Yeah, my bad. I had thought cesarean births were classified as abortive procedures, but I think it would be best for me to defer to the fox with the medical degree. It wasn’t important to my overall point so much as just an aside I thought was interesting. Maybe Sleet can clarify, but if medically speaking an abortion is used to refer to fetal death, is there different terminology for a late-term abortion depending on the outcome? Is it an abortion if it results in death but a birth if the baby survives?
I think I do understand your position Ine, but feel free to correct me if I am missing something. The person seeking the abortion will have foreknowledge about the outcome of the termination of the pregnancy for the fetus; they know it will die. You see the death as still very closely associated to the goal (again, feel free to correct me if I am wrong; I don’t want to misconstrue your position). The fetus will die if the pregnancy is terminated. But to go back to my example, David Shimp knew Robert McFall would die without the bone marrow transplant. Everyone knew the outcome of not consenting. His bodily autonomy still superseded McFall’s right to life.
If you feel the government should mandate by law that the bodies of citizens be used to preserve life, are you willing to apply the same principle to yourself and have your body preserve life by law? As uncomfortable as that prospect is, it is the same principle being applied evenly to everyone. And it would save lives. There would never be a shortage of blood again. Patients on dialysis would have an entire country of potential kidney donors. It would just sacrifice your ability to decline certain medical procedures needed to ensure others stay alive.
Would you accept acquiescing your right to your body over to the government in order to preserve the lives of others?
Here’s at least one reason why abortion seems different to me than the bone marrow transplant example:
While Robert McFall was tragically allowed to die, he was not killed. He didn’t die because somebody took an action that would definitely end his life. He died because somebody refused to take an action that could have saved his life. Abortion isn’t just saying, “I’m not going to save this baby’s life.” It’s saying, “I’m going to end this baby’s life.”
I understand the concept of bodily autonomy. If we were talking about any other medical procedure, then of course I would be in favor of allowing a woman to choose to have it done, or not done, based on what she wants for her own body. But I can’t think of another example of a procedure being done to one person’s body that directly results in the death of another life (once again, assuming a fetus counts as “life”). That’s why abortion to me seems so fundamentally different from just about any other comparison we can make, and why I don’t see it leading to a scenario in which the government can force you to use your body to save another’s life.
Oh, btw @Peameal, I accidentally typed “transparent” earlier instead of “transplant”, which upon rereading it sounds like I was calling your argument transparent, which sounds kinda of rude or dismissive at best. Not sure if it came across that way, but either way, sorry about the typo.
Ha, I didn’t notice; I misread it as transplant.
While I understand why you see them as different, action and refusal to take action are two sides of the same coin. In the circumstances we are discussing, David Shimp’s refusal to take action required actively fighting a lawsuit. Actions were taken to deny McFall access to a bone marrow transplant that would have saved his life. Both options necessitated action following from a decision. Abortion is the same; either going through with the pregnancy or going through with an abortion is going to require planning; there’s no passive option.
The termination of a pregnancy suspends the conditions necessary for a fetus to develop into a baby, but if we deny a citizen’s right to make that decision, we are saying that their body, decisions, and future, are not fully theirs to fully determine, but are secondary to the new life dependent on their body. People who can get pregnant therefore have a role of producing children mandated on them.
Abortion is not saying, “I am going to end this baby’s life.” That is not the goal any more than killing Robert McFall was David Shimp’s goal. For their reasons, the pregnant person is refusing to go through with the pregnancy. Forcing people to carry unwanted pregnancies to term is a massive violation of their right to their own body, akin to forcing people to give blood, kidneys or bone marrow. It is not one that you would accept for yourself, and it’s not one that you will ever personally face. You say you can’t see abortion bans leading to a scenario in which the government can force you to use your body to save another life, but that is exactly what is being advocated for – just not for you. I think that’s worth at least thinking about.
I am happy to continue talking, but I suspect we might have reached a point of conclusion. If so, thank you for the discussion, Ine. I appreciate your thoughts.