It’s not enough to ask whether the unborn human has an objective right to life, just as a human being not located in a uterus has. We also need to consider whether a woman’s right to determine what she does with her body (specifically, whether she uses her body to support another human being) overrides the other human being’s right to life. It’s very difficult to find a thought experiment that mirrors the unique human condition that is pregnancy, but I have found one that seems to come close: that of conjoined twins.
The thought experiment itself is long and can be quickly summarised: you’re in an IVF clinic that is burning to the ground, and as you try to escape you come across a crying five year old child and 1000 frozen embryos. You can save the child or the embryos, but not both. Which do you choose?
Pro-choice people often believe that they can relate in an unburdened and non-judgemental manner to anyone who is or was pregnant, because they truly support that person regardless of her circumstances or choices surrounding her pregnancy. For this reason, pro-choice people often believe their pro-life friends have no reason to feel in any way awkward or coy around them when they are or were pregnant. However, a pro-life person, who sees the rights and humanity of her baby as being absolute and objective, may feel slightly differently about it.
Today, the overwhelming majority of women have the option to legally terminate a pregnancy in Ireland. The conversation can move away from discussion of people being prevented from making certain choices by force of law, and towards the question of what it is that people ought to choose – away from the legal question and towards the ethical ones.
The Minimise Project’s position on contraception.
When a UK court rules that an intellectually disabled woman should be forced to have an abortion against her will, where is the pro-choice outcry?
Sometimes being right is just as devastating as being wrong. This is how pro-life people felt on hearing of the tragic Holles Street case.