One of the more curious pro-life arguments is the allegation that getting an abortion is an evasion of sexual responsibility. The argument is essentially a variation of “You made your bed, now sleep in it.” In this case, if you slept with a man, now bear his baby—no matter what. Any attempt to escape the consequences of sex is by this logic a supreme act of irresponsibility, a desire to get out of paying the “price” of one’s actions. (The cost of the abortion is not considered a sufficient price.)
This is a very strange kind of logic.
Let’s say while driving down the street one becomes temporarily distracted, or falls asleep for a few seconds, or does any number of things people do while driving that render them less than 100% alert. Normally, one recovers from these mistakes. One swerves back in one’s own lane in the nick of time, or slams on one’s brakes a second before impact, etc. But this one time one doesn’t recover and one causes an accident that results in a very serious injury to oneself.
Now one should be accountable for one’s own mistakes, correct? If this is the case, then if a person is hurt in an accident of his or her own making, why should such a person be allowed to receive medical care? Isn’t that an evasion of responsibility? I mean, hey, if you drive fast, or fall asleep at the wheel, or become distracted from traffic in front of you, and you end up hurt as a result, why should you receive help for your injuries? Why do you think you have a right to be put back into the same condition you were in before your act of irresponsibility, eh?
Well, the pro-lifers will argue that my argument is just plain silly. They claim that abortion is an act of sexual irresponsibility because the fertilized egg is a human being. But this is a non sequitur. If the zygote is a person, sexual responsibility is not the issue. Life is the issue. If the unborn is a human life with rights, a woman shouldn’t have an abortion because she ought to be punished for her mistake or be held accountable for her behavior, but because a life is at stake and she is bound to honor that life whether she made a mistake or not.
If rights begin at conception, then a rape victim is just as obligated to continue a pregnancy as any other woman.
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