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Countering Pro-Abortion Arguments 11

It’s my body to do with as I want.

  • The preborn is not a part of the woman’s body. Once fertilization occurs, a new, unique, individual human being is created. As Professor Jerome Lejeune has stated: “The fetus is a human being. Genetically he is complete. This is not an opinion, it is a fact.”
  • “Every one of the higher animals starts life as a single cell-the fertilized ovum.. .The union of two such sex cells to form a zygote constitutes the process of fertilization and initiates the life of a new individual.”
    Thus, while the preborn child resides within his mother, he is truly an individual, possessing his own body, metabolism, genetic makeup and unique destiny.
  • The preborn is not the woman’s property. This concept is an explicit sanction of filial slavery. Parents are legal guardians of children, never legal owners.
    Human beings may never be considered chattel, or the property of another. All are “created equal,” and possess an inherent dignity because they are a part of the human family.
  • Prohibiting abortion cannot be equated with “forced motherhood” or feminine servility. Once a woman has conceived a child, a new, unique individual human being has been created. Thus, the woman is already a mother; the separate life within her is her child. “Forced motherhood,” rather than an apt description of anti-abortion law, is more appropriately a description of rape with the intent to impregnate. Prohibiting abortion does not force conception or motherhood, it protects the human being already conceived.
  • Even if the woman’s body was our only concern, there are still legal limits on human behavior-social constraints on individuals for the common good. An individual’s rights usually end where another’s rights begin. Killing someone is the greatest violation of another’s rights.
  • Yet even beyond this, people are governed by social constraints for the common good. Thus, drug use and other destructive behavior is prohibited even though the user is acting upon his or her own body. Likewise, prostitution is prohibited, even though the prostitute has individual autonomy over his or her body in other circumstances. Further, people are obliged to pay taxes, support public schools etc.-all for the common good. People wishing to remain free members of society have to accept just constraints upon their personal freedom. Without just constraints, anarchy and anomie will result.