Thursday, September 23, 2010

An Abortion Compromise

"An abortion is killing a human life.”

     On the contrary. An abortion is terminating a pregnancy – and thus not allowing human life to further develop. Please note my absence of the phrase “a human life” in the previous sentence. My finger is a form of human life, as are my organs, as is the overgrown scar tissue atop an old wound.
     However, none of those things is “a human” entitled to individual rights. If any of these things offend me, I can cut them off without fear of these things suing me or someone else doing so in the name of my excised appendages.

     Our Constitution affords rights to individual humans. It makes no mention of groups of people, animals, body parts or parasitic life having the rights to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Individuals, alone, are deserving of these protections.

     So the question is, “When do we become individuals?”

     Rather than make an emotional or religious argument, I think we should allow our best technology to decide when the point of external viability is. Current medical technology puts that state of development at around six months. At which point, if born prematurely, the “not yet fully formed” fetus still has a strong chance of surviving – given that we have developed sufficient incubation chambers that can provide further support in place of a specific host. This, I believe, is the moment you become an individual. It is the moment you are no longer dependent on one specific host for all of your life functions.

     That said, at present, after six months of development, you “are.” So whatever the host agent does to her body, she is also inflicting this upon the unborn individual. Just like we would prosecute a parent for issuing drugs or tobacco to a one-year-old, so should we hold a would-be mother accountable for any harmful agent they consume that would otherwise have a detrimental effect on the growth and development of a pregnancy they intended to carry to term.

     The compromise should never be to prohibit an abortion before external viability, while holding expecting mothers after that point criminally responsible for actual child abuse.

     The flaw with the pro-choice movement is the blind eye they turn to such behavior. The flaw with the pro-life advocates is that they elevate the life of the unborn above that of the host mother. They even go as far as to say that a woman who is raped or molested shouldn't have the opportunity to seek an abortion. Herein lies their crime against civility. Making all abortions illegal, even in the case of rape and incest, would give rapists the legal authority to force any woman they choose to carry and have their baby. In what world is it alright for someone to have legal backing to force their will upon another? No one has the right to force their will upon another. Each of us are endowed with an individual right to pursue our own happiness.

     In the end, both sides are wrong on this issue. And they are all ignoring that their stance infringes upon another's freedom.

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