Thursday, August 04, 2011

Life Report: The Fetus-as-Rapist

Abortion afficianado Eileen McDonagh justifies abortion by comparing the fetus to a rapist. The fetus, like the rapist, is in the woman's body when she doesn't want him there. Therefore, she has a right, says McDonagh, to do absolutely anything to fend off the fetal "rapist."

I've blogged this prior to the podcast. Now I'll progress through the podcast. offers Common ground Without Compromise as a free PDF.

Liz said she'd compare pregnancy to a rape if the fetus came at the woman with a knife. Josh pointed out that Mattie, their make-up artist, turns this around -- in abortion, we come at the fetus with a knife. Zing. She nailed it.

Josh had responded to an abortion supporter who was using McDonagh's "fetal rapist" argument by asking how the fetus was supposed to get permission to be there. (I've asked that myself. Ordinary the argument is fetus-as-trespasser, and I'd ask how the fetus was supposed to sign a lease, but in the case of comparing the fetus to a rapist, what does the woman want? For the fetus to take her to dinner, bring flowers and chocolates, and otherwise entice her to give her consent?)

Andrew was pointing out that the pregnant woman has taken it upon herself to risk pregnancy. He made perhaps a poor analogy to a rape situation in which the woman was, after a fashion, inviting the rape. Liz pointed out that even in a situation like Andrew described, the woman would have a right to repel the rapist.

I'd compare it more to a situation where a woman picked up a guy in a bar, went back to his apartment with him, made out and got naked in bed with him, and then at the moment of penetration screamed, "You didn't ask permission!" and shot him.

Liz pointed out the disproportionate response: Why take LETHAL force against the fetus, whose "rape" act is non-lethal?

She also pointed out that a fetus in the womb is where it's supposed to be. It's not doing something violent and unnatural. The uterus, by creation or evolution, the natural home of a fetus.

Josh put something really well: The fetus is the effect, not the cause, of pregnancy. The uterus has been gearing up for the new embryo. Her body is actively trying to get pregnant, even to the point of revamping the immune system to welcome the new, biologically different life.

Josh brought up the fact that when you consent to an activity, you need to take responsibility for the consequences as well. If you're playing baseball, and you hit the ball through the neighbor's window, you don't get away with saying, "Well, I consented to play baseball, but I didn't consent to your window breaking, so I'm not responsible for it. Fix your own window!" So, if you consent to sex, you have a responsibility for the resulting baby.

Josh said that when he put the baseball analogy up to the arguing person, she claimed that the use of birth control absolved her of responsibility. Josh pointed out that even if they'd been hitting balls in the opposite direction, and a foul ball popped up and smashed the window, you'd still be responsible, even though you'd taken precautions against breaking a window.

Liz zeroed in on the prochoice idea that you can beg off being responsible for foreseeable consequences of your actions. We don't buy that in any other situation.

Afterward they discussed my previous post. They addressed McDonagh's claim that the only way to defend against the fetus is to kill it. Not true. It will go away on its own as soon as it's able.

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