2017-01_LT-MyBodyMyChoice

Abortion/Morality/My Faith

“My Body, My Choice”: A Logical Breakdown of this Pro-Choice Argument

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been the farthest thing from a biology fan. I’m a proud nerd, but I could just never get fully interested in cells and ecosystems. I would much rather talk about the planets and all of the galaxies than the fact that the Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

The one thing that I did take away from Biology class is just how incredibly complex and beautiful a pregnancy is. From the moment of conception, so many mind-boggling processes begin that mark the start of life. When you step back and look at how much occurs from the moment of conception, it’s hard to comprehend all of that is happening in a woman’s uterus – it’s miraculous!

Of course, I don’t have to tell you that abortion is a an issue that is highly debated in this society. On the pro-choice side of the argument, I’ve often heard the statement, “If it’s my body, then it’s my choice.”

So, let’s talk about that statement and see if it’s objectively true.

Breaking it Down

The statement is an “if, then” statement where the second half, the “then” statement, builds upon the fact of the “if” statement. However, “if it’s my body, then it’s my choices” implies that there is no other person affected by the action.

It’s like saying, “If it’s my body, then I’m going to eat two packages of Skittles and deal with the consequences myself.” It may not be what’s best for you, but since you aren’t affecting somebody else by your actions, nobody has authority over that specific choice that you would make.

Another example of this logic would be, “since it’s my body, I want to remove my appendix.” Since nobody is affected except the person whose appendix would be removed, the argument of “my body, my choice” would make sense. When the only person that can be affected by a decision is the one making it, then that person can act on the basis of their own free will.

The logic stands on its own as rational and stable. However, the statement loses all credibility when applied to pregnancy. When the argument of “my body, my choice” is applied to the topic of abortion, it fails to acknowledge that there is actually someone else that is affected by the choice of an abortion: the child that is growing within that body.

A Life (almost) Forgotten

There are so many signs that there is a new life that has begun from the first stages of pregnancy. From a zygote at the beginning, having a heartbeat at six weeks, and a plethora of different biological signs that life is within a uterus (which you can read more about here). This fact that a new and unique human life has begun is widely accepted by medical professionals and by scientists.

There are “official” scientific signs of life and from the moment of conception, that teeny-tiny baby has all the signs of that classify it as a new life. While that life might not look like the baby that will eventually get delivered, it’s still life nonetheless — a human life.

What the “My body, my choice” argument fails to take into account is that there is another life and another human, another body — with their own set of rights! It doesn’t work to claim bodily autonomy and freedom for oneself as your “rights” while at the same time denying another person’s rights — specifically the right to life.

Though dependant on the mother for safety and nutrients in order to grow, each human person is a separate person, with a separate set of their own rights, apart from the mother. If no one can take away the rights of the mother, then how can she take away the rights of the child?

The Argument (Now Applied Correctly)

The argument “my body, my choice” fails to recognize the baby is a separate human with their own body. The argument simply doesn’t apply when someone else is directly connected to those actions. “If it’s my body, then I get to punch the person next to me” is not an argument that sane people will find logical. There’s simply no justification to hurting somebody else just because you’re involved with it.

If the “choice” ends another, separate human life, than the argument simply has no ground to stand on.

The statement of “My body, my choice” is ultimately one that fails to acknowledge those around oneself, specifically the baby within the body.

Read more about this here and here.

About the Author

Dillon Duke

I’ve convinced way too many people that I’m majoring in Dragon Slaying at Hogwarts when in real life I’ll actually be studying Communications at The University of Houston in the Fall. Being the Catholic band nerd I am there is always a Bible, Skittles, drumsticks, and a Rubik’s Cube in my backpack. I have a cool collection of football cards I’ve spent years building, awesome people I’m honored to have as friends, and the most forgiving and loving God that I will never deserve. You can find my life in 140 characters on Twitter @dillduke