The Abortion Debate

So I was reading Andrew Sullivan's blog the other day and came across a reference to this bit of nonsense from E.D. Kain. The entire thing can be read at the link, an excerpt follows:

If you believe in your heart of hearts that an unborn child is nevertheless a child – a living, growing, human being – and yet the law of the land dictates that said living, growing human being is not in possession of even the most basic right – the right to life – then how different is this from slavery?

Ugh. Let us re-phrase Kain's idiotic comment in a different context. I believe we can all grant that I am a person? And that I myself enjoy a "right to life"? Tomorrow I am diagnosed with a serious illness. My liver is shutting down. I'm dead in a day if I don't find a liver donor to donate a piece of their liver to me to keep me alive.

There is one compatible donor available.

They say no.

OMG Slavery! My right to life has been denied to me!

Is anyone incapable of seeing the idiocy of that statement? Yes... I have a right to life... however NO person, anywhere in our society, under any conditions... enjoys the kind of "right to life" Kain is claiming is being denied to the fetus. A right to life that over-rides another person's right to control over their own damn body. I cannot declare that because I need a piece of that person's liver to continue living they are legally required to consent to the surgery to cut it out of them and give it to me because I have a "right to life".

But let's go further.

I've been in a car accident. Some idiot drunk driver swerved into my lane and I'm in bad shape. I need a blood transfusion or I'm going to bleed out. I'm a rare blood type. There is exactly one person available who give me the blood to keep me alive. Just give me some damn blood... a little prick with a needle and some temporary inconvenience. Almost non-existent risk. I STILL can't invoke any "right to life" to make that person do it because it's their damn body, not mine.

The person in question is the drunk driver who hit me.It's his fault I'm in this situation! Guess what? STILL can't force them to do it. Their body, their call, no exceptions EVER. And I am not being in any way made a "slave" by having some non-existent right to commandeer another person's body to keep me alive denied to me. And there is damn good reason for that, going down the road where you start saying people can place themselves in positions where they irrevocably forfeit the right to control over their own bodies? THAT gets us slavery.

And if I, an undisputed person with a "right to life", can't require another person to do something as trivial to their body as give a little blood against their will to save my life then someone explain to me what "right to life" Kain is blathering about that would let another "person" require a woman to undergo an entire nine month pregnancy and the act of birth against her will, which is what we are talking about when we talk about making abortion illegal.

If Kain wants to toss the word "slavery" around he might want to take a good long look at what the word means and then have a good long think about what making abortion illegal would involve. He's directing the term at the wrong side of this argument.


  1. Your missing something Grant.

    The mother carrying a child has to do nothing more than what she would normally do to live(she must keep herself healthy) in order to preserve the life of her baby. Once conceived the development of and eventual birth of the child happens naturally (assuming the absence of complications of course).

    On the other hand, one who needs a transfusion of blood from someone else must ask that person to do something that is contrary to what may be healthy for them and contrary to their natural motivations.

    The only way for the baby's life to be taken is not through withholding sustenence (all the baby needs for that sustenence is for the mother to have a desire to be healthy) but for the mother to actively decide to take it's life.

  2. Lance, please be serious. Go tell any pregnant woman that her being pregnant involves her doing nothing out of the ordinry and represents no change in her life from when she wasn't pregnant... that a pregnancy and the act of *giving birth* represents no hardship or imposition on her beyond what she would normally be experiencing to keep herself healthy and alive where she not pregnant.

    But do it from a safe distance, I wouldn't want you to get beaten unconscious while proving my point.