Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Why Two Feminists Are Pro-Abortion

Posted by Adam Graham on January 22, 2007

Cross-posted from WhereIstand

Today was National Blog for Choice Day on the left side of the blogosphere where pro-choice bloggers are told to explain why. Pam Spaulding seems to veer from a simple answer:

It’s the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and today is about choice, and it’s a time to ponder, with choice increasingly being chipped away, whether a women has control over her reproductive freedom. It comes down to the fundamental belief (and conflict) over whether one believes the state should or shouldn’t interfere with the ability of a woman to have access to make (and live with) her choices regarding her body.

Sure, get a tatoo, go bunjee jumping, it’s your body and that’s your choice. But, the unborn child is not your body (unless we’re going to say a woman who has a male fetus also has her own penis), the unborn child is something entirely different.

Opponents of reproductive freedom, even those with earnest religious differences on the matter, have failed to make the case, should Roe be overturned, that there won’t be a return to back-alley abortions — and clandestine service providers for those with the means to deal with an unintended pregnancy.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former board member of NARAL came to the pro-life side after improved ultrasound in the ’70s (remained an Atheists for about 20 years thereafter) and wrote a book in which he admitted that the pro-choice side had cooked the books on the issue of abortion deaths and who was performing abortions. Prior to Roe v. Wade, 89% of abortions were performed by doctors, 5% by other medical professionals, and the other 6% by those with contacts with the medical community.

The term "back alley" did not refer to where the abortion was done, but the entrance women used to get into the clinic. In addition the number of women dying from illegal abortions had shrunk to hundreds thanks to medical advances.

Sara Anderson at Idaho blog, F-Words states:

I am pro-choice because women are human beings, endowed with the right to self-determination.

One has to wonder from whence comes this right. Sara has made up a right (to self-determination) and said human being are endowed with. But who endowed them? The Founding Fathers laid out rights that they come from the creator. 

Regardless, on the issue of "Self-determination" the dictionary defines that as:

freedom to live as one chooses, or to act or decide without consulting another or others.

Cetainly, this is what Sara meant, and certainly American recognizes that right with restrictions. Oliver Wendell Holmes famously stated, "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins."  America recognizes the ability to do many things but will clamp down if others or society are harmed.

My pro-choice stance comes from the recognition that the unreserved right to autonomy is the right to be fully human, and that the fight for human rights necessarily includes the fight for reproductive freedom.

Unreserved means unrestricted. And autonomy means "independence or freedom, as of the will or one’s actions." So unlimited and unrestricted freedom. In essence, the essence of human life according to Sara boils down to nothing more than licentousness.

The same point comes back with her claim on Self-Determination. We do not have unrestricted autonomy and no one but an anarchist would argue for that outside of the abortion debate that we ought to. Indeed, American society exists to lay out the balance between liberty and an orderly society. Unreserved autonomy would mean the right to rape, murder, and steal. Of course, it would mean the right of your victims to fight back if they so choose. Autonomy is never unlimited and the rhetoric here really shows a fundamental misunderstanding. The issue we truly remain with is whether abortion is something society should limit or not.

The real human potential contained in an embryo is special, but it is not sacred.

Special can mean anything and so in this context it means nothing. That the unborn child is not sacred is an interesting judgment to make. The embryonic stage ends at week 8. Would the Fetal stage be sacred, or no? 

By what basis and authority does she declare the unborn child "not sacred"? It appears to be nothing more than her own judgments and opinions with little backing behind it.

For any body – state, church, or otherwise – to assert that its presence in a woman’s body, or any other circumstance, creates conditions under which unconditional rights can be taken away, is for humanity to be demeaned.

The rights of which she are speaking are fictions that she has herself made up. We’ve already explained that "Unreserved Autonomy" and unmitigated self-determination do not exist. If they did, we’d have no laws telling people where they can smoke, no laws against Meth or LDS, no laws against all the crimes that are on the books today.  Sara is making opinionated claims without providing any basis to believe that what she states is true is actually true. All her opinions flow from her mind and given the frailty of the human mind, that is a poor basis to establish universal principles.

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