Nick Kiddle has a post at Alas, a Blog in which she discusses her pregnancy and "her baby" with regards to her pro-choice views.
In the post, she attempts to navigate thru how pro-choice people can justify the vastly different ways some people treat a wanted unborn child compared to the treatment of an unwanted unborn child.
Her explanation begins with an inaccurate factual statement.
My baby is not yet a human being.
Like many pro-choice people who casually make statements of this kind, she provides no evidence showing her "baby" is something other than a living, developing human being.
Even with special care, it is very unlikely to be capable of surviving on its own if it were removed from my body. It needs my bloodstream and my uterus to have even a chance of becoming a human being.
When and how her baby will become a human being is never specifically addressed. I could infer that she believes her baby's capability of "surviving on its own if it were removed from" her body is what makes her baby a human being, but she never specifically says that or tries to argue that.
Although it's genetically distinct from me, it doesn't seem unreasonable to view it as a part of my body. A part that could, given the right conditions, become a separate person, but until that happens a part of me.
Why doesn't it seem unreasonable? Talk about begging the question. Why doesn't it seem unreasonable to believe that your body has 4 arms, 4 legs, 4 eyes, 2 brains, 20 fingers, etc? Why doesn't it seem unreasonable to believe that an entity that is directing its own development, has a completely separate DNA code, and is genetically distinct isn't part of you?
She provides no reasoning as to when the unborn would become a "person" and seems to be using the terms "person" and "human being" interchangeably. What "right conditions" make your baby into "a separate person?"
She goes on to argue that because she believes that her baby is a part of her and she is allowed to place various values on parts of her body that therefore she and other women can place varying values on the unborn.
This is partly why miscarriage can be so devastating. A woman who anticipates with joy the time when her fetus becomes a fully-fledged human being invests those cells with a great deal of value. If they are destroyed, she's lost a part of herself that she loved and welcomed, and will naturally feel a degree of grief.
Do women grieve over their miscarried children like they would grieve over the loss of a body part? Say a finger or toe. Or do they grieve over their miscarried children like they would grieve over the loss of another human being who they loved? Don't women grieve as if they've lost a child, not as if they lost a part of their body?
Later in the comments section, Kiddle provides an even greater view of this type of pro-choice thinking.
It doesn't seem revolutionary to say that we place a higher value on what we want than on what we don't want. Nor that, since the fetus is incapable of placing a value on itself, it can only derive its value from the value others place on it.
Actually, she's right. It isn't revolutionary. Numerous countries/societies/people have placed higher value on human beings that they wanted compared to the human beings they didn't want. The results? Not so good. Just because this type of discrimination has happened before, doesn't make it right.
Also, notice Kiddle's form of thinking with regards to whether human beings are instrumental or intrinsically valuable. Things are valuable because of the value that others place on them. I could use the same kind of argument with numerous other types of human beings that may or may not be valued by other. For example, "since the infant is incapable of placing a value on itself, it can only derive its value form the value others place on it." Or "since no one places value on the homeless man, including himself, he isn't valuable."
I'd also ask, why does a fetus' inability to place value on itself affect whether he or she is valuable or not? When I fall asleep, my lack of consciousness prevents me from placing value on myself, do I then lose and regain my value as I come in and out of consciousness? Or is my value when I sleep only determined by the value that other place on me, since I can't derive my value from my unconscious self? But what happens to my value if all those who place value on me are sleeping as well?