Friday, May 15, 2009

Drawing a closer parallel with the "kidney donation" argument for abortion

A common argument in favor of abortion goes something like this:

A stranger needs a kidney transplant, or he will die. You are the only tissue match. Should you be forced to give up your kidney to save the stranger?
The attempted parallel fails on several levels:

1. A fetus in the womb isn't a stranger.
2. Pregnancy isn't some flukey thing that happens out of the blue; we know what causes it.
3. Pregnancy isn't permanent.
4. Abortion isn't letting somebody die who was moribund anyway; it's causing the violent death of somebody who would likely have lived a long life otherwise.

If we want to make the imaginary situation more akin to abortion, the scenario would have to go more like this:

You and your boyfriend/husband have a hobby that involves use of toxic chemicals that are fairly safe for adults, but can cause fatal kidney problems in children. Knowing this, you nevertheless pursue this hobby, exposing your child to the toxic chemicals. Your child ends up suffering kidney failure as a result. Should you be required to submit to a temporary transplant of one of your kidneys for the nine months it will take his kidneys to heal, or should it be perfectly legal and socially acceptable for you to hack him to death with a machete so you don't have to deal with any of this situation?
Does it look just a tad different now?

There is also one fundamental difference between the kidney donor scenario and abortion: The person with the failing kidneys is approaching the end of his natural life. The fetus slated for abortion, however, is at the beginning of her natural life. In the kidney donor scenario, refusing a kidney is a decision not to make a noble sacrifice to extend his life. It is a decision to refrain from intervening. Aborting the fetus is taking an action to deprive her of the decades of life that she could expect to have. In the kidney donor scenario, nothing is being stolen from the ailing person. In abortion, a choice is made to intervene in another person's life, an entire lifetimes is stolen.

The difference between the kidney donor scenario and abortion is the difference between deciding whether or not to give and deciding whether or not to take.


Kathy said...

Excellent analogy!!

Tonal Bliss said...

Yea, I loved the "imaginary situation more akin to abortion" that you made up. Makes more sense and accounts for a lot more than the pro-abortion hypothetical.

Thanks for what you do! :)

army_wife said...

I agree completely with the article. This "pro-abortion argument" was simply rediculous. I can't believe they actually say that. It doesn't even make logical sense. Like the old saying- comparing apples to oranges, which of course you conveyed very well in your post.

Anonymous said...

No, it's still faulty.

The perfect analogy is that you ahve already submitted to a temporary transplant. It's in the kid's body. Then you insist on chopping the kid open, and getting it back -- and in the manner most likely to kill the child.

These analogies always falter on the fact that they analogize abortion to not doing something, and prohibiting abortion to actively doing something.

army_wife said...

Good point, marycatelli.

Ladybug said...

When prochoicers try throwing out hypotheticals like these, I refuse to address them and tell them, "I deal with real situations and statistics, not hypotheticals."

Lilliput said...

This is a ridiculous argument made by idiots and I don't think we should be spending any time refuting it. What we should be looking at is the relationship between abortion and poverty, women's rights and development.

That's where they have a solid argument.

army_wife said...

A "solid argument"? Um, no, not really. I disagree with that statement.

Lilliput said...

Looking forward to hearing why byou disagree.

army_wife said...

As much as I would like to get into it with you regarding issues about which you will not ever change my mind, I have a move in 2 days I need to get ready for. I don't have the mental energy or time to get into it. Maybe after we're moved and settled. Such is life in the Army! :-)

Kris said...

I'm an assistant editor at Live Action News & Opinion ( Can we get permission to reprint this article, with proper credit and link back? Thank you!

Christina Dunigan said...

Kris, you may reprint anything you want, any time you want, as long as there's a byline and a linkback!

I am going to tweak it just a tad right now, so go with what is currently up, not what was up when you left your message.

Anonymous said...

Clearly then you advocate for abortions in all cases where the fetus has no chance of living a long life. As there is no way to know how long any of us will live- the person needing a kidney or the fetus living in a living individuals body (& the matters life time either) then your argument completely fails. You either don’t know how to write an argument that includes every situation or you believe what I am saying above. Either way as you have the right to do whatever you wish with your body AND life, you do not have the right to own my uterus and life. One more critical item- since almost 20% of pregnancies end in the death of the woman and/or postbirth baby, then your entire argument fails. If there’s a chance pregnant woman or fetus could die then abortion is permitted. Ie the length of a life is never known including how long a fetus or woman might live. And if any chance the woman may die from cells inside her HER life must be saved. After all without her the fetus won’t live anyway. Either write about your REAL argument/opinions or change your essay to fit what you REALLY stated as true.