Friday, September 14, 2012

In Defense of the Pro-Choice Position

I don't often write about abortion, but I had it on my mind recently. I have been clear that my position on the matter is pro-choice and I have given my reasons why. In a big liberal city like New York, my pro-choice ideas are almost never challenged. One attempt to challenge my stance was from a person who asked me whether a person who murders a pregnant woman should be charged with one or two homicides since I believe the fetus is not an independent human being.

Here was my response. First, I do believe that fetuses are human life--they are alive, and they are human, and are not merely collections of cells. Second, when I say that the fetus is not an independent human being capable of constitutional rights, I am not saying that it won't one day become one. It is a temporary condition, and during that condition, the fetus is part of the mother's body, who is the sole determiner of whether that fetus should be brought to term. Therefore, a person who murders a pregnant woman should be charged with two homicides for this reason: the decision to terminate the pregnancy is the woman's and not the murderer's.

We indeed charge murderers with two homicides when they murder pregnant women, as we should. I think that the practical position for those against abortion should be to refrain from doing so themselves, but not to impose their will on others. It's just like how if I don't like hunting animals, I won't do so myself, but I am not going to impose my will on others who like to safely hunt game with in state and federal regulations.

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