Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And on third hand...

The draconian abortion ban proposed for the second time in South Dakota was defeated. Now, here's a place where the Bradly effect (telling pollsters one thing and voting the opposite) might still be in effect. (It appears to be dead in matters of race).

Why did the abortion ban fail in a profoundly conservative state while gay rights failed in a notoriously liberal one? Perhaps because, while some sheltered folks can imagine that they don't know any gays or lesbians and therefore can't empathize with them, there are very few women and their male partners who do not face, sometime during their childbearing years, an unwanted pregnancy or unwanted pregnancy scare. Add that to the number of parents who face the fear that their teen aged children's lives will be derailed by a too-early pregnancy and you have a large group of people who in their secret heart of hearts, understand profoundly the untold side of the abortion story; what it would be like to give up the most fundamental freedom of all; the freedom to control to whom you give your body.

Need we say it again? It doesn't matter a whit whether a fetus is judged to be human or not. It has no more rights than any other human, and therefore does not have the right to use someone else's body unless that gift is given freely. People die every day for the lack of kidney, and liver donations...that's 'cause they don't have the right to commandeer yours. Nor does a fetus have the right to my womb. Case closed.

Yes, we need to say it again. Because you NEVER hear it, not from left or right.

But in our heart of hearts, most of us really do understand.


LuluBunny said...

I ran across your blog when I searched for blogger profiles that mentioned Unitarian Universalism (I'm just beginning to be really serious about it), and I just wanted to say that I LOVE your organ donation analogy ... I NEVER thought of it like that, and yet it's SO true!

Brilliant :)

kim said...

I've also thought of it as believing that there IS a "fate worse than death".

Earthbound Spirit said...

Unfortunately, Christine, I debated a person once who did indeed say that a fetus had rights to use my body. The argument made was that a woman gave up said rights when she had sex, because the purpose of sex was procreation.

I also hear arguments all the time that state that unwanted pregnancies should be carried to term because there are many childless couples eager to adopt the babies.

So - thank you for saying it, that nobody has a right to my body but me. Now how do we convince all those others?

Christine Robinson said...

Dear Earthbound,

Not even Catholics believe that sex is ONLY for procreation. They also believe it is a part of the bond that makes a marriage. (which is why according to strict Catholic law, two people who can not have sex cannot marry.) Anything which has more than one purpose is likely to engender conflicts.

If having sex requires us to give up our most fundamental rights to support the life that results, why does that extraordinary responsibility end just because the baby is born? Why is a father never under any circumstances required to give a drop of his blood to his born baby? Why is the mother of a 10 year old not required to donate half of her liver to her dying child?

It's because the right of bodily integrity is a nearly ultimate right in our society.

Earthbound Spirit said...

Thanks for expanding on the argument. This is most helpful!