Life, liberty and justice for all, no matter how small

By EMILY JACKSON,

This weekend I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline and I saw this posted and it broke my heart. It is a rather long post so bare with me.

“Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a show stopper. One of the best explanations I have read: ‘Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a human life’ — that’s a philosophical question. However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult it doesn’t obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not. Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v. Shimp (1978) and of course Roe v. Wade (1973). Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia, no other person on earth is close enough match to save the child’s life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you. If you decided that you did not want to donate your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent. It doesn’t matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius, saint, or anything else — the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional. This right is even extended to a person’s body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or how many lives they would save. That’s the law. Use of a woman’s uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life — it must be offered voluntarily. By all means, profess your belief that providing one’s uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong. That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees. But legally, it must be the woman’s choice to carry out the pregnancy. She may choose to carry the baby to term. She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between. But it must be her choice, and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side. Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means.”

Heartbreaking post right? I have yet to grasp how anyone can think this way.

Body autonomy is defined as the right to self-governance over one’s own body without external influence or coercion

Despite the writers conviction of righteousness there is also a body growing within, no matter how small, does it not also qualify for the right to body autonomy? Should that small body growing have its rights stripped and its life taken? Would violating the rights of someone because they can not protest be justifiable. We cannot protect one person’s “rights” while violating another’s.

The post also mentioned consent. When you decided to take the actions that are necessary to become pregnant you consented. You consented to the consequences of your actions.

Once that new body is formed you cannot violate their body autonomy by deciding to end their life for your convenience. Murder cannot be justified.

Once again nice try, but I am proud to be part of the red states who are standing up for the rights of the unborn, holding tight to the belief of “life, liberty and justice for all” no matter how small.