So, I wasn’t the only one thinking of putting out helpful, practical guides for speaking about abortion. Turns out, the guys over at “Between Two Worlds” are doing the same thing. They have published an article by D. A. Carson on practical strategies for discussing abortion. If you want a truly brilliant man’s advice on speaking about abortion, check out Carson.
Modestly, I still recommend reading the articles here simply because they are intended to serve a different function. These articles will give you the real components of meaningful conversation, as suggested by Carson. In this post, we will examine the claim that abortion should be the mother’s choice because it concerns her body.
There are a couple of quick responses which challenge the notion that a woman is free to have an abortion because the baby is a part of her body. First, is the woman (or a man) free to do whatever she wishes with her body? We once had laws against suicide. We have laws against prostitution. We have laws restricting nakedness. It isn’t completely clear that women are free to do whatever they wish with their own bodies.
But, more to the point, is a baby really a part of the woman’s body? The evidence says a baby is not part of the mother’s body; rather, the baby is a human entity in its own right. For instance, from the time of conception, the baby has its own, unique genetic code. As the baby develops in the womb, he develops his own two eyes, his own two arms, his own two legs, his own heart, his own lungs, his own brains, his own sexual reproductive organs. Does the mother claim to be both male and female? Does the mother claim to have four legs, two brains, four nostrils, and twenty fingers?
Finally, scientists have demonstrated the unique nature of conception by fertilizing a white baby in a Petri dish and implanting the conceptus into a black mother. When the baby is born, she is white, not black like the birth mother. So, while it is true that the baby is attached to a mother’s body, it does not appear to be true that the baby is part of the mother’s body. The baby is attached in the same sense a nursing child attaches to the mother in order to get nutrition; it is not attached in the sense a wart might be attached to her elbow.
So, the question really is not a question concerning what the mother should do with her body, but, rather, what the mother ought to do with her child’s body. We ought to pass laws which protect children in cases where a parent wishes to do harm.