Conventional collectivist created authority is a deception in consciousness. You are your own Authority!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Abortion: A Rational View

As America observes the 38th anniversary of the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Ct. decision in Roe v. Wade, it is apparent that the national controversy over abortion rages on.

President Obama, speaking for the “pro-choice” side, supports the decision, calling legalized abortion a constitutional right he is committed to protecting, because it recognizes a "fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters."

But that’s ridiculous; the government intrudes on private family matters all the time. There is no such “fundamental principle.” The Constitution provides zero protection to private family matters. There are no “family rights.” The word “family” is found nowhere in that document. As a smart lawyer, and former professor of constitutional law, the president must surely know that.  

On the “pro-life” side, abortion foes are promoting their annual March for Life, taking heart in the recent realignment of congress in their favor, and confident that a national cultural shift, together with their new majority of anti-abortion state governors and state legislators, will result in far greater restrictions on the activity.

But that is equally ridiculous; because it also fails to recognize that the right to an abortion is an individual right, a right enjoyed solely in private by individuals, as a matter of private individual conscience – not a collective right. The collective, including family, may not put fundamental individual constitutional rights to a vote.  

From my own logical and rational perspective, (putting both religion and the convoluted reasoning of the Supreme Court aside), the right is grounded upon the overarching fundamental right to life, liberty and property; the same rights the nation’s founders declared “self evident” and “inalienable” in the Declaration of Independence; the individual human rights which have always existed long before the U.S. Constitution came into existence.

The individual owns herself entirely, which means her life and every cell in her living body all the time, including any male sperm deposited there, unfertilized eggs, fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses, regardless of the stage of development. As the owner of her body and everything in it, she is at liberty to stop the pregnancy process and dispose of her property as she sees fit, just as she is at liberty to have tummy tuck surgery, or for that matter, whether to have coffee or tea with her breakfast, while directing the course of her life.

To hold otherwise is to disaffirm the purpose of the Constitution, which is to preserve and protect those fundamental rights at a minimum.

Abortion is not murder. It is not the equivalent of murder. Nor is it manslaughter. It does not involve the wrongful killing of a human being. It doesn’t even violate the biblical commandment against killing. Fetuses enjoyed no rights whatsoever in antiquity. The Holy Bible doesn’t say that life begins at conception. There is nothing in the Bible about abortion. And there is nothing in the United States Constitution granting government any power to prohibit or restrict abortions.  

Of course, a fertilized egg is human. An unfertilized egg is also human. A sperm cell is human whether or not it eventually unites with an egg. A woman produces hundreds of human eggs over her reproductive lifetime. A man produces millions of human sperm cells. All are human. Most of them are discarded and left to die without much if any further development. The deaths are usually intentional too, but no one complains about the loss of all those human lives. No one cries murder. A corpse is human too, but no one would argue that a dead body is still a person entitled to constitutional rights.

The anti-abortion position insists that human life worthy of protection begins at conception, but that is an arbitrary designation. The fact is that human life is an evolving continuum which began so long ago that no one knows when. Eggs and sperm are both very much human and very much alive before they combine into a fertilized egg, therefore conception marks merely the beginning of a fertilized egg, not the beginning of human life.

Once born, the individual is a person endowed with his or her own constitutional rights. It owns itself. Birth is not an arbitrary determiner of personhood. Birth, in fact, is the natural and traditional moment in life during which the organism becomes separate from its parent, i.e. in human terms: becomes his or her own individual person. That was always so in antiquity, just as it is today. Nature aborts and discards far more human sperm, fertilized eggs, unfertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses before birth than do medically induced abortions. 

Notwithstanding this obvious reality, many social conservatives, without thinking through all the potential consequences, are demanding a so-called "right to life" constitutional amendment which would grant equal protection of the law to the unborn as "persons." Fertilized human eggs, they argue, are human beings from the moment of conception, fully entitled to all the rights and protections afforded to persons under the law.

But if an egg at any stage of development were endowed with constitutional rights before birth, such rights would necessarily conflict with the rights of its host. The implications of that are enormous. The host would become a slave to both her egg and the social collective under this thinking. She would be liable to account for the wellbeing of each egg from the moment of conception.

The government would be empowered to monitor every woman’s pregnancy from conception until birth in order to make certain that the rights of the egg were fully protected and enforced. Women would be required to report regularly to the government on the current state of their fertility. Government would be empowered to determine by force and against her will whether or not she is pregnant. Women suspected of endangering a fertilized egg would be involuntarily committed, incarcerated or prosecuted as criminals.

A fertilized egg could actually, through guardians or other representatives, sue its mother in a court of law forcing her to protect its rights before birth at the expense of her own. Expectant mothers would be told what to eat, what to drink, where to live, and what activities or personal associations are permissible or prohibited for the protection and welfare of an egg.

Every miscarriage would be the subject of a new government investigation, a coroner’s inquest, forensic autopsy, and potential criminal prosecution by the United States Pregnancy Police. Every birth defect might result in a criminal or civil cause of action against mom. The state would dictate the entire course of every pregnancy in the "best interests of the egg."  

That is one recipe for an Orwellian un-American nightmare. 


  1. I mostly agree. And every single argument I have ever heard against abortion comes down to a religious argument, based on religious views, no matter what the "pro-lifer" claims.

  2. Man, you were *this* close to getting it right! It all fell apart when you equated a haploid gamete to a full human, and later when you chose to ignore legal arrangements between a person supplying the sperm with the person supplying the egg and/or carrying the fetus as able to terminate the agreement without approval from the other parties.

    In your world, an external fetus at full term but still tethered by the cord would be subject to termination by the mom.

    Good try, though...better than most.

  3. "Birth is not an arbitrary determiner of personhood."

    Yes it is. It is as arbitrary a determiner as conception.

    Traditionally, death (the end of personhood) occurred when a person's heart stopped. Yet today, nobody would solely use the lack of a heart beat to decide a person was dead.

    I agreee that a woman has a right to unilaterally decide to abort a pregnancy. I don't however agree that aborting a pregnancy includes the right to destroy the fetus.

    A woman has a right to evict a fetus, no matter how the fetus came into being, but she doesn't have the right to destroy the fetus in the process.

    Once evicted, the fetus has no claim on the mother (or father). If some other person wishes to assist it, provide for it in its helpless state, then that is their decision, but nobody has the right to deliberately kill it.

    Arbitrarily setting birth as when human rights begins oversimplifies the reality of mammalian biology. If humans laid eggs, then there probably would be no need for an abortion debate. But humans don't lay eggs, and biology creates overlapping property rights. We can draw lines on where these rights end or begin, but they'll be arbitrary no matter where they are drawn.

  4. Your tirade is unlibertarian - all of these horrors are predicated on the "right" of a government to even exist. And there is no right for government to exist.