I believe every individual has exclusive Rights to their own body.
ON THE MATTER OF MEDICAL OPINION
We have given medical professionals the authority to determine whether or not a person is “technically” alive. If a doctor pronounces a person brain dead, for example, the family may pull the plug on that individual without being charged for murder. So the question becomes, “At what point is the fetus technically considered a living person?”
The answer to that question varies depending on one’s point of view and beliefs. However, if we give the Government the authority to overrule one person’s beliefs, we give it the power to overrule any of us, thereby disregarding our Right to our individual views and beliefs. For make no mistake, if we allow the Government to criminalize Abortion we are forcing women to heed Government control.
And we must maintain an equal view of the act: if we allow the Government to forbid abortion to one woman, then it must forbid it for all, to include situations of rape and incest. Either the act of abortion is acceptable, or it is not.
ON THE MATTER OF BIRTH CONTROL
If we accept that birth control–- that is, interfering with the natural course of events through the use of condoms, Depo-Provera shots, etc.-– is acceptable in the first place, then we are merely arguing the timing aspect of Abortion. If we can not agree that the Sperm and Egg are not, in and of themselves, technically alive then even upon successful conception a man will have caused millions of deaths based on the Sperm which did not connect with the Egg. Thus, we allow birth control because we do not view it as murder.
Until we can determine with absolute certainty the point at which Life actually begins, we cannot, by definition, call abortion murder. And by that rationale, an abortion has broken no Law and cannot be interfered with by the Government. Without proof of Life, an abortion is merely another form of birth control: the destruction of Sperm and Egg to prevent child birth.
ON THE MATTER OF CONCEPTION
And lastly, we’re brought to the question of conception, itself. As stated before, we must ask at what point Life begins. Some believe that a soul is born at the very moment of conception. But what of those who do not believe in souls? Should they be forced to surrender their own beliefs to satisfy others? This is why I believe Abortion is a matter of personal choice, to be discussed between an individual and their doctor for medical advice, and between an individual and their Priest, Deity, and/or spouse for moral advice.
We cannot disallow abortions based on the assumption of religious beliefs, no matter how strongly some would hold to those beliefs. If an individual believes that the moment of conception is the start of Life, then that person may refuse to have an abortion... but that belief does not entitle that individual to dictate someone else’s course of action.
Under no circumstance should the Government–- Federal, State, or Local-- be involved in the decision-making process to allow, or disallow, Abortion, given that Life has not been determined.
Monetarily, I support the use of Government funds to pay for an abortion in the case of rape or incest since those issues arise from a lack of control, or decision making, on the part of the woman. If the rapist is captured, however, that person should be responsible for reimbursing the Government. In every other case, however, people should be required to compensate their doctor as per elective procedures.
1. What about the potential father’s Rights in the decision-making process? Good question. I think the answer is fairly simple: having sex with someone does not grant ownership of that person. In the end, we’re still talking about the woman’s body, not the man’s.
Pregnancy requires the active participation of both the man and woman. Therefore, in the event that a woman gets pregnant during sex the “fault” should fall to both parties. If the woman desires an abortion, the man should be required to pay 50% of the cost as the use of birth control, or lack thereof, is the responsibility of both parties. And again, while both participated, at the end of the day it is the woman's body and thus her final decision.
In the case of men claiming to have been set up–- that is, claiming the woman supplied a defective condom, for example-- I would question why the man did not supply his own; condoms are used by the male, not female. I would not expect a woman to suggest a man carry a ready supply of birth control pills or sponge devices.