By dodging the question of the morality of the abortion and focusing exclusively on the law – and in particular on a particular legal regime involving punishing women – people who talk about ‘forced pregnancy’ are subtly but effectively shifting the ground onto territory that favours them at the expense of having a conversation about the central issue: is abortion right or wrong? Everything else, including your attitude to the law, should be discussed once you’ve decided what you think on that critical question.
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?
This is one example of what an intellectually honest defence of abortion looks like – and the problems it runs into.
An interview with Kelsey Hazzard, founder of Secular Pro-Lfe.
Speaking to Amnesty campaigners on the street in recent months, I have been repeatedly struck by how ill-informed they are about abortion and foetal development, and about the repeal of the 8th Amendment generally. Much of what they have told me is untrue or misleading.
Following this evening’s debate, kindly organised by TCDSU, we want to look at a few claims about whether pro-life laws work or not.