So says an anti-choice activist in South Dakota, where there is one abortion clinic which offers procedures one day a week, using doctors who fly in from Minnesota. Read the whole article. So what’s the solution? Allow states to cut Medicaid spending on contraception and family planning services (because that will decrease the abortion rate). Allow pharmacists to refuse to fill women’s prescriptions for contraceptives. Make safe, legal abortion more difficult to access.
Will that be what ends abortion? I’d love to hear someone try and defend this.
On a bit of a tangent (because I haven’t had much time to blog lately, so I might as well cram a lot into this post, right?), I watched a documentary the other night on TLC on an Egyptian baby born with two heads, and it reminded me of this conversation from a while back. The gist of the documentary was that the baby was born perfectly normal — except that at the top of its head, there was another head attached. The second head only had a neck, no body, and it used the other baby’s body for all of its basic life functions. But it had its own brain. It cried on its own, moved its own mouth, and blinked its eyes. It was, without a doubt, a separate being — except that it was a parasitic head, unable to survive without the other head and body it was attached to. What did the doctors do? They detached it, without a second ethical thought. It died, there was no question of that. But was it “killing a baby”? Was there a better or more ethical option?
Throughout that thread, there were the usual questions of whether a fetus is part of the woman’s body, it’s own separate entity with individual rights, or something in between. I happen to think that it’s something in between. But what this documentary made clear is that there is no moral or ethical responsibility for one being to allow another to live off of it. Is a parasitic head exactly the same thing as pregnancy? Of course not, and I’m not arguing that they’re perfectly parallel. And it feels a little morbid or strange, even comparing a baby born with two heads to an unwanted pregnancy. But the ethical issues of detaching this being that has no chance of survival without the body its attached to are certainly similar. Even if we argue that fetuses are entirely separate beings, why should women be required to carry those beings to term, and to allow them to live off of their bodies without their consent? How would this be considered fair, ethical or moral in any other area of medicine or law?
On a completely different note, check out this article on the dangerous choices facing pregnant Iraqi women.
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