Right to life or right to choice

The question arrives in the debate between those arguing that woman  should be able to choose abortion (pro-choice) and those arguing that we have no right to terminate a life. This is a huge ethical dilemma. On one hand you have the woman’s right to choose, and on the other hand we are talking about ending the life of a living creature.

But, there is more then just the woman’s right to control her body and the fetus’ right to life that is at stake. When a woman carries a child, it is at a huge cost of her body. It can severely affect the woman’s family and the child’s father, in particular if they are poor. It can lead to the woman dropping out of school or work for years, and in some cases effectively end her career. This is a huge loss to the society as a whole.

There is also a question about when a fetus becomes a life worthy of protection. With modern day technology it is possible to keep a fetus alive outside of the mother’s womb from about week 21/22 during the pregnancy, although the survival rate is far from 100% at this stage. There is also a huge uncertainty about exactly when the fetus develops consciousness, and gets it’s own thoughts and emotions. We know it happens before it is born, but not at which particular state.

The common opinion among pro-lifers is that the value of the life of the fetus is more important then all of these other arguments. The fetus is a living creature that we have no right to kill. I can understand this argument, although I do not agree. I see this as a serious ethical dilemma. The woman is the one person that this affects more then anyone else. She should be able to make the decision  based on her own morals. No other person is more capable to make the decision then her. She knows exactly what is at stake. And it is wrong of us to enforce our own morals upon other’s, in particular when they are as controversial as what we are dealing with here.

Some pro-lifers brings the argument a bit further then this. They claim not only that the life of the fetus is more important then everything else, but also that the woman’s situation is irrelevant. How some people can say things like this goes beyond my understanding. If the woman is irrelevant, her situation in this is not even worthy of being mentioned. And that is incredibly rude, considering that everything evolves inside her body, which in some cases can be permanently damaged during pregnancy and birth. This is ignorance at an exceptionable degree. It would mean that the woman, from the moment she becomes pregnant, is degraded to a vessel to carry the baby. Woman deserve better then that.

Life with no choice is a no-life.

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