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All Conservatives Are Actually Pro-Choice

February 20, 2009

I figured I would tackle this issue right out of the gates because, believe it or not, for all the anger and bitterness on both sides – I think the abortion debate is extremely straightforward and simple.

The reason both positions on this issue will never reconcile, is because their chief arguments are over completely different questions. Therefore, there exists no common ground in which to ever enter a reasonable discussion on the topic. All discussions on the Abortion issue need to start here with these chief arguments. Here are the two foundational questions that each side is asking:

  • Pro-Choice: Does a women have the right to make choices concerning her own body?
  • Pro-Life: Is a fetus a living human person?

Because both these questions are usually never discussed together, neither side can make much headway.

The conservative position answers both questions: Yes.

Yes – absolutely a woman has the right to make choices concerning her body. And Yes, most conservatives believe that a fetus is a living human person. Thus – the unalienable rights of the unborn person, necessarily trump the choice of the mother to deny that person life. Plain and Simple. You don’t have to agree with that, but you do need to consider these two questions, and how you answer them together.

Let’s deal with a couple common objections:

Don’t Conservatives just believe this on religious grounds?

At this point most people begin to argue, ‘the belief that a fetus is a person,’ is based purely on religious grounds, and thus – shouldn’t be one that is established by the state (see the 1st Amendment). I would argue that you can actually leave religion out of it. At the very least – let’s say that we, as a society have no possible way to determine whether a fetus is a living person or not. However, we certainly do determine it is a living organism. Therefore, it seems more reasonable  (given the fact that a fetus will naturally and inevitably become a human person), as a society, to err on the side that is not destructive to life.

Will the person have a ‘good quality of life?’

Again:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights,Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Only that individual person has the right and power to answer this question. Not society. In life, we raise up those who endure hardship, overcome and conquer it. We cannot be the ones to judge whether an individual will do so – but they must be allowed the free chance to make that choice. I think this recent Ad does a great job making this very point:

The next question is of course, what do we, as a society, do about abortion? Do we criminalize it? If we make it illegal, how do we punish offenders? And what do we do in situations concerning the mother’s health?

These are crucial questions that we must consider (the subject of another post at a later date). But we cannot do this, unless we first face the two foundational issues above.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Steven Reisiger permalink
    October 28, 2009 8:15 pm

    I agree on all points above and would like to comment on what we do in the case of the mother’s health being in danger, in which the child in the womb rarely has anything to do with the mothers life.

    I would argue that, if the mother needs surgery or some medical treatment that can save her life, it would be ethical to proceed with it, as long as the intent is not to kill the child in the womb and efforts are made to save the child if possible. If it happens that the child dies as a consequence of the surgery or treatment, then there is nothing we can do about that.

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  1. Destructive Political Discussions: ‘Shibboleths’, and Moral/Religious Imperatives « Appeal To Heaven

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