Friday, November 13, 2009

Fetus's Right to Life- Irrelevant

If you're pro-life and reading this post, PLEASE read the whole thing before you make your judgment.

The most common idea of the pro-life movement is the fetus's right to life. They say that, if the fetus is recognized as a human being / person, that therefore it will have a right to life and therefore abortion will be illegal.

The idea sounds plausible, but we need to investigate further.

First off, should all people have a right to life? Yes. That's obviously true. All people deserve equal rights, and life is one of the basic rights we recognize.

The problem arises when we question whether the fetus's right to life would prevent a woman from choosing abortion. We must look into current rights given to people, and see if a right to life really would prevent women from aborting.

We'll start with a big picture idea. If everyone has the right to life, and that prevents them from being killed, then why do we have war or the death penalty? These examples show us clearly that a person with a right to life can still be killed.

Next we should ask- is it only after a government decision that a person can be (legally) killed? Nope. It's possible to kill a person without the government giving you the "go ahead." The best example of this is self-defense, such as a woman killing her rapist or someone killing a kidnapper.

Obviously, it is possible to kill someone who has a right to life, given you have a legally recognized acceptable reason.

Now we can look at the other side- does a right to life allow a person to use someone's body?

The answer to this should be simple. Every person has a right to their body- liberty, if you will. No one has the right to use a person's body unless it is consented to. But can we make an exception to save someone's life?

The answer is NO. We see in McFall v Shimp that a person cannot force another to have their body used, not even to save a life.
For our law to compel the defendant to submit to an intrusion of his body would change the very concept and principle upon which our society is founded. To do so would defeat the sanctity of the individual, and would impose a rule which would know no limits, and one could not imagine where the line would be drawn.

Less direct but of the same idea is the fact that we cannot force someone to donate any part of their body- blood, organs, bone marrow- even to save a life. There are thousands of people who die each year because they do not receive a donated organ in time. The government could force people to donate organs, and they would be saving thousands of lives doing so. However, the government recognizes the right of a person to liberty and their body.

So let's review everything we've learned.

1. You can still be killed, even if you have a right to life.
2. The government does NOT force people to use their body to support the life of others.

Clearly, abortion will not suddenly be made illegal if fetus' are recognized as persons. A fetus's right to life does not allow it to use a person's body without consent- not even the pregnant woman. Giving the fetus a right to life will not stop abortion.


  1. This seems to be so difficult for anti-choicers to understand. No one gets rights that infringe upon another person's rights, so even if the fetus is a person/baby/human being, it's irrelevant to the abortion rights discussion.

    "The question is not, 'When does life begin?' but, 'Who is best prepared to make the decision to transmit life to a new generation: the individual or the state?'"
    -Dr. Warren Hern

    1. "No one gets rights that infringe upon another persons rights" You said it ProchoiceGal. I agree with you completely. Why should a woman's right to not be pregnant infringe upon the unborns right to life ! Surely the right to life supersedes all other rights. It is the most basic human right. This seems to be so diffucult for pro abortionists to understand! Guess this is because a woman's right to kill her child is the only right you care about.

  2. "And if we can accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?" Can you answer that question for me? I doubt it.

  3. Jordan, if we can allow soldiers to kill, how can we tell the every day citizen not to kill?

    It is childish to say "he can kill so I should be able to as well!!" Ones ability to kill is not defined by who else can and cannot kill.

  4. As an athiest who was raised by fundy pentecostals and has read the whole bible more times than most religious nutters, I only have one thing to say, "Amen!"

  5. There are some crucial differences here.

    For example: If someone is in need of a new kidney, it's because their current kidney is damaged; the reason being a disease/infection, a birth defect, or perhaps an injury. If no one offers to donate their kidney and this person dies, what will be the root cause of their death? It will be the disease or injury that initially damaged their kidney. The person who refused to donate their kidney is not the cause of death.

    Let's compare this to pregnancy. If the mother goes to an abortion clinic and ends the pregnancy, what will be the root cause of death for the fetus? A disease or an infection? No - the abortion. The hands that held the currette and scalpel, the hands that turned on the aspiration vacuum.

    See, whereas the person with a damaged kidney dies because of their disease or injury, the fetus will not die unless it is deliberately killed. One death is natural, the other is UNnatural. (I should note that the same applies to a fetus with a fatal defect. Yes, they will eventually die; but if aborted, the cause of death will be the abortion, not the defect.)

    Let's take this one step further because you're probably thinking, "Look, you just don't get it. The fetus needs my uterus like the patient needs my kidney. He can't have it without my consent!"

    Not the same thing. In the case of the patient needing a new kidney, you aren't responsible for the disease or injury damaging their kidney. But, if you are pregnant because you consented to sex (pregnancy is the natural result of procreation), then you are responsible for the child growing within you. So, in the first case, you aren't responsible, but in the latter you are. That's the difference! You consented to the risk of pregnancy when you consented to sex.

    To this you might say, "That's ridiculous. That's like saying if I catch an STI while using contraceptives, that I consented to having an STI." No, not quite. See, you engaged in the behavior knowing the risk, and that makes you responsible for the consequences. So, it's not that you consented to being pregnant - it's that you took the risk. That's what makes you responsible for the child growing within you.

    The smoker who develops lung cancer is responsible for his lung cancer because he was the one who consented to that risk by willfully smoking.

  6. Bekah-

    For your first part, the simple solution is to remove a fetus intact and then see if it lives. If it dies, it would not be due to the abortion, but a natural death due to the fetus's undeveloped organs, just as a person with a birth defect dies when they don't receive someone else's kidney.

    Whenever I antis if this change to how abortions are performed would change their mind about abortion, they always answer no.

    As for being responsible for the person's disease which caused a new kidney compared to a fetus, there are any number of diseases or complications which could be cause by the person who can donate their organ. A mother smoking in front of her kids causing lung cancer is just one example.

    I've never heard of a person being forced to donate their organ, even if they were responsible for the disease/illness the other person had. Responsibly doesn't take away your bodily autonomy or your civil liberties.

    As for your comment about STIs and pregnancy being different, I don't see it. You said a person is responsible for a pregnancy because they risked it, and thus must keep the pregnancy; yet a person is not responsible for an STI even though they risked it, and they don't have to 'keep' the STI?

  7. Treating an STI can save a life - abortion always ends a life. That's the difference.

    And there should be laws against smoking in front of your children or drinking alcohol during pregnancy. If the child develops lung cancer or the baby is stillbirth, it's manslaughter. And think of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - 60% of the children in Canada's foster care system have FAS - more than half. How horrible that these innocent children have to suffer their entire lives because of their mother's drinking during pregnancy.

    There are laws against smoking in a car with children - why aren't their laws against smoking in a house with children?

  8. Kushi, you said: "For your first part, the simple solution is to remove a fetus intact and then see if it lives. If it dies, it would not be due to the abortion, but a natural death due to the fetus's undeveloped organs, just as a person with a birth defect dies when they don't receive someone else's kidney."

    Okay, let's do that then. I've read countless testimonies of women who were absolutely horrified when they accidentally saw a nurse piecing together the arms, legs, torso and head of their aborted baby because they had erroneously thought it was only a clump of cells.

    Women who abort later in pregnancy, 2nd or third trimester, should hold their premature baby in their arms and watch it die slowly of asphyxiation.

    I think it's a great idea - it'll show people firsthand what abortion really is.

  9. Not to mention the government doesn't even force brain dead people to donate their organs, never mind live people.

    Bekah, you clearly have no idea what an actual abortion procedure entails because what you talk about, the "piecing" together of the fetus, is absurd. Women who abort in the third trimester do so because of fetal abnormalities or serious threats to their health. So using those as examples of "normal" is ridiculous. In Canada, less than 1% of abortions occur in the 3rd trimester and as I am sure you are aware, it is perfectly legal to have an abortion in the 3rd trimester for any reason. But women do not get to the 3rd trimester and just decide they don't want to be pregnant anymore. Women who abort in the 3rd trimester mourn the death of the fetus and have made a "choice" between two impossible decisions. You are so pretentious to believe that those women would be well-served by holding their dead fetus.

    Forcing women to "hold" the baby is psychotic. You are sick. Women aren't stupid, they are aware of what is happening. That sort of stupid requirement just adds to the stupid laws that are meant to "inform" women, but really just belittle their intelligence. Stop trying to tell women they are too stupid to understand and stop trying to tell me what I can do with my body.

  10. Bekah, an abortion can save a life just as much as treating an STI can save a life.

    You said: "If the child develops lung cancer or the baby is stillbirth, it's manslaughter."

    Did you mean to say "it should be considered manslaughter?" Either way, I think that'd cause a huge over population to our jails- filling them up with women who exercised too much, or were advised by their doctors to keep smoking/doing drugs (because the withdrawal would be more harmful).

    As for your second post, you said: "I think it's a great idea - it'll show people firsthand what abortion really is. "

    Except, it wouldn't show people what abortion is, because like I said previously it would be *changing* how an abortion is done.

    When you say "what abortion really is" I think: the termination of a pregnancy? The death of a fetus due not to murder or violence, but it's own natural inability to survive?

    Women who abort later in pregnant often do hold their fetuses in their arms after an abortion. Many MORE women used to do this when PBA was legal. Now other methods have to be used, and the whole body isn't always intact. What heartache antichoicers have caused women.
    (see this link for further information:

  11. I have read a lot of pro choice arguments before, but this has to be the most ridiculous. Seriously, this must have been written by someone with a grade school level of understanding.

    Comparing abortion to death by act of war? The death penalty, which is the conviction of a criminal? Self defense? Has the fetus attacked the mother in an act of war? Did the fetus receive a trial by jury before being convicted?

    The unborn have committed no crimes, and they are innocent until proven guilty.

    In cases of rape, the fetus is not the guilty one. I support punishing the rapist to the fullest extent of the law.

    But many abortions are not about rape. In those cases, sexual contact comes with consequences. We may not kill someone just because they are inconvenient to our life.

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  13. Two things I have to say:
    1. If you claim to be Christian, then you need to ask your the question "What preserves the most human life and preserves human dignity?"
    a) in the case of the death penalty -- if you are a Christian, then the death penalty is a grave evil. The only time the capital punishment is warranted is if the society doesn't have a means to incarcerate the criminal, and it would prove more harmful to continue to let the criminal in the streets than to put the criminal to death. In any modern society, we have the means to incarcerate dangerous individuals. So, comparing the death penalty to abortion isn't a valid argument, since as a Christian we shouldn't stand for the death penalty.
    b) In the case of self-defense, If a person threatens my wife, my daughter, and I while we are walking in the neighborhood, and they start waving a gun or a knife around, then they clearly have no regard for human life. Since my family could potentially be killed, it would preserve more life to try to stop the criminal by using deadly force, than it would to continue to let the criminal have his/her way. Also, the point of self-defense is to STOP the attacker, not kill them.
    c) in the case of war -- it is also un-Christian to believe in war, unless there is imminent threat to human life, as in the case of self-defense. If genocide is occurring, it is acceptable for another country to step in to stop the attacker, but no more. Unfortunately, we don't exhaust all possibilities before going to war, and we go to war for unjust reasons. That doesn't make it right, nor Christian, nor can you compare abortion to war.

    2) "No one has the right to use a person's body unless it is consented to. But can we make an exception to save someone's life?" -- The woman consented to having her body used at the moment she had sexual intercourse. No one likes to acknowledge that actions have consequences. The unfortunate thing is that women feel this way because all to often the man wants nothing to do with the responsibility of raising the child, and may pressure the woman into having an abortion, rather than paying for child support or help raise the child. Still it's better to have the baby and give the baby up for adoption...

    Please ask yourself the question, especially as a Christian, what preserves the most human life? If you don't want to acknowledge that an unborn child is human life, then please watch this...

    You might say, that's just politically charged nonsense. The problem, that video is REAL -- political BS aside. If someone comes up to you and puts a gun to your head and kills you, then that is REAL, whether or not the people around you don't like you and don't want you to live or not. It's still the end of a human life. It would be political nonsense to say that just because the people around you don't want you to live, that you should die. And please don’t take that as my wanting you to die — it’s just an example scenario to make a point.