Abortion and a woman's right to choose -- by Eugene Reimer 2011-January

There's an old saying that he who pays the piper names the tune.  And since both parents share equally in the financial obligation with respect to raising the child, it follows that both must share equally in any decision to abort the fetus.

This seems unfair in that the baby-making is taking place within the female's body, however that part is Mother-Nature's fault.  (A theist would say "that part is God's fault" and I don't object to that;  see my essay Why I am Not an Atheist.)

Returning to "the woman's right to choose":  before engaging in sex, two heterosexual partners need to discuss their views on abortion.  "Should our sex-act result in a pregnancy we will abort the fetus (A) yes, (B) no, (C) only if tests show serious birth-defects."  And if they can't agree they can't have sex.  Isn't that nice and simple?  Just a wee bit overly optimistic about human-nature perhaps:-)  And I've glossed over another legitimate position that two partners could find themselves in:  where the female wishes to get pregnant but wants to be the sole parent, the only one responsible for the child's upbringing.  In this case the woman does indeed have the right to choose.

A written "pre-nuptial" agreement is required in this situation, as it is whenever what you agree on differs from what the law provides in its absence (as I've learned the hard way).  I do have some doubts about this being a "legitimate" approach to child-rearing... 

George Carlin:
If a fetus is a human being, how come the census doesn't count them?  If a fetus is a human being, how come when there's a miscarriage they don't have a funeral?  If a fetus is a human being, how come people say "We have two children and one on the way" instead of saying "We have three children?"  People say life begins at conception.  I say life began about a billion years ago and it's a continuous process.  Continuous, just keeps rolling along.  Here's another question I have.  How come when it's us, it's an abortion, and when it's a chicken, it's an omelette?
(more of this George Carlin rant)

Most Pro-abortion people shout slogans and shrink from even considering the "abortion is murder" argument, though any fool can see that murder is a bigger issue than freedom-of-choice[1].  By countering a weighty slogan with a trivial one they place themselves in the wrong;  the decencies of debate demand that the "murder" argument be faced and dealt with.  Such cowardice makes me unwilling to be associated with the mainstream Pro-abortion movement.  I am ashamed of the way those on my side behave!  The name "Pro-Choice" they've chosen for themselves is already a hint about the sort of lily-livered chicken-shit cowards many of them are.  I am Pro-Abortion but not part of the Pro-Choice crusade.

To deal with the charge of murder we first look at Human-Life, which has both biological- and legal-definitions, and the distinction is important.  The biological definition (BD) is the god-given one;  it is beautifully simple:  a new BD individual is created the moment sperm meets egg and new DNA is created.  The legal definition (LD) is the one "we've made up", as Carlin says, in order to feel safer, ie: to discourage acts that result in "one of us" being murdered;  an LD human-life is something that requires awareness of being human, and acquiring that awareness is a gradual process that begins at birth, and is never altogether complete (although sufficiently advanced to seem "complete" by age 10, perhaps even by age 5).  That awareness is needed is obvious from the rest of what "we've made up";  eg: when a brain is damaged to the extent that awareness is no longer present...  (the near-identical example, a baby born with a brain so defective that awareness is impossible, is dangerous ground for some reason[2]).  Several interesting things result from looking at these issues at a low level:  for example we usually think the murder of a child especially tragic because that person had all of life ahead, and yet when it comes to a very young child then it's actually a less serious crime, and taking it to the extreme we see that killing a baby right at birth is no crime at all!

1:  Why is it obvious that murder outweighs freedom-of-choice, you ask:  because as Carlin says that's the way we've made things up.  Our law against murder (that we've made up) shows that we've so decided:  it may be my choice to kill you, but the law doesn't accept my reason, because we've decided life outweighs choice. QED.
2:  Most humans become irrational when babies are involved - as seen in the prevailing attitude toward infanticide.  Furthermore, the killing of a disabled person is another subject we humans find it hard to deal with rationally as was demonstrated during the debate over what flavour of murder Robert Latimer was guilty of.

Send your suggestions to ereimer@shaw.ca.