Saturday, July 06, 2013

Community Property ?

(The image above, from The Denver Post, shows Texans demonstrating against the bill that would deny equal rights to Texas women by closing down about 37 women's health clinics in the state and banning all abortions at 20 weeks -- regardless of the health risks to the woman.)

I found the post below at a blog called The blog is about a year and a half old, but I just discovered it (and added it to my blogroll). It is written by Jim Rigby, a Presbyterian minister in Austin. I repost his effort because I think it is excellent and thought-provoking. He says:

Before we can have a meaningful discussion on the topic of abortion we must answer a previous question. Are women “persons” under the constitution? Do they have inalienable rights, or are they a kind of community property whose rights can be voted upon?
In pregnancy, life develops within a life. Legally, one of those lives must be declared the context of the other or else there is no criterion from which to make a choice. Some are far too willing to put the needs and rights of a pregnant woman on the same scale with a microscopic egg. Unlike the egg, the pregnant woman can have a host of medical and personal issues, and she can have responsibilities to other children that pregnancy might make impossible to fulfill.
To claim that a fertilized human egg is a person is to say that the woman is essentially an incubator for that egg. To pretend that the human egg is developing in a Petri dish without needs and rights of its own is to dehumanize the woman before the discussion ever begins.
Problem is, these initial assumptions are never examined. So before we can meaningfully discuss the topic of abortion it is helpful to answer a fundamental question first. Is a woman community property so that her right over her own body can be put up for a vote? If so, the pro-life position makes perfect sense. Or, is a woman a person with inalienable rights, in which case the pro-choice position is the only possible ethical response.

1 comment:

  1. Very well put by the reverend. Unfortunately, the number of anti-choicers who might consider the validity of this argument are way too few in the face of the self-righteous, bullying fanatics seeking to impose their narrow religious view on the rest of us.


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