In the June/July edition of the Free Inquiry Eileen McDonagh writes that it is time to reframe the abortion debate in the wake of South Dakota declaring that a fetus is a person. I think this is a great article and reminds us that something has been lost in the debate.
A woman has the right to withhold consent when it comes to pregnancy and Ms. McDonagh lays out why consent to (pregnancy) is important in the current climate and how it may be used to ensure abortion rights (and access!) in the future.
There is an irony though. Anti-choicers have fought hard to get the personhood of the fetus recognized but Ms. McDonagh’s new argument shows that even if Roe is made moot by such manuvering – the war is not over.
Declaring the fetus a human being may just be the downfall of the anti-choicers:
South Dakota bestows upon the fetus the same rights as a born person. Using that standard, we see that, even if the fetus has a right to life and even if he fetus is a person, it has no right of access to another person’s body to meet its own needs – because no born person has such a right [emphasis added].
To bestow such a right to the fetus would fall under ‘special’ rights conservatives accuse us various liberals of trying to obtain.
It should be noted that what is moral and what is legal are two different things. I may be morally responsible for providing marrow to my dying child, but I am not legally responsible for providing marrow. I have the legal right to not consent to such a thing and any attempt to force me is illegal.
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