Pro Choice and Bodily Autonomy

This is one of the best pro choice/women’s rights arguments I’ve heard.

“In our society, we grant bodily autonomy to all members of society. What this means is that you have no rights to my body and vice versa. We extend these rights to corpses. If I am not a registered organ donor, doctors cannot harvest organs from my body even if they would save the lives of multiple patients. Because my express permission was not given during my life, no one has the right to my organs after my death.

We can take this further. If my daughter is stricken with a disease and the only way for her to survive is for me to give her a kidney, I cannot be forced to do so. It may well be morally superior for me to do so and for my kids I would be willing to do so, but this is not a legal requirement. If my child needed to be connected to me via machine for six months to stay alive, I would again be under no legal obligation to undergo that procedure. While I may feel a moral (or other) obligation to undergo this procedure, I am in no legal way required to do so.

What this means is that a woman who is pregnant must consent to allow the fetus to use her body, and consent can be withdrawn at any time. If you deny this and thus force women to remain pregnant, you are literally—not figuratively, giving more bodily autonomy rights to a corpse than you are to a living woman”


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

41 thoughts on “Pro Choice and Bodily Autonomy”

  1. This is a misleading comparison at best.

    For one, organ donors do not cause the accident that requires their body parts. If I put someone in a position where they require my health and body to survive, I have a responsibility to take care of them. A mother and father are not disconnected from their unborn baby the same way an organ donor is from a car crash victim.

    By having sex, knowing full well the consequences of a reproductive act, you put that foetus in a position where it requires your body to survive. This is especially true if you fail to have an abortion early on, and get to a point, beyond the first trimester, where the child has developed and grown awareness.

    And when did something being legal make it right? It isn’t illegal for a father to walk out on his children, but would you not condemn him for doing so? It’s not moral to own slaves, but in the 1700s it was legal. Are we trying to become better people or just trying to get away with as much as we can while the law permits?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. First of all I didn’t say I agreed with the argument, I said it was a good argument. I tend to be neutral when others are making decisions about their own body and life. I am not walking in their shoes. There are also some compelling arguments for the pro life side of the debate as well. I do agree that we would afford a corpse more rights than a pregnant woman. Second, the current laws are not some haphazard guess, but neuroscience, philosophy, medical research, and human rights have been debated and considered greatly in drafting policy that warrants the least amount of damage or pain to a procedure that is going to happen whether you like it or not and always has. I don’t think anyone likes abortion, but I do believe some women need the option for certain scenarios in life that they alone have to decide. The argument is correct that no one should be compelled to donate their organs while they are dead or alive, as you stated sometimes it’s morally right to do so, but no one can be forced.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Sorry for assuming you personally agreed with the argument you posted, but I disagree that it’s a good argument on its own. This is because the analogy it is based on, about organ donation, is not entirely apt and honest, for the reasons I stated before.

        I don’t think we necessarily afford a corpse more rights than a pregnant woman, but when it comes to those who are pregnant, we have to evaluate their rights in tandem with the foetus or unborn baby’s (depending on how far along it is). Sometimes there are areas where those rights conflict. For example, the mother’s right to live freely and smoke and drink may conflict with the baby’s right to life.

        Furthermore, why is it that you think nobody ‘likes abortion’? If the foetus or unborn has no value or claim on life, why would we like or dislike a procedure that eliminates them? If they weren’t a life in some way, it would be just like any other medical procedure with no moral quandaries.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. In regard to Jim’s original comment of ‘I don’t think anyone likes abortion,’ I’d like to know whether he was referring to the morality of abortion or the inconvenience of it, as you suggested. According to Pew Research, 44% of Americans believe abortion to be morally wrong, so I’d be inclined to say that it’s the moral quandary of it rather than the invasive nature of the procedure that has people not ‘liking abortion.’

            Liked by 1 person

            1. 40% of Americans also like Trump. 41% of adults think the Christian apocalypse will happen in their lifetime. It’s safe to say there’s an enormous education/misinformation problem in the US.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. “According to Pew Research, 44% of Americans believe abortion to be morally wrong, so I’d be inclined to say that it’s the moral quandary of it rather than the invasive nature of the procedure that has people not ‘liking abortion.’”
              I am a bit skeptical about studies that involves asking whether a particular action is moral or not, this is because where I grew up and where I currently stay, many people don’t understand what falls in the realm of morality and what not, what many people call immoral are sometimes things the don’t like or their church don’t

              Liked by 2 people

    2. …”knowing full well the consequences of a reproductive act” – seriously? Do you know what percentage of sex results in reproduction in our species? Do you know what percentage of “pregnancies” are naturally terminated within the first two weeks?
      Your very choice of language demonstrates the intent to create a deceptive narrative. From fertilisation to development what we have is a process – not an “unborn baby” from the moment a person has sex.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Simply because there are many pregnancies that are naturally terminated early on, doesn’t mean people don’t understand that having sex can produce a pregnancy. Who has sex and relies on natural termination to ensure they don’t become a parent? My point still stands: everyone knows what might happen if they have sex.

        I also didn’t say that it’s an unborn baby from the moment a person has sex. You’re taking my statement out of context. I was referring to how the onus between a parent and their possible child is far more different than that between an organ donor and a patient.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If the ability to grasp consequences had primacy over desire (in our species), what do you think life would look like on this planet? How many people would smoke? How many would eat trans fats? How many would …. have unprotected sex risking disease or childbirth?
          The premise of your argument is a non-starter. The majority of the planet’s population doesn’t even have the skills to organise household expenses. 70% of Americans don’t even have saving of $1000 in the bank. Impulse control is not the human’s forte.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. But dangerous acts aren’t justified merely because many people choose to partake in them regardless. Most smokers in the developed world understand the negative effects of smoking, and they do it anyway. When the consequences occur, they’ll have to deal with them. The fact that human’s lack impulse control is not any excuse for bad decision making and then refusing to deal with the impacts. We can’t just accept that some people can’t control themselves.

            I agree that ‘impulse control is not the human’s forte,’ but I’d like to know where we go from there. If all we do is accept that fact, then we’d be letting off every rapist and murderer who may blame their violent acts on an inability to control themselves.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Where we go from there is firstly teaching sex education, then making birth control as accessible as possible and promoting its use. We make sure the morning after pill is at the disposal of women who need it – and finally, as a last resort, we ensure safe abortions are possible within ethical restraints established by doctors and science. All very simple and straightforward.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. And now we also get fanatics in sheep’s clothing. Basically pretending they’re making a secular argument when in reality they’re just trying to disguise their religio-political motivation…

              Liked by 2 people

        2. But ultimately when you take away one of these rights of autonomy you will take away both. Case in point, the abortion criteria is backended by how we determine brain death in adults and children. A brain dead person is dead, and a fetus without cognitive ability is not “alive” either, but only has potential to be a person until its brain develops to a specific point.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. “Who has sex and relies on natural termination to ensure they don’t become a parent?”

          A lot of people do. I was a catholic and the vatican is against all forms of family planning except the “natural method”. Not the exact same thing but many people engage in sex with the hope that “nature” does not let pregnancy occur

          “everyone knows what might happen if they have sex.”
          Many people use some form of family planning with the believe that pregnancy wouldn’t occur, so in the case that pregnancy do occur we can’t hold the parties involved responsible
          (it is not everybody that know that most family planning methods are not 100% reliable)

          “By having sex, knowing full well the consequences of a reproductive act ”
          This doesn’t take into account the fact that many women have forceful sex

          Liked by 2 people

          1. That’s an issue of education and ideology. Natural termination is not a viable form of contraception and any religion or institution that suggests that should immediately change its teachings.

            When you say ‘forceful sex,’ do you mean rough sex or sex that is forced upon them? In the latter case, I think I am quite fine with rape victims having abortions if they happen to fall pregnant with their rapist’s child. However, we shouldn’t use those remote cases to justify abortion in all situations.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. There are about 652,639 Legal abortions each year in the US and about 1 million miscarriages out of 4.4 million confirmed pregnancies. That is a lot of abortions IMO. If the numbers are correct, more education and birth control is an obvious answer. Faith has not stopped sex and never will as 80% of abortions are most likely Christian abortions based on numbers. This doesn’t change the the consensus of science of when abortions are best to perform, but obviously something better could be done.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I was reacting to this your statement
              “Who has sex and relies on natural termination to ensure they don’t become a parent?”

              “Natural termination is not a viable form of contraception”
              I know that, most of us here know that and many christians know that but it is against what their church leaders say, if all the medically approved contraceptive methods were permitted, abortion rate would be lower. Any drug that could prevent fertilization is forbidden by many christians denominations

              “any religion or institution that suggests that should immediately change its teachings.”
              Easier said than done

              “When you say ‘forceful sex,’ do you mean rough sex or sex that is forced upon them? ”
              I meant the latter

              Liked by 2 people

    3. This is especially true if you fail to have an abortion early on, and get to a point, beyond the first trimester, where the child has developed and grown awareness.

      This is absolute nonsense. Whereas I agree with you that the decision to terminate a pregnancy should come quickly, and the overwhelming majority are, it is not until week 25 that we see sustained neural activity, although it is not until 28 weeks till we see full bilateral synchronisation.

      What you seem to be referencing is the functioning of action potentials, like the nerve cells in the leg which start functioning quite early, much like the heart. Again, these are action potentials. They react. Reaction is a task. The foetus does not (until full bilateral synchronisation) have any means in place to recognise and process. There is no information flow. The neurons, dendrites and axons with synapses between them are simply not formed in the human cortex before 20-24 weeks of gestation.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. 25 to 28 weeks are still beyond the first trimester. But when it comes to the argument that was posted, weeks and limits do not matter. The author states there must be ‘consent to allow the fetus to use her body, and consent can be withdrawn at any time.’ At any time. This means the mother could withdraw consent moments before the baby is delivered and abort it, regardless of its development state and the fact that it is a baby at that point.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. First trimester is 12 weeks. You seemed to imply that at 12+ weeks the foetus is somehow “aware.” There is an enormous difference from 12 weeks to 25/28 weeks. Indeed, we’re talking here about the begining the third trimester, so your statement was either deliberately, or perhaps accidently, absurd.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with MillennialMerit
    Something being legal doesn’t make it right

    I am all in support of abortion within the first trimester and within any period of the pregnancy when it is discovered that the baby could be a health threat to both the baby or/and the mother

    What I find disturbing about many prolifers ( not all) is that the don’t really care about the welfare and well-being of the child what the only care about is that the child is born and that’s all

    Liked by 4 people

    1. True for me too. Late abortions are lumped in with this reasoning as well. I think the 22 week consensus should be the maximum. A decision has to be made early on, not anytime you feel like it.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. This is true, and given the foetus has the same metabolic rate as the mother (an individual mammal its same size should have a far, far, far greater metabolic rate) then the foetus is, quite literally, an organ of the woman. At birth a switch is thrown and the baby’s metabolic rate goes through the roof (becoming that of a mammal its same size) and it transitions from being an organ to an individual.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is interesting. I never thought of it that way, but that transition of the foramen ovale closing is when that switches is made. It’s a common birth defect that causes death of the child if not repaired fairly quickly. You get another point John. Thanks

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Seven more and I get the balloon shaped like a dog, right?

        Metabolic rate isn’t an argument I’d use (full bilateral synchronisation is the measure we should, and do, use), but it is interesting nonetheless.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I have dealt with the thorny issue of abortion personally. My mother had to have two late term ones since it would cost her, her life. Our family lived with the terror of losing her. We were fortunate that the doctors understood what had to be done.

    I personally had to decide for myself. I was told that my son had multiple disabilities and would be a burden if born. At the time, I knew several parents who did not have the emotional where-with-all to deal with children with disabilities. One man had Muscular Distrophy, had watched his brother and father die from the disease. He would genetically check his wife’s foetus for MD. If it was positive, he would ask for an abortion. He could not go through another death.

    I did not abort but I have to deal with a lifetime of being a parent to a person, who needs help until he dies. I am lucky that I can get the services needed. I know people who cannot. I am glad I had the choice.

    The one thing I cannot abide are people who are anti-abortion who go on about how blessing children with Down Syndrome are, etc, and they aren’t the parents who have to raise them. I love my son dearly but it is a struggle to get and keep help.

    Liked by 11 people

  5. I wish men would quit discussing abortion as if they really knew anything about being pregnant.

    Only humans think they’re so special that every fetus should become a child. Any biologist can tell you what an absurd notion this is in nature.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Then women should stop discussing how men should stop discussing abortion. Lol. I know Eilene. I am not so into everyone else’s business, but those that believe these spirits need to be born regardless of their well being after they arrive need to plan something out themselves. If they want to stop abortion they will have to fix the rest of the mess theocracy has created.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. The saying “no one person is a dumb as all of us” is particularly true with faith and revival. The ability to have your own ideas is tremendously thwarted and groupthink is your daddy. The moment you walk away from faith and religion everything changes. Clarity and perspective of real life open only after the fog of religion is lifted and you become a real person again.

          Liked by 3 people

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