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Hi, this is my blog for all sorts of pro-life news, statistics, stories, and personal ventings. I am a wife and mother, as well as a nursing student. I I truly believe that abortion has failed women, and will continue to do so as long as it is legal.





Thursday, April 06, 2006

With Sex comes Responsibility, With Humanity comes Personhood

We've all heard the famous "pro-punishment" argument. That if a lifer says "hey, if you have sex with knowledge of reproduction, you consent to the possibility of becoming pregnant" they are somehow saying "sex is evil! Women should be punished for having sex!"

Well we all know this is ludicrous. Though most of us agree that sex is for marriage, I doubt many of us sit and wait for someone to get pregnant so we can say "AHAH it's your punishment!"

But pro-choicers by and large do not like to accept responsibility for their actions. They believe that it is somehow ok to forgo your responsibility because the object of neglect is something less than human. If we look at this argument there seem to be two glaring points of interest. However, I believe both can be addressed with one argument.

The basis of the abortion debate comes down to one issue-neglect. The pro-choice side argues it is alright to neglect or even kill outright a child that is dependent on your internal body for subsidence. The pro-life side does not.

Both sides can agree that it is most defiantly not alright to neglect your child. When arguing this point with a choicer they often assert that the act of childbirth consents to the obligations of parenting. They contend that unless parental rights are consciously severed, the birth parent has an obligation to the child.

They argue that this situation is different than pregnancy because a] there is no "safe alternative" to pregnancy as there is in parenting. A pregnant woman can not {yet} adopt out her fetus and the responsibility lies on her. This they claim is a defense for abortion because the mother has no alternatives other than "have parental rights" or "neglect child". They further contend that b] because the child is reliant on the mothers bodily domain, all bets are off.

Obviously the first bet is severely flawed. If I was to take my son out on a boat 3 days from shore and then decided I no longer wished to be his parent, I could not simply "remove him from my care" by refusing to feed him. The fact that there are no viable safe options does not give me the permission to "cut him off" but rather require me to continue to care for him until we reach shore and I can find a safe place for him where he will be free from neglect.

The second issue hinges on the concept of bodily domain. So often the case of Mcfall Vs.Shimp is cited as an example of why one person can not be forced to give up an organ for another. This would make sense if not for the very nature of pregnancy and how it relates to parenting. Children are allowed to usurp some parental rights to prevent neglect. My privacy is invaded by allowing my child in my house-if I put him on the balcony he would freeze to death. My rights only go to the point of keeping him from neglect(hopefully most parents would be far more generous but we are going for the least common denominator). Likewise, my son has a claim to my autonomy by forcing me to use my money to pay for his wellbeing. Again, I can not simply refuse to feed my child, this is neglect.

That said, a pregnancy differs from the conditions of McFall Vs. Shimp because their is nothing "wrong" with the fetus' body. McFall V.Shimp would be more applicable to a situation where a child needs a blood transfusion and the parents refuse. Though I would question the morality of such parents, they are not obligated to use their body to save the child's failing body-this goes outside of the general terms of care. However, to sever a fetus' tie to the mother is far more akin to simply cutting off the food or shelter of a child. The fetus needs only basic care to thrive, his body is merely growing, not defective. Just as it is neglect to refuse to feed a born child, so should it be to refuse to feed a preborn child. The conditions are the same. The fact that the preborn child happens to reside within the mother does not change the intrinsic fact that the preborn has the same right as the born to not be neglected.

Of course, the issue then becomes the question over the "personhood" of the fetus. If we are to assigning personhood based on an arbitrary set of credentials, I am positive we can wipe a wide array of "people" off the planet. Most certainly infants who have no concept of self awareness, or even the brain development for the potential of self awareness would be quickly eradicated. Of course, we can then take the twists and turns of the "person enough" road down to the weak, the feableminded, the tall, the short- anyone we decide does not fit the "criteria"

There must be a better way to describe personhood. We gain personhood not by our individual achievements(for one man raised alone in the wilderness would certainly not be a "person" by the pro-choice standard) but rather our collective species unique capacity to better itself. This definition must then include all in our species regardless of their individual talent. By nature of conception a human is human no matter what stage of development. Thus, regardless of an individual fetus' capacity for anything they are "persons" because they belong to our collective society.

*this arguement was the collective effort of my husband and I, I nearly forgot to give him credit!


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