mother, the mother’s life is perceived as an “incubator” like the commenter suggested.
How can we truly love them both?? It really is a tough question.
But I don’t think the answer is giving one ultimate control over the other though.
I understand it can be a crisis situation…trust me I do, I’ve been there. I had my own crisis pregnancy. But that is why I’m a firm believer of removing the “crisis” from the pregnancy, NOT the “pregnancy” from the crisis.
And that is precisely why I suggest having a real, genuine, understanding for these women, and counseling them towards alternative options to abortion.
Because the reality is…no one can be TRULY compassionate and empathetic unless they take into account there are TWO humans involved.
That is why I choose to be: