Left: Abortion should remain legalized. All women should have the right to decide what to do with their own body.
Right: Yes, I agree. A woman should have the right to do what she wants with her own body. But she doesn’t have the moral right to do whatever she wants to do with the baby’s body.
Left: Practically speaking, you just made a wrong distinction. The tissue growing within a woman’s body that eventually becomes a baby is part of the woman’s body. It has no life without her.
Right: My distinction is valid. A woman and her unborn baby are not the same human being. A pregnant woman doesn’t eventually give birth to herself. She gives birth to another person. As a human being, he or she has a moral right to life.
Left: I do agree that when a sperm and egg come together, you have tissue that eventually does become a baby. It’s not a person at conception however.
Right: Then what is it?
Left: It’s tissue that carries genetic coding. There’s no brain.
Right: I agree. There is no brain at the point of conception. However, it is the coding for a specific person. You were once the union of egg and sperm. So was I. So that tissue that carries our encoded identity is the earliest developmental stage of you…and me…and all persons. The encoded identity is not a dog, or rabbit, or a tree.
Left: I do agree that the tissue at conception is a human being’s encoded identity. That is good science. And certainly it will develop into a person eventually, but it’s not a person at conception.
Right: So when does the “tissue” become a person?
Left: I don’t know, but certainly not at conception.
Right: I think the idea of a person versus human being is an abstraction with no practical meaning.
Left: Ok, but the Supreme Court did rule that women could abort until the fetus was viable—meaning when the fetus could live outside the mother on its own. And that’s the practical way it has to be.
Right: I give you the Court has made that ruling. But the time of viability has and will continue to vary depending on technology.
Left: Yes it will.
Right: But doesn’t it concern you that when a woman aborts an unborn baby she is aborting a human being—at whatever stage of development?
Left: The priority is on the woman’s reproductive right and her right to privacy.
Right: Understood. But many women and you yourself advocate for other’s civil rights. So I find it an incredible exception that you are unwilling to be an advocate for the moral if not constitutional rights of the unborn—especially when there is no doubt that the unborn is a human being. There has to be only one reason: the unborn stand in the way of a woman’s right to privacy and reproduction.
Left: Why shouldn’t those rights be a priority? A woman does have the moral right to choose whether her pregnancy is wanted or not. Who else is to choose that for her? None of us who are pro-choice want a bunch of men in government telling women what to do. Women have had enough of men telling them what to do. They’ve had to fight to be seen as people who should be treated equal to men. They’ve fought in this country for over seven decades to secure the right to vote. And they’re still having to fight for equal pay. And they’re still having to fight for positions of power in corporations and in politics. They still have glass ceilings. So we are resolutely determined that no one will stand in a woman’s way for her full rights over her own life—and that includes her own body.
Right: I understand that women have fought for many of their moral and civil rights. And women are not done with the struggle. I fully support a woman’s civil rights. Having said that, my deep concern is that that battle for women’s civil rights has been so long and so hard that it has blinded women to the fact that the same rights belong to the helpless unborn.
Left: I understand your concern that if the unborn are human beings—as you said they are not dogs or cats—then they should have rights. But we in the pro-choice camp see the discussion to abort as the woman’s and no one else’s. After all, the fetus is IN her body.
Right: I get how you see it. You don’t want anyone else’s moral judgment entering a woman’s body so to speak.
Left: You got it…yes.
Right: But a woman’s right to her own body has turned into a birth control method, killing tens of millions of unborn human beings. And that’s not to mention how abortion has turned into the right of the woman to choose whether an unborn child is healthy enough to be birthed into the world. What has happened to a woman’s compassion? A modern woman has deep respect for everyone’s rights. But not the unborn. They are seen as having no rights—and are killed in such huge numbers. Why don’t mothers respect them? Not wanting men in government to tell you what to do—and fighting for your right to privacy—is a far different matter from the massive killing of babies.
Left: I get your point. You don’t want the right to privacy to be a license to use abortion as simply one form of birth control among many. And you don’t want women to arbitrarily pick and choose which of the unborn get to live and which don’t. But those in the pro-choice camp believe that the morality of such a decision is determined by the mother in consultation with her doctor and any spiritual advisor she may have. You cannot be the final judge.
Right: Nor should you or a woman be the final judge of whether another human being lives or dies.
Left: So we both claim the right to our moral judgment. Look—What if we compromise on one thing? I am willing to consider a campaign to slow abortion as a convenient method of birth control as long as women do not lose the power of choosing their own reproductive pathway. We’re not going backwards.
Right: Ok…I agree to work on this campaign together. I do believe that saving lives is going forward, not backward. Still—I believe that the unborn should be protected by law from being killed in the service of birth control. I also believe that the unborn should be protected from a mother choosing who lives and who dies based solely on her guess of the baby’s quality of life due to medical conditions.
Left: I’ll work with you, even though we disagree—as long as we legally keep the power for women to choose…
Right: And as long as I can continue the legal fight against a woman’s virtually unqualified power to kill the unborn…