This poster featuring Mr. Kouki’s statement is extremely misleading: it assumes that the fetus is a being for whom all choices can be made independently of the mother, and ignores the fact that it is actually totally dependent upon its mother while still in the womb. It is another round in the effort to create a law that prohibits certain activities (abortion, in this case) as a way of settling a moral debate, even though history proves that such prohibitions are almost always ineffective, and often cause far more harm than good.
While I agree that abortion is not a step to be taken lightly (and hopefully, only extremely rarely); viewpoints such as that expressed in this poster are also a form of abortion, since they separate the child from its mother in another way – by declaring that the mother must be responsible for their child, but only as long as their decisions with regard to the child conform to the dictates of others. Think about it: this poster declares that it is absolutely acceptable to abort the mother’s life in favor of the child’s. Or, to put it another way, instead of the mother being allowed to decide whether to remove a fetus from within her body; the state feels it is justifiable to remove that same fetus from the control of the mother – while it is still in her body. (I’d also note that this notion, which is part of the the Tea Party’s stance on abortion is completely at odds with one of its most basic principles, which is that the government already intrudes too deeply into the lives of American citizens.)
My opinion is this: abortion is never a good thing, but if we are going to trust a woman to raise the child, or even carry it to term; then we must be willing to trust that she knows what is best for the child and for herself, and we must respect the choices she makes with regards to whether to give birth to that child, or not.
On the other hand, Pro-Choice advocates who oppose education of the mother prior to having an abortion may be going too far. I do not believe such “education” should be mandatory. But, it cannot be one-sided, and should be readily available. At the very least, a woman considering an abortion should have a clear and factual understanding of the medical risks of the procedure – presented in a way that does not hype or denigrate the views of those on either side of this issue.
One more question: should the father have a say in whether his child is aborted? On the one hand, “Yes” – and I think why this should be is obvious.
On the other hand, and overriding that right, is “No”: “No” because at present a man can easily walk away from his responsibilities for a child he has fathered, with little risk or cost to himself. Because of this, and until no man can escape responsibility for his actions when he has sex with anyone, we have no right to enforce a man’s “right to choose” over the wishes of the mother. And even then, if we did give men this right, I do not see how we can allow such a right to override the woman’s choice, since it is her body, her life, and her wellbeing that is at risk from a pregnancy, not his. Ideally, a father should have a (respectful and kind, if not supportive) voice in the choice, but not the power to veto the mother’s decision without a very substantial burden of proof as to why.
In the end, when any woman chooses to have an abortion, she should be able to have it safely, privately, and with great respect and consideration of her for the difficulty and magnitude of the choice she has made. Her life, and that of her child, should not be a pawn, or a casualty, in society’s struggle to come to grips with the moral dilemma of abortion.
Copyright (c) 2014, Allen Vander Meulen III, all rights reserved. I’m happy to share my writings with you, as long as proper credit for my authorship is given. (e.g., via a credit that gives my full name and/or provides a link back to this site – or just email me and ask!)
2 thoughts on ““Pro-Life” is just another kind of Abortion”
>>Mr. Kouki’s poster is extremely misleading: it assumes that the fetus is a being for whom all choices can be made independently of the mother, and ignores the fact that it is actually totally dependent upon its mother while still in the womb.
I don’t think it is the least bit misleading. The point has entirely to do with elective abortions, not those necessary to save the life of the mother.
No fact is ignored: tell me what the justification is against infanticide at that point, since the new born is totally dependent on others; or against killing the handicapped who are also totally dependent on others.
>>viewpoints such as that expressed in this poster are also a form of abortion, since they separate the child from its mother in another way – by declaring that the mother must be responsible for their child, …
That is really grasping at straws. To call the notion that a human being has an inherent right to life, which must be safeguarded by all reasonable means, a “form of abortion” does violence to both language and reason.
>>but only as long as their decisions with regard to the child conform to the dictates of others.
Those “dictates of others” are simply “you can’t kill innocent human beings with impunity”. Do you really find that morally onerous?
I appreciate your comments, Steve – even though I disagree.
>>The point has entirely to do with elective abortions, not those necessary to save the life of the mother.
My point is that this means someone – other than the mother – is being given the role of being the primary authority as to what is “necessary” – or not. Interfering in a woman’s decision as to what to do with her own body is a step that must be taken with extreme caution and care. It may be that it is in the interest of the fetus – and perhaps even society – to have someone other than the mother make such a decision as to what is “necessary” – but I would argue that our starting point cannot be an external authority’s definition of “necessary”.
>>To call the notion that a human being has an inherent right to life, which must be safeguarded by all reasonable means, a “form of abortion” does violence to both language and reason.
“Inherent Right” is a slippery term – one that is neither biblical, nor supported in the law. Also, all rights imply responsibility – the term “inherent right” would seem to sidestep that fact. If society has an “inherent right” to dictate that a woman cannot abort her pregnancy, then I would argue that society has the “inherent responsibility” to pay for all of the downstream consequences of that decision, or at least must fully support the mother with regards to the costs of such consequences. In the current abortion debate, this is rarely mentioned as a factor.
I also suspect that if society did begin taking responsibility for the costs to a mother of making a “pro-life” decision, you would see a sharp drop in the rate of abortions, simply because all of the economic reasons that drive a mother to wish to do so would vanish. (Other reasons would exist, but not economic ones, which I suspect are a major factor behind the majority of pro-abortion choices.)
>>Those “dictates of others” are simply “you can’t kill innocent human beings with impunity”. Do you really find that morally onerous?
As I already said – Abortions should be rare. I agree with you that we should not abort with impunity, but that is not saying we should prohibit it, nor that we should have the arrogance to assume that we can routinely make a better decision than a mother as to whether to abort, or not.
It would be much wiser and far more productive (and humane) for society to labor to remove the factors that drive women to choose abortion, rather than taking the simple (and futile) step of trying to prohibit the procedure itself.