Freedom, Equality, and Abortion

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Faith & Theology / Political Commentary / Society & Culture

"Abortion on Demand & Without Apology&quo...

Many in America today passionately support a right to abortion, even after five months into the pregnancy. Perhaps we should all join in and protect this right.

But let’s not be incoherent in our logic and values.

The central premise is that a person’s human value—whether or not an unborn child has rights or deserves to live—is dependent upon the will of the mother. Thus, if she determines that the child is a blessing, we will celebrate, congratulate and support in every way. If, however, she decides the child is a significant obstacle to her plans and desires, we will refer to it as a fetus, treat it as one might treat a tumor, and remind the mother woman that her own strength and independence are what is most important in life.

Our laws should also reflect this premise.

Why base legality on an arbitrary timeline? At minimum, abortion should be allowed up to the final days of a pregnancy. We should also be open to some reasonable grace period after birth, during which the mother can decide whether to keep the child alive. She could also give the child up for adoption—though current trends suggest abortion would be chosen around 90 percent of the time. As the child is the complete property of the mother, the father should have no say in this choice, and should indeed have no legal right or obligation toward either mother or child.

The more profound change must occur in our culture.

Without rights or obligations, men ought to be seen more as sexual objects, only occasionally needed for child-bearing in case a woman should decide that motherhood is something she wants to explore. But even in such a case, it is not necessary to engage in a long-term relationship, since modern science frees the electing mother from such an arcane dependency. This is certainly not to say that relationships are wrong. A tolerant society should always value the choices people make, and two adults ought to enjoy the freedom to establish a traditional family environment. That is what makes America great.

We have already made great strides in breaking down oppressive expectations about what constitutes a “normal” or “healthy” family environment. This is great news on our path toward a free and equal society.

Every year, over one million babies are killed fetuses are removed, without unnecessary pressure on women to demonstrate health risks or other reasons. Aside from safe and legal, abortion is becoming more available and affordable than ever before—especially with governments picking up the tab. This has resulted in tens of millions of American women who are more free today. They are free to engage their sexual pleasures without being tied to one partner, free to pursue the careers they want, and free from all of the curses of motherhood. Instead of worrying about personal sacrifices or taking care of other people, more women—and men—can now focus on themselves. At least until they decide they are ready to settle down.

Like those before us who fought to end the oppressive abomination of slavery and prejudice that devalued human beings to the level of animals, we should all join the fight for the freedom to abort an unwanted child, so we can become a more prosperous, virtuous and just society.

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