Every now and then, it’s natural for pro-lifers to feel frustrated about abortion on demand’s seeming intractability, to doubt whether their efforts have enough impact. I confess, I’ve occasionally questioned how much good I’m really doing writing about the subject online.
Ironically, I’ve found relief from such thoughts while, of all things, surfing pro-abortion blogs. We’ve discussed before the increasing popularity of the superficially appealing but substantively bankrupt “bodily autonomy” argument for abortion. At the beginning of the year, Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams penned her notable “So what if abortion ends life?” column using that rationale, and lately I’ve really been struck by how the Tumblr baby-killing community seems to have adopted it as a trump card.
Why should a fetus be entitled to someone else’s body parts? No one else is. What makes a fetus so special? It’s human, and like all other humans it has no right to other people’s body parts without the owner’s continuous consent.
Meanwhile, “Worry About Your Own Uterus” says:
I do believe that even if fetuses were considered people, abortion would still not be murder. No person has rights over another’s body.
In the words of “Valhalla Heroine”:
Fetuses do not have bodily autonomy, in fact they are an intrusive violation of bodily autonomy, that is why abortion is legal, that is why abortion is medically necessary for the people who want/need it.
“A Blog About Choice” proclaims:
[F]orcing someone out of your body who you do not consent to being there in the first place is not murder, even though it means they die.
“Your Culture of Death Is My Culture of Choice” makes this less than original comparison:
You can’t be forced to give an organ, even if it leads to a death. Just like you can’t be forced to use your body as an incubator, even if it leads to the death of a fetus. I honestly see very little difference.
“How ‘Pro-Life’ of You” follows suit:
[I]f I’m dying of kidney failure, am I allowed to force you to give me a kidney because it would save my life? (come on, you only need one to live and I have a right to life, don’t I?) nope, because you have bodily autonomy – no one is allowed to use another’s body against their consent. fetuses directly impose on another person’s bodily autonomy by using their organs and resources.
“Your Lies Ruin Lives” offers a similar analogy:
There are laws dictating if you don’t want someone in your home, you can remove them. Have them removed, yes. Most states even have provisions for perceived threat and removal via deadly force. (Read; Stand your Ground laws.)
Speaking of originality, in responding to a comment in the same thread, “Rights for All” (how’s that for an Orwellian name?) says basically the same thing:
Actually, in America if you come into my house without consent and you do not leave, i’m fairly certain i can make you leave by force.
And a post by “We Have a Voice” frames it in a way that helpfully sets up my broader point:
I pity the fool who still thinks pro-choicers believe a fetus isn’t alive.
To bring you up-to-date on the abortion conversation: yes, a fetus is alive and yes, it is human. That still doesn’t grant them rights over another person’s body.
And on and on it goes. Naturally, it’s still peppered with appeals to invalid killability criteria like viability, pain sensitivity, and awareness, plus bogus complaints about “baby” somehow being invalid terminology, but it’s bodily autonomy that they lean on most heavily, apparently so convinced that it irrefutably ends the debate that they don’t need to care how callously they phrase it.
Never mind that the mother put her helpless son or daughter in that situation, or that it is her son or daughter we’re talking about, one half of the closest of all human relationships, with a natural claim to the process required for any life to enter the world, utterly incomparable to any arbitrary and convoluted scenario pro-aborts can manufacture. As far as they’re concerned, the subject is closed.
And they’re angling for it to replace denying the humanity of the unborn, sometimes, as the last quote shows, by by going so far as to sneer that everybody on their side knows a fetus is human.
You’d think that would be their favorite defense; I know I certainly wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think abortion destroyed a living human being.
If you’re an abortion apologist, why would you possibly concede that ground? Why would anyone leave the seemingly humane “don’t worry, abortion only terminates some cellular matter” for the monstrous-sounding “sure it’s a live human, but here’s why I should be able to kill it anyway”?
Because they have to. Bit by bit, we’re driving them out of embryology denial. Aided by the latest in sonogram technology, pro-lifers have spread the irrefutable facts of life’s beginnings far enough that more and more of them are waking up to the fact that they simply can’t get away with it if they expect to be taken seriously.
The rhetorical battlefields of the blogosphere may not be the only front in this war, or even the most important, but they matter. And we’re winning.