Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who said that a woman has a right to have an abortion because it’s her body? This is one of the most common ‘defenses’ of the pro-choice position; so more than likely, you’ve heard it.
It’s hard to respond to. Here are some ways you can talk about this argument.
A woman’s body is one thing; a child’s body is another.
This may seem obvious, but to some people it’s not. Yes, a woman can do what she wants with her own body. If she really wants a mullet, or to rock that pink hair, by all means – she has a “right” to that.
On the contrary though, a woman does not have the right to choose what is going to be done to another person. If you were forced into having pink hair, or forced to jump off a bridge – the person who made those decisions for you would have violated your rights. Everyone can agree with that.
When a woman makes a decision to kill her child by having an abortion, that decision doesn’t affect only her body, but another person’s. That choice infringes the rights of the child for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
No person’s rights are more important than another person’s rights. Abortion says the exact opposite.
If a woman has a “right” to do what she wants with her body, then that responsibility starts before she gets pregnant.
If someone doesn’t want bad breath, they brush their teeth (or chew copious amounts of gum). If soccer players don’t want broken shins, they wear shin guards. With our bodies, we can see something called cause and effect very clearly.
If someone doesn’t care about having bad breath, then they’re not going to brush their teeth. There is a natural order so that when you do something to your body (or don’t do it) there is a direct result. That same person who doesn’t brush their teeth cannot get angry for having bad breath – they made that decision.
A woman who is sexually active and gets pregnant can’t really be surprised by the result of life in her womb. The reality is that sex, in it’s proper context, is meant for a love that is free, total, faithful, and fruitful – resulting in a baby.
More than 93% of today’s abortions are done for social reasons; the woman doesn’t want a child to interfere with her plans, or money issues. Those women who knew they didn’t want to have a child had the choice to have sex, or not to.
A woman does have a choice about what she can do with her body; it’s the same choice you have when you wake up and decide whether or not you want to wear deodorant or not. If you don’t, you’ll have to deal with the consequences.
The best response is always love.
When talking with someone who uses any argument to defend the right to have an abortion, the best way to approach the conversation is always with care and love.
When a woman says “this is my body” in talking about her decision, she’s usually speaking more out of fear rather than malice. She doesn’t want to deliberately kill her child because she hates children.
Jesus also said “This is my body” (Luke 22:19) at the Last Supper the night before He died. He said this when He was giving Himself to us in the Eucharist. Those words were based on love and self-gift. A mother has the same opportunity to make a gift of her body, her very self, to her child.
Remind her that we have a God who loves us unconditionally, and there is nothing that can change that.