It was interesting to see this pop up, after several quite snarky responses on the piece from you. I was going to respond in kind, but this seems like an honest enquiry.

So, firstly, the fact that a foetus is differentiated from the mother doesn’t really concern me. A bundle of cells that might one day become a human is still vastly distinct from an infant. Cell scrapings from the inside of my cheek could be used to make a vastly different human being than I am even though we’d be genetically identical, as different genes were expressed and different experiences were had. Does that mean that we should protect every cheek scraping with the same vigor as a human child?

As to the killing for convenience argument: that’s certainly your opinion. Technically it’s actually not correct if you are referring to medical abortions, which don’t have any direct impact on the foetus itself. I would phrase it as rescinding the availability for the foetus to use the woman’s body.

It’s a bit funny, really, because it seems like you actually agree with me there. If the foetus is distinct from the woman’s body, and “capable of functioning apart from it”, then surely any abortive method that doesn’t directly impact the foetus would be entirely moral? All you are doing is depriving it of the mother’s resources.

I would err on the side of caution and not forcibly impose my will on another person’s body.

And honestly, the language of murder is a pointless antagonistic waste. I could just as easily accuse you of pregnancy-raping or something similar.

As to your final rejoinder, I’m surprised by happy to see your inclusion of birth control in the mix. There’s excellent evidence demonstrating that improved sex education and free contraceptive provision is the most effective method to reduce abortion rates — banning abortions, unsurprisingly, does nothing whatsoever.

Epidemiologist. Writer. Podcaster. Twitter FB Email