Pro-Choice: Women Must Have Reproductive Rights/Reproductive Freedom

Pregnant, Women, Abortions, Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Freedom, Responsibility

Within the abortion debate, it is not surprising that there are a few differences in the language used. Each side wants to frame the debate in a certain way.

However, the pro-choice side has created many terms and phrases that seem so far from reality, you have to wonder if anyone would accept them had they not been repeated so frequently.

Two of the terms to which I am referring are “reproductive rights” and “reproductive freedom.”

First, those who use the term “reproductive rights” are actually arguing that a woman should have the right to end the life of her preborn child. That is what an abortion does.

Taking the life of another may never legitimately be referred to as a right.

Second, the term reproductive freedom implies that women are liberated from being forced to carry a child, and that taking the life of this child will allow women to set their own schedule for having children.

One of the many problems with this argument is that women already have the ability to plan their lives so they do not have to have children earlier than they would like. For example, a woman may refrain from sexual activity until she is ready to start a family.

For those who would then bring up rape, it is important to point out that only a very small percentage of pregnancies are the result of non-consensual sex. In fact, the risk of pregnancy from sexual assault is estimated to be 2 to 5 percent [1].

Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that abortions lead to complications in future pregnancies. This means that instead of allowing women to choose when they want to have children, it can take away their ability to have any children at all.

These are just two of the many pro-choice terms that are misleading. However, you should not be too surprised when you hear more. The goal of abortion advocates is to create distortions, not to speak the truth.

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References

[1] President’s DNA Initiative. (1998). “Pregnancy Risk Evaluation and Care .” Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations . White House, 1998. Web. 5 Aug 2011 http://samfe.dna.gov/examination_process/pregnancy_risk_evaluation_care/

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2 responses to “Pro-Choice: Women Must Have Reproductive Rights/Reproductive Freedom

  1. until she is ready to start a family? what if she is never ready? what about women like me who want to get married someday and NEVER want kids? what am i supposed to do?

    • Leia Peison,

      The question you are asking my not the answer you would like to hear, but it is, nevertheless the answer that the pro-life position has to offer you. You ask the question about the women who never want kids and what they are supposed to do. Your real question then (if I might interpret your comment) is really “are women like us just supposed to refrain from sexual activity our whole lives?” Although I do not fell qualified to address the issue of contraception at this point, I would like to clarify something as a point of information.

      For the sake of argument, I want to assume that you are married and that you have found yourself pregnant with a child you do not want and will never love. Is an abortion the best option in your case? I would argue that it is not. The reason I would say this is as follows:

      Imagine that, instead of an unborn child only 3 weeks in the womb, it is child that has been born for 2 years. This imaginary child is still unwanted and unloved by you and your husband. Would you be morally justified in killing your 2 year old daughter? I think you and I both know the answer to that one: NO! It is obvious that you cannot kill her merely because you do not want her.

      Now, if you cannot kill the 2 year old on the grounds that she is unwanted/unloved, why would you be able to kill her 2 1/2 years earlier? I think that, if you really thought about it, your answer would entail something like, “Well the 2 year old is a valuable human being, the unborn isn’t.” And that is where we run into a problem. Notice that the issue is not whether the unborn are wanted/loved, rather it is about their status of ‘valuable human being’ or ‘un-valuable fetus’. Put in another way, the question really becomes: “what is the difference between the unborn and a toddler?” But really, is there any relevant difference between the unborn and a toddler that would justify killing the unborn and not the toddler? I would say that no such difference can be found. And I am not alone in thinking this way, I have years of scientific research supporting this argument. For example:

      – K. Moore & T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier, 2008), p. 15.
      – T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Embryology , 5 th ed. (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1993), p.
      – O’Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29.
      – A. Guttmacher, Life in the Making: the Story of Human Procreation (New York: Viking Press, 1933) p.
      – H. Storer and F. Heard, Criminal Abortion: Its Nature, Its Evidence & Its Law (out of print); cited in Stephen Krason, Abortion: Politics, Morality, and the Constitution (Lanham,MD: University Press in America, 1984) p. 171.
      – Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981

      The condensed version of all this information is as follows: from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, whole human beings. This is undisputed in any credible embryology textbook.

      Therefore, the unborn are indeed human beings, that is not a question. However, we now must determine that they are valuable. For the answer to that question we can turn to philosophy. And here is what we find in that regard: there is no essential difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today, such that those changes would justify killing you at that earlier stage of development. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not good reasons for saying that you had no rights as an embryo, but you do now.

      In conclusion then, the issue is not whether or not the child is unwanted, but rather what kind of thing the unborn is. And as demonstrated above, the unborn are distinct, living, whole human beings. Furthermore, there is no relevant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today, such that those changes would justify killing you at that earlier stage of development.

      I hope this helps,

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