Pro-life or pro-choice?
But then, as several readers of last Sunday’s post (“Abortion Is a Solution”) pointed out, the two options are an unfortunate dichotomy.
One reader said he was pro-choice and pro-life. By pro-life he means a whole range of life-enhancing programs such as healthcare for all, safe neighborhoods for all, decent schools for all, food security for all, equal opportunities for all, justice for all, the abolition of nuclear weapons and the death penalty. And one more: STRICT GUN CONTROL.
Now that’s pro-life!
But don’t count on “pro-lifers” to be proponents of that agenda. Once the baby’s out, mother and child are on their own.
Good luck! God bless!
The dichotomy is unfortunate in another way.
Many pro-life advocates recognize exceptions to abortion bans, such as rape, incest, or endangerment to the mother. Some would allow for abortion early in the pregnancy.
Many pro-choice advocates recognize restrictions, such as disallowing legal abortions after so many weeks (except in extenuating circumstances) because at some point the fetus becomes a person with a right to protection by the state.
By the way, a fetus is human from conception in the sense it’s not bovine or canine. Personhood is another matter. That’s a legal term. Enslaved Blacks were considered “human” but not “persons” according to 18th-century law.
Is a fetus a person?
What is a person?
It is sometimes asked if a human in an irreversible coma is still a person in a meaningful sense. Who gets to decide?
When does a fetus become a person?
Religionists and scientists disagree among themselves as to when the “pop” occurs. And, of course, opinions abound in parlors.
But alas, laws can’t be ambiguous or capricious. Lines must be drawn. (SPEED LIMIT: Whatever! CARBON EMISSIONS: Whatever!)
Many women are rightfully wary of lines barring their autonomy. Three hundred years ago the English jurist, Lord Matthew Hale, ruled that a woman could not encroach on her husband’s rights, which included raping her, because the husband was “sovereign” in his home.
That precedent still pertains in India and did until recently in another former British colony we now know as the United States. (Justice Samuel Alito frequently cites Hale in his draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade.)
Women have reason to be alarmed when lawmakers and judiciaries take up their welfare.