And the potential result of sex... an unwanted pregnancy.
This is the best off-the-cuff post on abortion that I've read in a long time.
It was put up over at the AFA Forum by His Noodly Appendage. The thread has been a fascinating rehash of the same old arguments because the "pro-life" side is actually being presented by an atheist. *mind boggles* The pro-life stance is in italics, His Noodly Appendage's reply in plain font.
Okay, my three cents.
On what grounds might we consider abortion to be morally wrong?
It's infanticide - the taking of a new life!
Sperm are alive. Ova are alive. Therefore, life does not start at conception, and abortion is not killing 'new life'. The cells are just the mother's own cells, that started dividing madly after being reprogrammed by a passing sperm.
Can you say HPV?
But if nature is left to take its course, this will result in a new, separate human being!
Leave me in a room with Serena Williams and Parminder Nagra, let nature take its course, and there'll be babies all over the place. Would it be wrong for them to intervene?
(I'd actually be very happy with a 'yes' here )
A percentage of the time, leaving nature to take its course will result only in death of the mother, or in a stillbirth/miscarriage. Net gain: 0. Can someone explain why we have to do this the hard, horrible way, and why the mother gets the short straw?
But the unborn child is innocent! It's not their fault!
Do people have the right to defend themselves from a mentally incompetent attacker? If a severely retarded individual attempted to stab you in the uterus, and you had no recourse but to shoot them, would you be ethically justified in doing so, or would it be wrong because they were 'innocent'?
But the unborn child has so much more life ahead of them, they deserve a chance!
So older people have no right to defend themselves against younger people, now?
But life-threatening cases are rare. Most of the time, both survive.
Okay - do you have the right to defend yourself from rape?
Nine MONTHS of rape?
I can think of few more hideous forms of torture than forced birth.
Especially when that birth (and the pregnancy preceding it) were the result of sexual abuse.
Imagine it. Growing inside you like a fucking tumour. Taking over your body, sucking the very calcium out of your bones, wrecking your menstrual cycle (okay, I can't directly imagine that), doing weird things to your genitals, to your breasts, leaving you nauseous and heaving your guts out day after day, hypersensitive to the slightest odour, suffering horrible sciatica so that every waddling step is pain, swelling and stretching your belly to the point of pain and beyond, reducing your bladder capacity to a thimbleful and squeezing other internal organs out of the way, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, dietary restrictions, bugger-all chance of restoring a normal sex life for the duration, and perhaps the worst, fucking your emotions with a cheesegrater, leaving you crying and buffeted by waves of feelings you can't predict or even understand, forcing you to fall in love with it, though not precluding hate, in a bizarre and hideous form of Stockholm Syndrome.
Part of your rapist living inside you (and indeed, kicking you in the belly), for NINE FUCKING MONTHS, 24/7.
And then there's the birth - hours of indescribable agony, with a likelihood of getting torn halfway from vagina to rectum, urethra damage, spinal damage, torn pelvic ligaments - or having your uterus cut open to preclude these.
And of course, once it's out, a wash of hormones further betraying your emotions into loving that which has abused you so.
You want to know the last word in final soul-destroying humiliation?
For those that want it, the symptoms can be worth the result, and the emotional vortex only reinforces the happiness therefrom.
For those that don't, just as with sex, it's a whole 'nother story.
Even without an initial rape, a truly unwanted pregnancy isn't something I'd wish on my own worst enemy. And if someone were to kill to avoid that, I'd support them every step of the way. Even if I counted a cluster of cells smaller than the amount you scrape off the inside of your cheek when eating a piece of toast as 'human', even if I saw no difference between that and an adult or child, I'd still support it.
But foetuses are people!
You think so? Here's a test:
You're in a fertility clinic that has just caught on fire. The place is really going up. At one end of a long hallway is a rack of petri dishes with newly-fertilised embryos. At the other is a three-year-old child. By the look of things, you'll only be able to save one or the other before the roof caves in.
Which do you leave to burn?
Well. If she didn't want to get pregnant, she shouldn't have had sex.
And if she didn't want to get raped, she shouldn't have worn those clothes, right?
Bugger that. That's just leftover patriarchal crap. As Serenity said, choosing to have sex is choosing to have sex. Choosing to get pregnant is an entirely unrelated decision.
That'll do for now , I think.
Of course, that being said, I probably would have issues with someone choosing to abort (except under truly dire circumstances) at say, 39.5 weeks. If you've kept it that long, you've pretty much taken responsibility for it already - you've accepted the role of parent, and as such, it counts as your child.
Where do I draw the line? I don't, really. It's a smear of cells at the beginning, and a baby at the end. In between, there are only shades of grey.
Special thanks to His Noodly Appendage for the thoughtful read!! :D