The political case against abortion
Since abortion is impossible to justify on the merits (it kills a living human being, remember), "choice" has become the foundation of its
political justification. Abortion advocates don't want to talk about facts or science, but they love to talk about "choice". "It’s my body.
Nothing has so clouded and confused the politics of this debate more than the misconstrued application of this one little term. The bottom
line is this: Choice is nothing apart from the context to which it is applied. Individual choices are either recognised or restricted based
upon the circumstances at hand. That's how our laws work. You simply cannot talk about choice in isolation.
For forty years, however, abortion advocates have sought to bestow upon choice a nobility all its own, a nobility it has no claim to.
They refuse to be called "pro-abortion", but they gladly accept the label "pro-choice" (despite the fact that there are countless other
issues for which they are decidedly not pro-choice). The fact is, laws against rape, murder, assault, theft, speeding, drink-driving and
even smoking are all "anti-choice". They take away legal protection from one particular choice in order to protect a more foundational
freedom. All such laws are "legislating morality". That's the only way society can survive. Personal choices that infringe on the life
or livelihood of another human being must be legislated against. Therefore, anyone who defends legal abortion by simply arguing that people
must be free to make their own choices is either ignorant or dishonest.
Furthermore, in almost 99% of all UK abortions, the woman having the abortion chose to have sexual intercourse in the first place. Therefore,
it could just as easily be argued that these women already made their choice when they chose to engage in behaviour that often leads to
pregnancy. Ultimately, restricting a woman's right to abortion does not restrict a woman's right to not be pregnant. Abortion, after all,
does not keep a woman from being pregnant. Abstinence does that. Abortion simply ends the pregnancy of an already pregnant woman by killing
the embryo or foetus living within her.
In the end, we are only free to choose so long as that choice doesn't kill or harm someone else, and our government exists to take away
those choices that do. Nobody argues that a man should be free to choose when the context is sexual assault. What a fool he would be to
try and justify rape by saying, "My body, my choice." Why? Because rape is a violent assault which involves more than just one body. And
so is abortion. The heart of the issue is not "choice". The real question is humanity, and nothing short of anarchy can guarantee the perfect
freedom of choice.
There are essentially two issues which must be resolved concerning unborn embryos and foetuses. The first is, "Are they human beings?" The
second is, "Should they be recognised as persons under the law?" We've already established that there is no debate on the first question.
It is a matter of plain, objective science. Embryos and foetuses are fully and individually human from fertilisation on. If this were not
true, if unborn children were not demonstrably human, there would be no need to even talk about rights of personhood. "Removing a foetus"
would be the moral equivalent of pulling a tooth. This, however, is not the case, and so the debate must now enter the political arena.
There is a very real sense in which the need to answer this second question is, in itself, an absurdity. If you look up the word "person"
in your average dictionary (we'll use Webster's), you'll find something like this:
Person n. A human being.
A person, simply put, is a human being. This fact should be enough. The intrinsic humanity of unborn children, by definition, makes them
persons and should, therefore, guarantee their protection under the law. For more than forty years, however, this has not been the case.
The situation we are left with is this. In the UK today, there is a huge and singular group of living human beings who have no protection
under the law and are being killed en masse every day. Is that not astounding?! It is astounding, but not wholly unprecedented.
This isn’t the first time a specific group of human beings have been stripped of their rights of personhood, and consequently brutalised.
200 years ago we celebrated the abolition of Slavery. Africans were sold into slavery and treated as property. This was justified on the
premise that they were sub-human. In Nazi Germany, millions of Jews were mistreated and murdered justified on the premise that they were
There remains one, and only one, group of human beings in the UK today for which being human is not enough. The inconvenience of their
existence has resulted in a legal loophole of shameful proportions. What is a person? A person is a human being (unless, of course, you
haven't been born yet, in which case we'll define personhood in any way possible so as to exclude you, kill you and forget you).
This is civilised society?