One Less Myth

Human Rights and Abortion

Let's look talk about abortion from the perspective of human rights
Does that include the rights of the baby?
Absolutely, we'll include the rights of the pregnant person and the fetus. For the purposes of this discussion, we'll even presume a fetus is a human with rights
Ok, who has the right to make decisions about our bodies?
Every person has the right to make decisions about their own body, but not other bodies
Yes, inviolable personal autonomy is the foundation of all our human rights
What should we do when our personal rights conflict with other people's rights? For example, self-defense, war, imprisonment, medical triage, etc
In those cases, we may limit a person's rights, but only to the extent absolutely required to balance everyone's rights
And we have the responsibility to preserve life whenever we can, and protect vulnerable humans, right?
If someone is in need of a kidney, can another person be compelled to provide one of theirs?
A decent person should do it if they can!
The question is whether they should be forced to, not whether we think they ought to choose to
No, that represents a risk to the donor's body, and we can't force them to take the risk
We agree! Even when it would save someone's life, it would not give us the right to overrule the potential donor's autonomy. The law agrees as well
But it doesn't represent a significant risk of harm to the person who is pregnant
Pregnancy and delivery both have a risk of health complications, and even death
And even without those health risks, forcing someone to use their body to preserve another life is still a fundamental violation of their core human rights
They chose to have a child when they chose to have sex, and they have a responsibility to carry the baby to term! Their choice forfeited their right
1. Having sex is not a choice to procreate. Sex is used for other purposes, such as bonding and recreation
2. There are many reasons why a responsible person may have an unplanned or undesired pregnancy. Contraceptives fail, men lie about getting vasectomies, health or economic situations change, reproductive coercion happens, rape happens, etc
If people truly have autonomy over their own bodies, that includes choosing to not give birth. This right is not forfeited during pregnancy, and the law must protect their autonomy
I still think it's murder
You may have an opinion that a pregnancy shouldn't be terminated. You should have the autonomy to apply that belief to all of your own pregnancies.
You just don't get to force that belief on others