Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Answering pro-choice arguments -- the real issue

Most pro-choice rhetoric assumes the very point it must demonstrate: that the unborn entity killed by abortion is not a valuable human person. This is a logical fallacy called begging the question.

Consider whether a justification for killing the unborn also works to justify killing or harming other human beings. If not, it begs the question by presupposing a lesser status for the unborn.

"Women should have the right to choose," abortion defenders say. But women should not have the "right to choose" to drown their 10-year-old children. The question at hand is whether the unborn, like a 10-year-old child, deserves full moral respect and ought not be killed for the convenience or benefit of others.

"Abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor," some claim. But we do not permit spousal abuse on the grounds that it is a private matter between a husband and his drinking buddies. "Women should be able to control their own bodies," it is often said. But this assumes only one body is involved -- that the unborn does not count as another person.

The real issue is not choice, privacy or bodily autonomy, but the moral status of the unborn. Is he or she a rights-bearing human being, as pro-lifers argue? If so, killing him or her by abortion, like killing a toddler for the same reasons, is a serious moral wrong.