Saturday, January 08, 2011

This hardly meets the "Hapless victim of a brazen fetus" test

This hardly meets the "Hapless victim of a brazen fetus" test, but it's still being painted that way: Why our next child must be a daughter.

This couple has three sons. Their baby daughter died. So they turned to IVF to replace the girl. They ended up conceiving and implanting twin boys, which they aborted.

They want to skip the implantation part and just have the embryos tested next time, flush the males and implant a female.

You can't claim the "hapless victim of biology" argument for aborting the boys.

I've argued before that the "I don't want that fetus in my uterus" argument is akin to a kidnapper arguing that he has a right to kill his hostage because she's in the trunk of his car. The woman's sexual activity, after all, put the fetus there in the first place. And abortion advocates have cried foul, saying that the sex act, unlike the kidnapping, was intended for other purposes, and the fetus sort of sneaked. But in this case, the couple put the twins there at great trouble and expense. So it's more akin to a kidnapper killing the prostitute in his trunk on the grounds that he found out she was actually a transvestite and he'd wanted to rape a woman, not a man.

Is this couple the victim of some horrible injustice that they have a right to correct? Or do they just need to buck up and live with the fact that sometimes life doesn't give you what you want?


OperationCounterstrike said...

It doesn't matter WHY the fetus is inside her body, nor how it got there. As long as it is inside her body, for whatever reason, she is entitled to abort it.

That's part of the meaning of the word "your" in the phrase "your body".

Christina Dunigan said...

You've never explained satisfactorily why, if bodily integrity is so important, one person's wish to avoid a temporary infringement gives her the right to inflict a permanent infringement on somebody else.

OperationCounterstrike said...

Because the someone else is located inside the first person's body. That's why.

Christina Dunigan said...

That doesn't explain why her claim of bodily integrity trumps the fetus' claim of bodily integrity. She is the instigator of the conflict. The imposition upon her is of her own doing, and temporary. The imposition she seeks to inflict upon the fetus is not of the fetus' own doing, and is permanent.

On all grounds, the woman's claim is weaker:

1. She instigated the conflict, and is therefore the perpetrator, not the victim.
2. Her grievance is temporary, which she is seeking to resolve via a permanent injury to the other party.
3. Her relationship to the fetus -- mother -- confers upon her responsibilities that are unique to the parent/child relationship.

You're inverting every concept of justice, by giving all rights to the aggressor, who has the least to lose and has obligations toward the intended victim.

Again, it's akin to siding with a kidnapper who is pissed off that the hostage's presence is troublesome to him.

OperationCounterstrike said...

It's very simple. The one whose body is occupied is entitled to de-occupy it at will, in the way least traumatic to her, because it is her body.

There is no such thing as a right to be alive inside another person's body. One may only be there with the body-owner's permission. This permission may be revoked at any time, because the body belongs to her.

Joe said...

Absolutely wrong. The rights we have, NATURAL rights, are based upon our NATURE as living beings. We are placental mammals and it is a fundamental aspect of our nature to live for nine months in the body of another. It is a necessary and intrinsic aspect of human nature, without which human existence itself is impossible.

Therefore, it follows that we have an INALIENABLE NATURAL RIGHT to live in the bodies of our mothers for nine months after they have created our existence. Obviously, we do not have a right to live in anyone's body under any other circumstances (and that would be biologically impossible in any event). The fact that we are placental mammals settles this for all time.

You are asserting a doctrine which would properly apply only to living beings whose biology is radically different from ours.

Lilliput said...

I don't know why u guys are arguing about this. To me its insane for a woman in 2011 to have IVF after 3 healthy children at all. If she feels those aren't enough or that she really requires a girl then much therapy or a possible adoption is the way forward. Once again I wonder of her fitness to parent any children and maybe that's nature's way of saying enough.

I also want to say that a male rapist also enters a women temporarily but would consider it very moral and legal to terminate his life forever. Not that I would consider comparing a baby with a rapist. Similar to a burglar who enters my abode temporarily. Either way, the baby didn't act of its own volition - since it doesn't have any and can therefore not be guilty of trespassing - this is why the whole argument is pathetic. OC find another argument.

It is also our animal mammalian nature to regulate our numbers and decide which live infant has the opportunity to live with the group or die of starvation in the forest. I wouldn't be using our inherent mammalian nature for an anti abortion argument either.

Anonymous said...


I’m confused by your comment. “Rights” are a concept from political theory and jurisprudence. There’s nothing “natural” about them, in the way you’re using the concept of natural. You’re claiming that because of human biology we have a right to life. This idea is clearly shown to be wrong by the fact that pregnancies spontaneously end. Therefore no living entity has a “right” to life – life itself is contingent and uncertain.


L. said...

An "INALIENABLE NATURAL RIGHT to live in the bodies of our mothers for nine months after they have created our existence?"

Joe, thoughts like that make me thank God for my contraception -- my "baby pesticide."

Christina Dunigan said...

L, contraception prevents babies from coming into existence. It's abortifacients that are "baby pesticide".

But it's interesting to see that there are prochoicers out there who sound like an episode of South Park (which once featured OTC abortifacients called things like Baby B Gone and came in industrial-sized bottles).

L. said...

I always call my contraceptive gel my "baby pesticide," even though technically it's spermicide -- and I called my IUD my "baby bug-zapper," even though it was the copper kind that killed sperm.

I would invest in any company that made something called Baby B Gone -- sounds like a winner!