Bodily autonomy. That’s the standby play from their playbook now.
“Who are you to say what I can or can’t do with my body?”
This remains the abortion advocates’ most common argument these days.
Their bodily autonomy argument might seem plausible on the face of it. They say a woman who becomes unintentionally pregnant shouldn’t be forced to carry a baby against her will. The woman can exert her autonomy over her body, in place of harboring a child she didn’t want, their thinking goes.
Is it convincing? How do you respond?
Here’s my retort.
BODILY AUTONOMY IS NOT ABSOLUTE
First, it should go without saying, but I need to say it anyway: the right to bodily autonomy is not absolute.
Abortion-backers base their argument on a false premise. Many routes can be taken to prove this.
Let’s pretend the premise were true that no one can tell anyone else what to do with their body.
Pretty quickly societal chaos would ensue.
For instance, traffic signs and laws would be ignored. The policeman could turn on his lights and sirens, but you have no obligation to pull over. Even if you did, you could just tell him you ran those red lights because no one can tell you to stop.
Oh, you hit an old lady trying to cross the street? Too bad he cannot force you to serve time in jail—he can’t tell you what to do (or where to go), after all.
Or, take the example of paying taxes. The government could just tax your entire paycheck and keep it for themselves. Oh, you worked hard all week and want your pay? Too bad. You can’t tell the government workers to keep only the taxation rate of your pay that was allowed by legislative and governmental action in the past. After all, no one can tell the government employees what to do.
See what poor philosophy this is?
Do you also see how contradictory the belief in the superiority of autonomy is as well?
The abortion lobby does not even believe its own rhetoric. It is saying you cannot tell them what to do, while telling you what to do. If they want to kill their own children, then you’re told to stand back to let them.
They are telling you what to do. You are not to take action or to voice your concerns.
But if bodily autonomy is true, then on what basis can they prevent you from speaking out or taking actions (like passing laws or holding protests) against the murder of thousands of preborn children every day?
LAW AND AUTHORITY ARE NEEDED
Pretty simply and convincingly, if you ask me, I have just laid out the case for why civil laws and an authority to enforce those laws are both necessary.
If only there was a way for all people to agree as to which laws are absolute and binding on everyone. If only we had a way to ensure everyone had an understanding of what these were.
Oh, wait! How fortunate for us. We all already have this in place, built into our human nature (by God’s design). It’s called Natural Law.
One of the bedrocks to Natural Law is the right to life.
We all must respect the dignity of each human person and allow them the ability to live. We all innately recognize the need to grant this to one another.
I’ll let you live and you’ll let me live. Pretty simple.
Call it the Golden Rule: Do as to others as you would have them do unto you.
The Golden Rule does not apply, however, to those who seek an abortion, for a couple reasons.
For one, and most importantly, to obtain an abortion is to murder an innocent child. As we just discussed, no one’s rights trump another person’s right to life. That baby has a right to life, period.
Secondly, abortion violates another tenet of the Natural Law: the common good.
A culture that allows children to be murdered remains an unjust society. Saying that not all members of society (i.e., unborn children) deserve to live creates confusion and moral fault lines within a nation.
What good is your right to free speech or your right to bodily autonomy, if you don’t even necessarily have a right to life?
Governments are supposed to be protecting the innocent and vulnerable in service to the public. If a governing body cannot tell the difference between serving the people and killing the people, as Fr. Frank Pavone commonly says, then what good is it?
Any way you look at it, we need to call the claim to the right to bodily autonomy for what it is: a weak, unworkable apology for the murder of innocent preborn human lives.
Please tell me how I can strengthen my concise argument against bodily autonomy claims.
If you think I am off base and need to reconsider the supposed strengths of this common, pro-choice argument, then please share why that is.