Friday, 6 July 2007

Abortion as a Woman's Moral Right

The question: when is abortion justified? - can be answered in one word... always. There is no moral or scientific reason to prevent a woman making a personal choice on what to do with her own body and what is inside her body.

The so called 'pro-life' politics that drives the anti-abortion lobby, is not scientifically driven and it is certainly not morally and objectively driven. Behind its agenda is a religious backdrop.

The drive to ban ALL abortions is driven by the religious right. It is based on the believe that a human soul is created at the moment of conception.

What moral prerogative would assume the rights of the mother can be trumped by the 'rights' of an embryo. Within the first three months or trimester, we are talking about a mass of largely undifferentiated cells. The only reason one could even claim such an absurd sacrifice of the mother to this none human cell mass; is because of religious claim of soul intervention within those cells.

Why do I use the word sacrifice? ...Because if a women is prevented from having an abortion because of government laws, then by definition she is no longer in ownership of her own body and her right to abort an embryo or indeed a fetus, is sacrificed to government intervention.

Just because a woman becomes pregnant, does not mean that she has sacrificed the right to do with her own body what she so chooses and that includes having an abortion.

The other argument apart from the religious claim of a soul being placed in the embryo at conception, is that to abort an embryo is to kill a human being. This is simply scientifically false. An embryo has no attributes by which one could define it as human. Thus, to call embryo destruction murder is about as absurd as it gets.

The other claim often made is that of potentiality. An embryo has the potential to become human, therefore it should be granted rights based on potential possible future probabilities. If that was the standard, then by the same definition every male sperm is a potential human being and government laws should be passed to prevent male masturbation... because in doing so one is causing a holocaust of potential human beings.

The aborting of fetuses as apposed to embryos, often brought up by pro-life demonstrators, is a 'red herring' argument. The fact is that most abortions are performed in the first trimester embryonic stage. When fetuses are aborted it is almost always because of a serious birth defect or because of complications that put the woman's life at risk.

Of course not all anti-abortionists are against all abortions. But the fundamentalist religious right 'pro-lifers' are. They want to ban all abortions under every circumstance. Even if the woman's life is at risk from having the birth or she has been raped... no matter, the life of a clump of cells trumps hers.

The fundamental reason that abortions should not be banned, is based on the rights of ownership of one's own body. For a government to take away that right through banning abortions is to threaten the initiation of force against those rights.

Also, we know based on scientific grounds that embryos are not human beings. We should not and cannot cave in to the religious fundamentalists, that wish to take away a woman's right to her own body.

It has been pointed out many times before: What happens when abortion is made illegal? - It leads to bloody back-ally abortions. These abortions often lead to severe and often fatal complications.

If ever you hear a pro-lifer shouting down a woman and even threatening her with violence for entering an abortion clinic, ask yourself the question: Are these people really pro-life? - If they are willing to allow a woman's body to be sacrificed and be trumped by a clump of cells that is far less than human, then you have to wonder.

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