I’ve seen a few posts recently to a pro-choice/pro-life question, which I tracked down to being responses to a “Truthful Tuesday” prompt by Melanie Cee.
My first thought was that some of these respondents had previously taken a stance on COVID vaccinations. Specifically
- for an abortion, a woman should have the right to choose, and
- for COVID, people should be vaccinated.
Two different things, perhaps? But one is about somebody having autonomy over their own body. And the other is about… somebody having autonomy over their own body!
So whatever the view, I think for somebody to be credible, both views need to be consistent. If you’re pro-choice, then you also support anti-vaxxers’ right to not be vaccinated.
Regarding pro-life or pro-choice, the common arguments, including every single response I read so far, frames the issue as an argument between two “sides” – a woman on one side, and a foetus on the other. One has priority over the other. If you believe that the woman wins out, you jump one way; the foetus, the other. And in the end, it boils down to something very simple.
My view? Framing the argument in this way is wrong.
I can kinda see why it happened. For those (mostly men) who have historically run society, it is handy to frame the argument as just between a woman and a foetus. Nothing to do with men.
But there aren’t two “things” involved here, there are three. In other words, you can’t address the scenario without including the father.
Thereafter, my view centres around equality. In terms of rights, I see men and women on a par.
And I don’t have a problem with using technology (i.e. medicine) to achieve that parity. That sounds to me the same as using a contraceptive pill, for example, to avoid unwanted pregnancy in the first place. We meddle with nature in all kinds of ways, and nobody bats an eyelid.
Okay, so now we’re gender-correct. Women are on the same level as men. But, that still leaves the question, “who takes priority, the parent or the foetus?” Haven’t I just come in a great big circle, without actually answering the question?
Well, kinda, yes.
But note one thing. Society has already answered that question.
Because when a man makes someone pregnant, and he doesn’t want the baby, he walks away. For the most part, in any case. And “society” has decided that this is okay – look how single parents just “get on” with raising their child. Far from being abnormal, nobody even raises an eyebrow!
The man can just walk, and carry on with his life and career, as if nothing happened. And that’s allowed.
So given that society has already decided that the rights of a man trump those of the foetus, I’m absolutely happy that the rights of a woman do, too.