The people who favour abortion are correct. A pregnant woman should have the right to decide what happens to her own body. However, we should not go on and talk nonsense beyond that statement which needs proper nuancing.
At a common-sense level, it should be remembered that no one at all has any unchallengeable right to do what s(he) pleases with that one’s own body. You are forbidden by law to attempt to kill yourself or do serious harm to your own body with intent to commit suicide. What of indecent exposure laws also?
Given seat belt and helmet laws, are drivers (at least) free to do what they like with their own bodies in/on a moving vehicle? Then what of the current sugary drinks hype and the possible legal developments?
I say again, no one at all has any unchallengeable right to do what s(he) pleases with that one’s own body.
At the deeper technical medical level now, everybody ought to know that the unborn in a pregnant woman’s body is not scientifically the pregnant woman’s body nor even a part of it! Shocked, surprised? Check out what’s below with a trusted health practitioner since I failed Bio at O’Levels.
I did precisely that after reading it in reputable science books and after asking my wife (a Professor of Biology) about it.
The basic scientific reality is that a body part is defined by the common genetic code it shares with the rest of the body to which it belongs.
THE GENETIC CODE OF THE UNBORN IS DIFFERENT FROM THE MOTHER’S!
A pregnant woman can be injured and die yet her child is delivered alive! Ponder a quotation from the former leading abortionist in the USA, Dr. Bernard Nathanson.
“…the modern science of immunology has shown that the unborn child is not part of a woman’s body in the sense that her kidney or heart is.”
(Bernard Nathanson, in The Abortion Papers: Inside the Abortion Mentality, 1983, 150. See his fascinating 1996 book, The Hand of God.)
We need to avoid a hugely popular logical blunder. Thinking that being inside or being connected to, something = being part of that thing. Consider being connected to a spacecraft in outer space. Think about a mouse in a mint-ball jar, is it a mint-ball or just maybe a sugar-coated mouse?
The so-called ‘navel string’ or umbilical cord is produced by the unborn and is attached to, and at birth, cut from, the placenta (the ‘after birth‘), which is also produced by the unborn. The ‘navel string’ is not really attached to the mother at all!
“The placenta is responsible for working as a trading post between the mother’s and the baby’s blood supply…blood vessels carrying the fetal blood run through the placenta…Nutrients and oxygen from the mother’s blood are transferred to the fetal blood… waste products are transferred from the fetal blood to the maternal blood, without the two blood supplies mixing. (American Pregnancy Association.org)
Imagine my consternation then, when on ‘Balancing Justice’ on RJR (March 19) I thought I heard my esteemed Friend, Gynaecologist Dr. Michael Abrahams using the ‘own body’ argument. Owing to my respect for my Friend I assumed my old ears were playing tricks on me until I heard the astute Attorney Philippa Davies pointing out to Michael that the unborn was not a part of the pregnant woman’s body.
So then, even beyond the need to nuance the ‘own body’ right notion generally, the argument fails miserably and is nonsense with reference to a pregnant woman.
This fallacious ‘own body’ argument is really used as a lead in to the argument of “women’s rights” or, to use the code name employed in U.N. declarations “reproductive rights”!
It seems to be largely overlooked that this same U.N. in its Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1950, and again in 1989) stated in the preamble:
“Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth …”
Despite how we might feel about issues let us commit to engaging our critical minds, always.
Rev. Clinton Chisholm, Academic Dean, Caribbean Graduate School of Theology