First of all, I must state that my views were altered by empirical data emerging in the past few months. Prior to that, I contended that a woman has the right to an abortion, up to the third trimester, as long as she paid for it herself. Look, no strange pregnant woman is going to take kindly to somhead and forcing her to pay for my friends' attempts at in utero or in vitro fertilization. Asking them to pay for a woman's elective surgery (through taxation or any other use of force) is just immoral and unethical.
Then came the Kermit Gosnell trial, and the other cases and investigations that have resulted since. The pictures of the live-birth babies that were murdered is disgusting. The fact somebody would do that is nothing less than evil. Some of the late-term (after 20 weeks) abortions Gosnell and his associates performed left aborted bodies dumped into waste baskets that could not be mistaken for anything less than a human baby.
My views have altered because of that.
I am still pro-choice. I am still, also, pro-consequences and pro-responsibility. People should not take any action that they are not willing to take full responsibility for the consequences thereof. It is just that simple.
Rape somebody and suffer the punishment.
I still contend that rape victims, if impregnated, have a right to choose abortion. I do not agree with that choice. But I am not a woman, and I cannot be impregnated by a rape. I would not have to suffer further those psychological scars from having to look at a resulting child every day.
But 20 weeks is a long time to make up your mind. Most rape victims would have that choice made within 4 weeks. Many would have made up their mind within 4 minutes.
One who claims to be mature enough to partake in an adult action that is biologically intended for procreation should be mature enough to make a decision on abortion in less than 16 weeks. In fact, the adult and mature thing would be to have the cash saved up and the decision made as a contingency before engaging in that mature/adult act in the first place. Not ready to take that responsibility? Then don't do the act. There, the decision is simple.
Don't attempt the "birth control" arguments. None of them is 100% effective except for abstinence. it is a proven scientific fact. Even "sterilization" such as a vasectomy or tubal ligation is not effective. Bodies are resilient and can repair themselves.
Sure, if you are ready to take on those responsibilities but just would rather not, then use the birth control. Go buy it. Go use it. While you are at it, save up to cover raising a child or aborting it. Have your mind made up and have the contingency planned. Be the grown-up you claim to be. Take responsibility for your actions.
20 weeks? Kingdoms have been built and tyrannies toppled in less time than that.
This is not about cases of forced impregnation (rape or incest). It is about those elective surgeries performed as a means of birth control. (Condoms are $.75 each, kids. They are cheaper than a 20 oz. Coke.)
It isn't even about those. It is about a serious question I'd like both sides of the debate to answer:
At What Point Does One's Life Belong To Them?
In other words: When Does A Person Have A Right To Their Own Life?
See, I am very much opposed to human slavery. If you have been reading my articles for the past couple of years, you'd know that I have strongly and aggressively supported the fight against sex slavery. It still happens in our country.
I oppose human slavery to the point I was appalled when some on the left gleefully announced that they were glad that they we are owned by our government. Sorry kids, I am nobody's property. Neither are you, unless you willingly give up your freedom. I do not understand why anybody would.
So is a human life its own or somebody the property of somebody else?
Our US Constitution forbids the ownership of a human being.
On the pro-life side, I have heard many state that life begins at conception, and back up their claim with scientific corroboration. However, the scientific community is in debate on what stage conception actually takes place. Is it before or after implantation? Is it during inseminate fertilization? Is it when the first mitosis takes place? The answer is not definitive. The jury is still out and is likely to be for years to come.
During the earlier portion of a pregnancy, a child is fully dependent upon the mother. The mother provides blood, nutrition, digestion, oxygen, etc. The mother expels the waste. Then, at some later point, the baby begins to be capable of doing those functions on its own. It is still growing. Those bodily systems are still maturing and strengthening. But they are formed and working.
At 20 weeks, they are all functioning. At 20 weeks, they are all capable of sustaining those functions on their own.
So, is that life still a dependent part of the woman's body?
Again, it comes down to ownership. The "women's rights" pro-choice argument will claim ownership of the woman's body by the woman. Ok, no argument there, at all. Yes, the woman owns her body.
Conversely, does that woman own the baby's body? Does one human have the right to claim ownership of another?
If those "women's rights" activists and civil rights activists want to argue the ownership of one's own body and life, they must concede that the baby, at some point, owns its own life.
Some may argue that the baby cannot self-sustain until after birth. I can push that envelope. I know 30 year old men and women who are not capable of sustaining themselves. Many of them have EBT cards and gleefully proclaim that the government owns them, like slaves. Terminating one of their lives is legally (and morally) murder. So that argument is moot.
If the mother/government/taxpayers/village/tribe owns the child, when does its slavery end?
My daughter does not "belong" to me. I own that part of our relationship. I am her step-father. She is my step-daughter. It is just as my wife is my wife because I am her husband. We, together, own that relationship. As we jokingly remind each other on occasion, neither of us are the indentured servant of the other. We are equal partners, she mine and I hers. The same goes for a parent-child relationship.
Many will concede that a human being owns its own life starting at some point during its infancy. They base that view on the baby's body's capability of sustaining its own life functions: digestion, respiration, circulation, defecation/urination, etc. If modern science has demonstrated that a child at 20 weeks of prenatal gestation can perform those functions if removed from the womb, wouldn't the baby own its own life at that point?
So, women own their own bodies and have rights to them. Agreed. When does the child own its own body and have rights as well?
For one final thought before anybody tries to answer these questions (hopefully intelligently with nice empirical data and verifiable facts):
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." ~Thomas Jefferson paraphrasing John Locke, The Declaration of Independence, 1776Note: by "men", Jefferson and Locke referred to human beings, mankind. He used the grammatically correct and gender-neutral version of the word.