Well put, on all fronts. Some of the mods might have goofed a bit in all of this.
I have my own opinion on this as well, and what you say (and a lot of what others are saying) hold merit. I’ll try to abbreviate my thoughts:
All this line-drawing and negotiating over morality, ethics, and where life begins, they all (in my humble opinion) hold moot authority over the woman’s choice in the matter…And it should be only her decision as it will affect her life more than anyone else’s.
I gave you karma, even though I disagree. That’s probably the main thing we’re discussing. I consider myself a feminist (although many feminists would say that I am no credit to the team.) But in my opinion, feminist values are values of equality and not of just doing what is best for the woman in the matter. I think that whereas I might undervalue the woman’s choice here, I think others undervalue the right to life of the child.
And it’s very hard to argue personal values in a matter like this. Well, argue to where you change another person’s values, anyway.
There is something inherently sexist about a government largely run by men making decisions for women. Can’t work around that.
However, even with the knowledge (theoretically) of carrying and bearing a child and the social obligation to care for the child well beyond their 18th birthday, I do not think that choice outweighs what I consider an intentional death.
So there are two values in my mind at play:
- Life of the child (the actual life)
- Potential (if not probable) life changing event for the mother and a potential (if not probable) difficult life for the child
As much as it would suck to have your life changed by having a child before you’re ready and as much as it would suck to have a kid born into poverty, I don’t think it justifies killing a child.
I said it once in a women’s studies class to the entire class: If life is that bad for the child, then let the child make the decision to take himself out of it. Not the mother. I could care less what the government thinks outside of enforcing what I think are violations of rights.
In the issue where the rights of two people are in direct conflict (again, the presumption that the child has rights to life,) I say that the right to life outweighs the right to a life without a massive, life-changing event.
If choice was the main option here, then I think abortion should still be a valid option after birth. Even if the kid can dream, the child isn’t going to remember anything until they’re about 1, and that’s pushing it, because most people don’t remember anything before they were toddlers.
This also assumes that the fetus cannot feel pain. They can’t really advocate for themselves, and I don’t know enough about human biology to know if a fetus can feel pain and after how many weeks in the womb. Heck, abortion might be exposing babies to excruciating pain. But that’s something I don’t know.
Now there are some assumptions here that I can’t really argue such as considering a fetus to be a living human, which qualifies whether or not the death is as serious as the intentional death of a born child. Like Random 21 (and others,) I think that if the child will likely live without much intervention, then I’d call it intentionally caused death, at least.
There is also the assumption of responsibility, which plays heavily in my mind. If a person has been raped, then the mother did not accept the risks of having sex and potentially conceiving. Same with a person who cannot “mentally” consent (e.g., minors, those who don’t have the mental facilities to grasp what sex and having a child means before having sex.)
If that’s the case, then I find it to be terribly unfair to expose the mother to bearing and raising a child for something she wasn’t responsible for. She did not choose to take those risks. If the rapist could bear the child and be socially obligated to care for the child, then I’d easily say “Hey, it comes with the responsibility of having sex, and you made that choice.” But that’s not possible, so it’s not really something to consider, I guess.
I don’t think an accident is a reason to “kill a child” (again, my presumption is that abortion is killing a child,) because a consenting choice to have sex is also accepting the responsibilities of what might occur. But rape/coercing a woman to have sex against her better judgement or simply against her will is not an accident. The male (assuming male on female rape) unfairly forced the female to take on responsibility for something she didn’t want to do.
I’m already hesitant to tell a person that they must bear and care for a child when they, weighing all other options, do not want to. But adding in the fact that they did not have sex under their own will and did not accept the risks that comes with having sex, I think then it outweighs the life of the child.
There’s also the assumption that the child’s life is likely to be long and fulfilling. If a kid has Tay Sach’s, then there’s really no point. The child will live in constant, physical pain, and they will die before they get to high school. Some would argue the same for a child with Down Syndrome. With a life that isn’t likely to be long and happy in hard instances such as this where there is no chance for improving one’s lot, then I could understand not exposing a child to that sort of life. For a child that doesn’t have a chance to become masochistic, pain isn’t something they’ll want to live with constantly before they have to deal with the reality of death before entering Kindergarten.
Due to matters of faith (uh oh), I think I weigh life to be more important than others. But on a rational level, I do recognize that before a certain point of any life, the child isn’t going to remember anything about their life. They wouldn’t even feel or comprehend the pain of death in the same way as a more developed human.
That’s why I can’t be too angry on the issue when someone presents a case for being pro-choice. However, I think choice isn’t the main thing to be considered here, because I think the choice of life of any sort outweighs the option for having to take care of that life.