A Terrible Fear


The pro-choice position seems predicated on the idea that the political right of a woman to choose is superior to the biological right of someone to survive. In order to uphold this perspective, and to give adherents supreme authority over their bodies, pro-choice contends that no one can prove when life begins, thus challenging us to establish criteria for “life.” Because it is a debate with no resolution pro-choice offers an intellectual umbrella beneath which women can invoke the right to terminate a pregnancy at any point. The benefit of the doubt is given to the host female, not to the unborn child.

To preserve the right to choose, the female, and the males who support them, must be allowed to view the unborn child through the lens of legalism and a clinical vocabulary. Through objectification, the individual is absolved from bestowing upon the foetus the status and rights of an entity. If it were to be declared a being as distinct as the mother, abortion would perforce be outlawed.

The demand by pro-choice for what it calls reproductive rights has a militant flavour. It claims that the female alone has the right to determine the course of conception because the outcome resides within her body. This thesis did not arise in a vacuum; it emerged from the rebellion of feminist thinking against a social system that was in many ways oppressive. Without the power to control reproduction, pro-choice believes that women would forever be at the mercy of that system. Because of this, the focus for pro-choice is not a question of life – it is one of personal power.

Coupled with Feminism is post-modern thought, a form of relativism on steroids. This view of existence proposes that there are no absolute truths, and therefore one person’s world view is as good as another’s. The pro-choice platform is upheld by this belief and is plainly heard when advocates say things like: “I believe that conception creates a living child but I cannot hold others to this view.” A parallel statement would be: “I believe it is wrong for adults to have sex with children; however, if other cultures find it acceptable, who am I to say they’re wrong?” Relativism allows adherents of pro-choice to believe that truth is a matter of opinion, and gives permission to emphasize personal choice over life.

In defence of pro-choice, it must be said that the adherent is not necessarily against the possibility that conception has created a life, it simply emphasizes a philosophy which allows women to abort whether they think life begins at conception or not. Each person decides for herself; in this way, she retains control over her own life.

A terrible fear impels pro-choice, and therein lies the sadness. It is a position like that of a woman who has successfully stormed the citadel and vows, “Never again!” She has seized control over reproduction, and drawing a line in the sand proclaims that the choice to birth her child is solely hers. She alone claims the right to choose whether she carries a living being or a piece of tissue to be discarded.

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