The Collegian
Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Prisoner of womb

In last week's opinion section, an article was published titled, "Abortion Seems to Defy All Logic." The author began by making the analogy of the past enslavement of African Americans to the enslavement of aborted babies.

Putting the faulty logic of this unoriginal analogy aside, the author fails to realize that by outlawing abortion - which is the objective that the article advocates, society would be enslaving women - making them prisoners of their own wombs.

Like many anti-abortion advocates, Caleb apparently views women not as human beings, but instead as second-class citizens who do not deserve autonomy over their own anatomy. One of the major claims was that life begins at conception, citing a quote from the U.S Senate.

This quote is from a 1981 report from the Senate Judiciary Sub-Committee on Separation of Powers on Senate Bill 158, the so-called Helms-Hyde "Human Life Bill," which attempted to limit the power of Federal courts to interfere with anti-abortion legislation introduced at the state level. Basically, his only source of factual evidence is derived from an outdated and obscure bill that many physicians have since opposed. In truth, the debate over when life begins is as complicated and controversial as the debate over the meaning of life.

I am not an expert, and I will not pretend to have all the answers. However, I can say that if a person were to fall and scrape his knee, that piece of shredded skin would contain living cells. So does a fetus. To argue that because a fetus has living cells it is thus a human is to argue that the skin from a scraped knee is a human as well.

Of course, this is a stretch of the imagination, as a piece of skin does not have the potential to turn into a human being. However, a fetus, a grouping of live cells, is dependent upon a person, a woman, to undergo that transition to become a person.

Caleb also stated that the pro-abortion argument that a fetus is dependent upon a person is irrelevant and does not justify "killing" the fetus. He argues that no one would say that elderly citizens who are dependent upon pacemakers to live should be killed, and similarly, fetuses who are dependent upon women to live should not be killed either. To this I can only say that I hope Caleb's friends and family inform him that a woman is not the equivalent of a pacemaker, as his analogy suggests.

In fact, a woman's life is not comparable to any type of medical device. This is actually the real problem that needs to be addressed: the value of a woman's life. In today's modern times, women are recognized as equal citizens by both law and society. As citizens and human beings, we are entitled to certain unalienable rights, with the most important being the right to choose our own fate. If one does not have choice, one does not have freedom. Women have the right to freedom.

It is unfortunate that he thinks that women forfeit their right to choose their fate and no longer deserve freedom the moment they conceive. According to many other anti-abortion supporters, at this point a woman's rights become less important than the rights of the fetus. The fact that the entire argument was centered on the rights of the fetus proves this. What about the rights of a woman?

Pregnancy should not be a reason to devalue the rights of a woman, to deny her the right to choose, and thereby ultimately to amputate her freedom. The author of the other article defended his right to voice his views on abortion despite having a Y chromosome. On this point I agree with him. He does have a right to freedom of speech, just as I should always have the right to freedom of choice, despite having two X chromosomes.

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