I agree with pro-choicers. There, I said it. Abortion is a personal and private matter that should not be restricted in any way. We shouldn’t interfere with one’s personal choices. Pro-lifers, and everybody for that matter, should stay out of this decision. I agree completely, if….IF. That lovely little game changer - IF. If what? If the unborn are not human beings.
Any argument for abortion will always lead back to this so called “minor detail” - the humanity of the unborn. A woman’s right to her body, the freedom to choose, cases of rape and incest, financial and/or lifestyle stability will inevitably come full circle back to this fact. The unborn are human beings with inherent dignity, value, and potential, regardless of any of the above variables. Which leads me to the point at which I put on my thinking cap – pro-choicers, you should try it sometime – and pull out some good, old-fashioned logic.
Size. This is not relevant to the worth of a human being. Is a tall person worth more than a short person? Or how about somebody with dwarfism? Absolutely not! I thought we learned this as foolish children when we chose the nickel over the dime…
Level of Development. A human being’s level of development does not determine his value as a person, much less his very humanity. A three-year-old is much less developed than a 15-year-old, yet both still qualify as human beings. Self-awareness and mental functioning fall under this argument as well. If these factored in to our status of humanity, infants shouldn’t be considered human beings, nor those who are comatose, have Alzheimer’s disease, or are sleeping. Hence this ridiculousness goes down the drain.
Environment. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point out that the value of a person is absolutely not dependent on his whereabouts – i.e., his environment. Our value doesn’t fluctuate as we cross the street, the city, or the world. So, tell me pro-choicers, how is it that the value and actual humanity of the unborn skyrockets from 0 to infinity throughout the eight-inch journey down the birth canal? Hmmm….inconsistency at its finest.
Degree of Dependency. Since when does viability = humanity, I must ask? If a fetus is not a human being because it can’t survive without the support of its mother’s body, then the humanity of the diabetic dependent on insulin is under attack. So is that of those who fully depend on medications, dialysis, life support, or even the life-saving interventions of another person. Assuming the argument that viability is the new humanity, for the sake of consistent philosophy, conjoined twins should be stripped of their human nature and right to life, as they share blood and body systems. Offensive? Absolutely. So is this argument.
We would be wise to ditch these arguments as a culture – and fast. For we have been guaranteed the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Take note, society, that the first of these three rights is absolutely necessary in order to be granted the latter two, and as we scream for justice in the name of “women’s rights,” we are denying an abominable amount of the future generation’s right to simply BE BORN.
Life is not a choice. Human dignity cannot be determined. It simply is.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at The Catholic Maiden on May 2, 2012, and is reprinted with permission.