Debunking the Body Autonomy Argument

Definition of Body Autonomy:
Body autonomy is the right for a person to govern what happens to their body without external influence or coercion. 

This right is often cited as a justification for legalized abortion, but we need to look a little deeper.

The Body Autonomy argument is about the right to refuse to get a medical procedure that could save someone, not some right to get a medical procedure that would kill.

The Body Autonomy argument is about having the choice. In the case of a pregnancy, the vast majority of the time the woman made a choice already, and the reasonable result is pregnancy. Preventing her from killing her unborn baby does not negate the fact that she already chose and choice is not being denied.

The Body Autonomy argument relies on the fetus being something other than a human person. If the fetus is a human person, then abortion is literally forcing a medical procedure on a person to kill them for the convenience of someone else, and the life and death situation would take precendence. The baby comes first, because her life is at stake, versus the mother’s convenience, comfort, or career. Even the UN Population Fund says “Having bodily autonomy does not mean any person gets to undermine the health, rights or autonomy of others. Individuals have the right to choose whether to have sex or get pregnant, for example, but they are not entitled to impose these choices on others.” This means that a mother has no right to undermine the health of her baby-in-utero, if that baby is a human person.

Oftentimes with abortion a young woman is pressured into an abortion she doesn’t want because her parents or the father of her child don’t want to deal with the consequences. This coercion causes both an unwanted medical procedure on the new mother and the death of an unborn baby.

In Washington v. Glucksberg (1997), “And although Casey (Planned Parenthood vs Casey (1992)) recognized that many of the rights and liberties protected by the Due Process Clause sound in personal autonomy, it does not follow that any and all important, intimate, and personal decisions are so protected. Casey did not suggest otherwise.”

The 14th Ammendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Note that the first clause is about citizens, but the second and third are about “persons”. If a fetus is a person, it is given “equal protection of the laws,” protecting “life, liberty,” et cetera.

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