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The Reddest Herring Ever

Profile photo of Roarke S. 93 By redjester
September 7th, 2012

Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time around the abortion debate has heard the argument tossed around that denying a woman access to abortion would be denying her the rights she has as a woman. The problem is, in the case of abortion, the argument of women’s rights is nothing more than a big, fat red herring. Those in support of abortion consistently push women’s rights as the central issue in the debate; however, this argument is nothing more than a dangerous misrepresentation of the real issue at hand.

When entering a debate it is very important to frame it in a way that is accurate and helpful in resolving it. The ‘women’s rights’ perspective does not do this. The problem of a woman’s rights takes second seat to the only question that matters in the abortion discussion and the only question that can settle it once and for all – Does the human fetus have any value apart from its parents’ desires?

Abortion proponents will often say something like, “You can’t tell a woman what to do with her body!” This, however, completely misses the mark. The view that denying a woman an abortion is denying her the right to control what happens to her body starts with the very assumption that the only “body” in the situation that matters is the woman’s. In other words, this argument presupposes the Pro-Choice view that the fetus does not have any inherent value or right to life. But, isn’t that the very question that is being debated? If the fetus does indeed have inherent human value and is thus protected under the Constitution, what right would a woman have to decide life and death for the unborn child? If we really want to get anywhere in this debate, Pro-Choicers must leave this red herring behind and consider the questions that really matter.

6 Comments to “The Reddest Herring Ever”

  • Profile photo of Jim Pease Jim Pease says:

    How do you combat urges hard wired into the human DNA? Young people are not given to in depth thinking or long term planning it has always been so. that is why armies are made out of young men not older ones. “Young men are fitter to invent than to judge, fitter for execution than for counsel, and fitter for new projects than for settled business.”( Francis Bacon, 1561-1626)
    Punishment for a transgression harms the child more than the parent. People rail against abortion but will not provide equal opportunity for the children, until every child is free to grow up without hunger and abuse and have a chance for a better life how can abortion be not an option? Social stigma is fine for the self righteous but they too have sinned if by none other than to judge. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone to stand up and claim otherwise is at least hypocrisy if not heretical. I don’t support abortion nor do I condemn it as a man it is not my issue and I could not decide for a women what her ethics and morals should be, I don’t expect that decision is easy and I am glad to have never had to face it.
    But if a society is judged by how it views its least powerful members then we are truly moving toward collapse. “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
    – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
    In this age sex is a marketing tool a constant companion for TV and mixed with the market for fear it is a powerful tool to sell cloths, cars, drugs anything you can name has been sold with some form of Sex or fear of one or another type. this cannot help but drive the urges that already wired into the human brain, for every action there is reaction every tool has a down side, sex as a tool has effect on the society.
    “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”
    – Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
    and that is reality I don’t have the answer, but I see many parts to the equation.
    I do know,I am not so self righteous that I can determine the righteousness of others, each has a path and the Great Spirit take them were he decides, not me.

    • Profile photo of Roarke S. Roarke S. says:

      Some interesting thoughts Pjenergy, but my blog wasn’t making an argument for or against abortion, simply dispelling one of the illogical falsehoods surrounding it and offering a more logical, clear framing of the debate. However, I will indulge you and address your concerns.

      1.)“How do you combat urges hard wired into the human DNA?” Why does that matter? Logically, just because someone is genetically or psychologically inclined to do something doesn’t mean their actions and the consequences of those actions should be pardoned without second thought. Also, if indeed the human fetus does have the right to life this is more or less irrelevant, unless we’re talking about prevention, which we are not.

      2.)“Punishment for a transgression harms the child more than the parent. People rail against abortion but will not provide equal opportunity for the children, until every child is free to grow up without hunger and abuse and have a chance for a better life how can abortion be not an option?” That view also assumes that the unborn human child has no right to life or inherent value until after birth, PJ. You need to leave that constricted thinking. With that mentioned, I agree that there should be more done to help children who do not have stable homes or homes at all. Increasing adoption rates would definitely help, but even if no one is adopting that doesn’t excuse aborting kids before they even have a chance at life in society.

      3.)“Social stigma is fine for the self righteous but they too have sinned if by none other than to judge. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone to stand up and claim otherwise is at least hypocrisy if not heretical.” How is this relevant, Pjenergy? If I understand you correctly, you’re attempting to use the ol’ ‘thou shalt not judge unless you understand the other party’ argument. The problem with this is no one needs to experience morality in action in order to understand and espouse it. For example, I do not need to witness a murder or commit one myself to understand perfectly clearly that killing an innocent person is wrong.

      4.) “I don’t support abortion nor do I condemn it as a man it is not my issue and I could not decide for a women what her ethics and morals should be, I don’t expect that decision is easy and I am glad to have never had to face it.” This again uses the fallacious experience argument, see above for rebuttal. Why don’t you support abortion?

      5.)“But if a society is judged by how it views its least powerful members then we are truly moving toward collapse.” So…you’re an eliteist? Help me see your point here.

      6.)“I do know,I am not so self righteous that I can determine the righteousness of others, each has a path and the Great Spirit take them were he decides, not me.” Obviously we differ in our theological beliefs, which is another discussion for another time. Again this goes back to the fallacies in the experience argument, and it seems to me as though you are trying to paint me as self-righteous?

  • Profile photo of Tex Austin Tex Austin says:

    Interestingly, in 38 U.S. states, if you cause harm to an unborn child, you can be charged with murder (feticide). And at least 23 states have fetal homicide laws that apply to the earliest stages of pregnancy “conception,” “fertilization” “post-fertilization,” or “any state of gestation.”

    But the mother — who engaged in conscious, deliberate behavior to get pregnant — can abort is she wishes, with no input from the father?

    • Profile photo of Roarke S. Roarke S. says:

      You mean to say that those laws apply to fathers, correct Lonestar?

      Those are definitely noteworthy laws. If anything they serve to further my assertion that the whole “women’s rights” framing of the abortion debate is unrealistic and destructive.

      • Profile photo of Jim Pease Jim Pease says:

        until the father is going to carry the child in gestation and do the duty for 18 years no man can judge. honestly ego aside this is not a male issue it must be determined by women, they are wired different and they are the mothers of the world. men hunt and gather.

        • Profile photo of Roarke S. Roarke S. says:

          I disagree jpenergy. As argued for above in both my comment and the blog post, this is NOT a gender issue, or a women’s rights issue, this ia a MORAL issue. Abortion is a matter of ethics and personhood, not how women feel.