What seems increasingly clear to me is that, in the absence of an objective definition, a foetus is a life by any subjective measure. My daughter was formed at conception, and all the barely understood alchemy that turned the happy accident of that particular sperm meeting that particular egg into my darling, personality-packed toddler took place at that moment. She is so unmistakably herself, her own person — forged in my womb, not by my mothering.Despite recognizing that the unborn are living human beings, Antonia believes killing them is the lesser evil because she believes abortion plays a central role in the liberation of women.
Any other conclusion is a convenient lie that we on the pro-choice side of the debate tell ourselves to make us feel better about the action of taking a life. That little seahorse shape floating in a willing womb is a growing miracle of life. In a resentful womb it is not a life, but a foetus — and thus killable.
But you cannot separate women’s rights from their right to fertility control. The single biggest factor in women’s liberation was our newly found ability to impose our will on our biology. Abortion would have been legal for millennia had it been men whose prospects and careers were put on sudden hold by an unexpected pregnancy. The mystery pondered on many a girls’ night out is how on earth men, bless them, managed to hang on to political and cultural hegemony for so long. The only answer is that they are not in hock to their biology as much as we are. Look at a map of the world and the right to abortion on request correlates pretty exactly with the expectation of a life unburdened by misogyny.Besides the sexist idea that women aren't able to succeed in their careers without being able to kill their unborn children, the obvious problem with this line of thinking is:
As ever, when an issue we thought was black and white becomes more nuanced, the answer lies in choosing the lesser evil. The nearly 200,000 aborted babies in the UK each year are the lesser evil, no matter how you define life, or death, for that matter. If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.
If abortion is simply a lesser evil then why isn't infanticide a lesser evil as well? What if a woman who has a 3-year-old decides she wants to start a business but thinks her daughter will prevent her from being successful? Should she be able to kill for her dream? If not, why not?
Senior's position can provide no reasonable explanation for why killing any child (born or unborn) which is presumed to be in the way should be illegal. If it's justified to kill living unborn human beings because they could get in the way, then women should be just as justified in killing their born children when they get in the way.
Maybe American pro-choice feminists are smart enough to realize this and that's why they so often cling to the belief that the unborn aren't living human beings.
HT: Albert Mohler