Much of the rhetoric from the pro-life crowd is that when an egg is fertilized, it becomes a sacred and protected life. Never mind that their lack of support for welfare for single mothers or environmental protections that would give a baby born in 2020 a decent change to live into the 22nd century.
Furthermore, they often argue about the potential of an embryo or a fetus, but I’m not sure what they mean by potential. Every unfertilized sperm and egg also has potential to become a Thomas Edison or Albert Einstein and revolutionize humanity. My grand children have potential to cure global warming or save us from the third ice age. But they haven’t been born yet. Neither has an embryo.
Most can agree that it’s hard to define when life begins for anyone. It’s subject to each person and that’s a value decision.
But how about this line of thought: The miracle of life isn’t based on how well-developed an embryo or fetus is. It doesn’t have to involve science at all. It’s simply based on a potential mother being aware of the enormous sacrifices involved in having a baby and voluntarily deciding to undergo that experience. Think of the sacrifices your mother made for you and how much your bond is based on the fact that she wanted to make those sacrifices. When we talk about being pro-choice, that is the ultimate choice and I would argue it’s the most sacred choice of all.
Simply put, I believe a society is optimal if no child is born to a mother that doesn’t want to have them.
Opponents who argue adoption is an option overlook the costs to a woman of lesser means who lives paycheck to paycheck. Being out of commission during the last months of pregnancy can be quite costly.
Opponents who frame this as an issue of personal responsibility are essentially saying they want to criminalize sex. Of course, they can’t say anything that ridiculous so they frame it as a matter of personal responsibility. This is a preventable crime, they say: However, women can be misled by their sexual partners about whether protection is being used; women can be raped; women can learn between conception and birth that the potential father is an abusive individual; and many forms of contraception are not 100% secure.
So those who argue the “personal responsibility” angle must concede that responsible people can get pregnant. If you really want to punish irresponsibility: Fine. Have the guilty…