How to apply BioSLED – the best argument against abortion-choice against those who insist a mother’s “right to bodily autonomy” justifies abortion. This is a brief, rapid response while the original response to this argument can be found here.
Over the last few years I’ve run into an increasing number of very hard core abortion supporters who make statements like this:
Not that whether or not a fetus is a child should matter to the debate. Child or not, no one has the right to use a person’s body against his or her consent.
and from another:
Human beings may not occupy another human body unless they are welcome there.
This is a variant of Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist argument supported by Eileen McDonagh, David Boonin et al.
It’s an absolute absurdity in circular reasoning. Do they really expect the embryonic human being to change their own environment/development process?
By rejecting developmental differences of human beings, one stage of human development is equated with every other. “Being a child doesn’t matter”, thus they assume a pro-life premise: all humans are “equal”. Time doesn’t matter.
Yet, they reject the child’s critical development time within the womb – that’s the reason for the abortion! So time within that environment does matter to them.
You can’t avoid the absurd contradiction. Either time as a child present within the environment of the mother’s womb matters or it does not.
Thomson, McDonagh, Boonan, et al. obfuscate this critical premise.
If this issue was irrelevant to the abortion argument, both humans would have the same legal “rights”. So, if mother and daughter swapped places (putting the mother into her daughter’s womb), then the daughter would have the “legal right” to abort her mother. (?!)
If you say no she doesn’t have the right to abort her, you’ve just contradicted yourself, because there’s one body within the other. If you say yes she can, you’ve also contradicted yourself because you’ve now upheld the bodily autonomy of the daughter. What’s it gonna be?
If you claim the mother daughter swapping places is absurd and could not happen – then you’re validating that the mother-child relationship is unique and cannot be compared to non-parent relationships. In fact, to reduce the parent relationship to one of simple physical dependency is to eliminate the most essential aspect of the relationship!
So claiming abortion is justified by bodily autonomy is an argument that commits suicide via absurd circular reasoning.
You can’t escape the reality of the sequential, biological and ever growing basis of life.