Why the Right to Privacy Argument for Abortion Fails

By J. Brian Huffling

A common argument used by abortion advocates is: “A woman can do what she wants with her body! Since it is her body that is going through the pregnancy, then she should have the right to terminate the pregnancy.” However, this “argument” fails for a number of reasons.

Why the Right to Privacy Argument for Abortion Fails

First, it is not an argument. It is an assertion. An argument is a series of at least two propositions that logically lead to a conclusion. That doesn’t happen here.

Second, there are a myriad of things that a person can’t do in the name of privacy or by appealing to “this is my body.” A person cannot do drugs (excluding marijuana in some places) and simply get away with it, even though it is his body that is affected by the drugs. A person, in most places, cannot prostitute herself, even though it is her body. (Some have actually argued that prostitution should be legal because it empowers women and it is their body.) Examples could be multiplied, but hopefully, the point is clear.

Third, and most importantly, it isn’t her body!!! When deciding to murder a baby in the womb, arguing “It’s my body, so I can do it” is simply asinine (that means incredibly stupid)! If a woman was going to abort herself, that would be suicide. Abortion takes the life of the baby, not the mother. The baby is a separate being with its own DNA, blood type, and gender. The baby is not identical with the mother. So, even if she could do what she wanted with her body, the baby is a different story.

Some will retort that at the moment of abortion (presumably in the first trimester), the fetus is not a human yet. However, this is ludicrous. The only reason to claim this is to justify abortion. What else would it be? The baby is a product of sexual reproduction, which can only reproduce another member of the parents’ species. Two humans cannot sexually reproduce another species. At conception, the baby has all of its needed chromosomes (the same number of fully developed adults). The fetus simply needs time to develop. Two humans can only reproduce humans. The fact that the baby isn’t fully developed doesn’t make it a non-human. Our bodies don’t stop developing until the early twenties as the frontal lobe of the brain is still forming (this is what connects reason and emotion, which explains why teenagers can be very irrational).

One cannot help but wonder why liberals are so concerned with women’s rights while simultaneously willing and even advocating for the outright murder of so many women (female babies). Such advocates are not advocates of love and compassion, but of hatred and murder.

Forgiveness

If you are reading this and have had an abortion, or know someone who has, it is important to know there is forgiveness in Christ. Yes, abortion is wrong. You probably already know that. But it doesn’t mean that you are outside of grace and forgiveness. God’s grace covers even abortion. Know that. Hear the words of John: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all [all!] unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

As Christians, we should condemn abortion for what it is while also remembering and communicating the grace of Jesus Christ.

 


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8 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    This ignores that there are good libertarian reasons to allow people to make the decision for themselves to take drugs or prostitute themselves. You’re just comparing abortion to other situations when the state interferes with individual rights.

    Reply
  2. Andy Ryan says:

    “One cannot help but wonder why liberals are so concerned with women’s rights while simultaneously willing and even advocating for the outright murder of so many women (female babies).”
    .
    Liberals can ask why anti-choice people claim to be so concerned about foetuses but then lose interest in the welfare of children once they’re born. The liberals’ position is at least consistent – they don’t see abortion as murder because they don’t see a month-old foetus as having personhood.
    .
    “If you are reading this and have had an abortion, or know someone who has, it is important to know there is forgiveness in Christ.”
    Just checking: would you say the same to man who went into a cafe and shot a customer there in cold blood? Your answer may well be ‘yes’, but would you genuinely see the two as being equivalent? If you were at a party and someone confessed to you that they’d slit a stranger’s throat once for the fun of it, would your reaction be the same as it would to a woman who told you she’d had an abortion?

    Reply
  3. Andy Ryan says:

    “Third, and most importantly, it isn’t her body!!!”
    My wife’s had two children. I can assure you that it was her body that had to go through nine and a bit months of carrying the child both times.
    .
    “The fetus simply needs time to develop.”
    And coal simply needs time and the right conditions to become a diamond. That doesn’t mean coal and diamonds are the same.
    .
    “The fact that the baby isn’t fully developed doesn’t make it a non-human.”
    No-one’s arguing that it’s another species. Hair that falls out my head is human hair, but I can say that it’s not a human being without having to prove that it isn’t a dog.
    .
    “One cannot help but wonder why liberals are so concerned with women’s rights”
    If you insist on making this a ‘liberal/conservative’ issue then you need to account for why we keep finding out about prominent Conservatives paying for their mistresses to have abortions.

    Reply
  4. toby says:

    An argument I heard recently puts a new light on this issue for me. We all agree that a fetus/baby is genetically distinct. We disagree on it’s value based on the mother’s wishes. We would also disagree on what personhood means. But what we don’t disagree on is the idea of consent. If someone does not consent to be killed then we say that they’ve been murdered and have been wronged. If someone doesn’t consent to sex we say that they’ve been raped and have been wronged. So what makes a fetus different? If a woman does not consent to being pregnant she is basically wronged and has (or should have) the means to correct this. In that case the fetus has less rights to her body that she does. To me at least. I have not heard a good case as to why a fetus’s rights should outweigh that of the mother’s.
    .
    I find it really odd that the “keep the gubment out muh life” crowd really want to shove it in there as much as any of the worst fascist governments the world has known. The shoe would be on the other foot if the government were telling them that they all had to be muslims. Or that men had to get consent from their wives, a manual prostate exam, and be in a facility that is so highly regulated that the size of the hallways and square footage of the bathrooms had to be precise otherwise it would be closed down and they couldn’t have their funtime pills.

    Reply
    • TGM says:

      “I have not heard a good case as to why a fetus’s rights should outweigh that of the mother’s”
      I’ve heard the case made that there is something wrong with a woman who would want an abortion. I suppose the argument is that she’s not not of sound enough mind to claim her rights first.
      .
      Several years ago I had an eerie conversation with three young Christian woman. They were all arguing the life position against me. To this day, my skin crawls in recalling that there were these women arguing to restrict their own freedom to me, the middle aged white dude, who would seek to preserve it. And they kept pulling out this plastic model fetus, like… “look at the tiny baby. This is what you want to kill.” Honestly.

      Reply
  5. Susan says:

    Great clarifying article.

    The fetus is a separate person and it is control freaky and selfish of a woman to ignore and deprive another person of their life and personhood in favor of their own selfish choice.

    It is also not right to say people’s choices only affect themselves so people can do whatever they want when the truth is careless living affects future reproductive capability as well as the health of future descendants and generations.

    Women who have abortions are more likely to have trouble conceiving again later and sometimes suffer from emotional trauma.

    Reply
    • toby says:

      Is it wrong for someone to rape or to murder a woman? A simple yes or no is all that’s required, then I’ll elaborate.

      Reply

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