Yay! Another discussion about abortion!

I just added my two-cents to a discussion happening on Facebook about whether or not abortion is morally right, and where does life begin, etc etc... and I realized there is hypocrisy in this idea that a woman is obligated to carry a fetus if she becomes pregnant with it.

So, instead of launching into why or why not abortion itself is permissible, and under what circumstances, let's debate about something entirely different with this in the back of our minds: if a woman is obligated to sacrifice her body because the fetus has a right to life, it follows we should all be obligated blood-and-organ donors because others have a right to life as well. And I'm serious. I know I'm introducing this first as an abortion issue, I want you all to form an opinion about something else.

Don't you feel good about yourself when you donate blood? Wouldn't you feel proud if you were able to save a family member's life by giving them one of your kidneys? Gosh, your blood type was a perfect match to that poor little girl with leukemia and so you want to give bone marrow! How about some plasma? Just think of all the things you could give and live without to save another life... ~warm fuzzies~

Now imagine the government coming in and demanding you donate all those things you can live without. Sure, that kidney might come in handy when you are diagnosed with cancer, but let's worry about that later. People are dying! They need your body to survive! Literally, the government wants you to give it your lifeblood. Not just once, either. However many times you can give in a year, you're required to check in and give it up... you know, for those people that have a right to live, nevermind it's at your expense.

So think about that. It's for the greater good. You don't need any of that to live. Well, and hopefully you'd get it back when you were in a similar state of need. Do you think the government should be able to force people to give up their bodily autonomy for the sake of "the greater good", whatever that really means?

Does saving another life justify the pillaging of another's body?

Stay on topic, kiddos! No rabbit trails about why you think abortion is right or wrong, just stick to the issue about being forced to donate organs/blood, etc. :D


This just in: someone on Twitter submitted a link to the Vatican's thoughts on bodily autonomy. I thought it was ironic and wonder why people don't make this connection.

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I wouldn't say that only men hold the anti-abortion/pro-life viewpoint.  I have personally met just as many women as men that condemn the practice. 

it always baffles me the same people that preach about "liberty" and "too much government" want to force the same government to invade ur home, your bedroom, and of course certain cavities in your body. every time i bring this up to someone who wants to make abortion illegal, they just get furious, they have never given me an answer. they need to pick an political ideology and stick to it, its called having a spine...

sadly these issues are distractions to capture the attention of the mob, so that certain people of influence can rob you of all your value without resistance.

That is why I preach those words AND am in favor of people being allowed to get abortions.

Agreed and agreed!  I love a pro life conservative or a keep government in check liberal.  Have to say that while we're being distracted, some people's rights are slipping away.  So, I have to care about the bigger issues and be distracted by the personal issues.  I do wonder what the next distraction would become if abortion were sucessfully banned? 

Freedom of the body is the most basic and fundamental freedom. If you're not in charge of your own body then your not in charge of anything and are effectively the lowest level of slave. Furthermore, you cant be forced to donate anything, there are no obligatory donations, that is called taking by force. Would I allow the government to take by force my blood or organs? Hmm. No, I think I'm going to say no. I don't even donate blood as is because I don't think I meet the requirements, but no way is anyone stealing my blood. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if they tried. This is a fascist nation with private prisons, and three strike laws, and militarized police, and religious brainwashing, and if the government said "stick out your arms boys and girls, we want your blood" a lot of the desolate, empty eyed followers would not even stop to ask why.

I'm not sure what an "appropriate" punishment would be if for no other reason I certainly don't think this would be an appropriate mandate. We could imagine all sorts of terrible ways for the government to insist on its way in a situation like this though. Someone earlier mentioned the draft as proof the government thinks it has a right to our persons. What is the punishment for evading the draft? I think the charge might be treason, and certainly prison-time would be in order... at best. 

I don't actually like thinking about the possibilities if this hypothetical situation became a reality! I would really hope it wouldn't come to this... ever! So far, we all agree that it's totally unethical for the government, or even (especially) a church, to claim a right to our body. I think we should look at abortion with fresh eyes when considering that this is an absolute parallel.

i think it's a matter of personal choice and how one was socialized. If we are all "individuals" then no, we should exercise our "individual" rights to free choice.  However if we are "community" then we should be our "brothers keeper" and sharing life should be understood and no need for mandate. As for the "greater good", that's used for the benefit of the few who have the resources..it keeps the masses off their asses...

Right, I agree that we should donate blood/plasma if possible. But I, like you, don't think it should be mandated. Especially since there are those that have a phobia of needles, or maybe they fear transmittable diseases, or... whatever. It should be a choice we feel good about and are not traumatized by.

What is interesting about the comments here is that when it comes to an explicit violation of ones privacy everyone seems to agree - the government does NOT have any right to tell you what to do with your body. But implicitly this violation has always been there. From the government telling us which chemicals we are allowed to introduce to our own body (drugs), to telling us we cannot end our own lives even in severe pain and suffering (euthanasia). From telling us which body parts we have to cover with clothes to telling us who we're allowed to have sexual intercourse with and even how. And then even dictating us exactly what to do with our bodies when pregnant.

Even though this idea about harvesting our organs might sound like a silly thing, is it really that far from reality?

Cara the progress women have made will not be undone and we should all fight for them and you! Obama says is more eloquently than I...

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: the abortion debate is NOT about “right to life.”  It is entirely about the belief by fundamentalist Abrahamic religious freaks that the Old Testament was right: that women are the origin of evil; that they are consitutionally inferior; and that they are to be completely subservient to men.  (Google “Promise Keepers”).

In your first paragraph, you alluded to “hypocrisy.”  Amen!  If these fanatics were actually interested in the sanctity of life, they would stand against war; but they actually LOVE war and the torture and killing of enemies, real or imagined.  They would oppose the death penalty; but they cheer Texas Republicans who gloat over their record number of executions of prisoners, guilty or not.  They would call for discarded eggs in the in vitro process to be saved and stored; but they actually show complete lack of compassion for THOSE potential lives.  They would vociferously oppose the murder of abortion doctors and their supporters; instead, they exult in the notion that a “baby killer” was assassinated.   They would speak out against genocides like the one in Sudan; but they remain silent, because the killers claim to be Christian; it’s okay for Christians to kill non-Christians - those people don’t have a “right to life,” apparently.  Finally, they have been silent about the cold-blooded murder of Trayvon Martin, whose “right to life” is unimportant to them.  Why?  Because, if you haven’t already noticed, these anti-abortion, anti-contraception freaks are pretty much all white. 

Make no mistake: the growing efforts to force women to undego medical procedures that they don’t want or need and that their doctors believe are unnecessary; and the new laws that restrict the access to contraception are nothing more than a concerted effort by insecure, religious men to impose complete control over women.  The saddest part is that their women acquiesce to their implied inferiority.

Parenthetically, have you ever heard one of these whackos condemn the child-molesting priests?  Of course not.  Priests are MEN, after all - holy men who should be obeyed in all things, including whether a woman can control her own reproduction.  If they get their rocks off on little boys and girls from time to time, so what?  But a “slut” and “prostitute” like Sandra Fluke must be silenced by a REAL MAN like Rush Limbaugh, whose had four wives, so far, and no children. Presumably, his latest young blonde spouse is docile and obedient to the Rushter, so far.  And by the way, either Rush USES contraception a lot, or he has been shooting blanks.  There is a third possibility, but I won't be so crude as to mention it.  

From the utilitarian viewpoint, it is quite justifiable and, in fact, morally necessary. The pillaging of someone's body is so despised because it is a far more personal violation of liberty than the appropriation of property through taxation etc., but in essence they are very much the same. Each is dedicated to the utilitarian ideal of the 'greater good' (which has only developed a stigma because of its association with Socialism).

Liberty for its own sake is worthless. Anarchists are the only people who truly reject the utilitarian ideal; every person living under a government sacrifices freedom for 'happiness' (in one form or another), for if freedom was the most valuable 'moral commodity' we would would never be ruled, since it would replace freedom with something less valuable. In doing this, we implicitly value happiness above liberty, thereby defining it as the superior moral 'absolute'. The reason we demand a great deal of freedom is because we are the only ones who can truly known our own minds, so in order to maximise our own happiness (thereby unwittingly fulfilling utilitarian conditions) we demand liberty; a degree of liberty is a necessary condition of utilitarianism.

Hence, if we are truly follow our principles, we would be led down the utilitarian path of maximising happiness. The unavoidable conclusion of this is that mandatory 'bodily pillaging' is morally necessary if it is likely to work for the greater good. 

Note: I would not opt for this. I, like all other people, have a strong degree of self-interest. Conforming perfectly to the utilitarian principle will never happen. For a society that implicitly accepts utilitarianism, we make a lot of compromises in the name of self-interest, which is veiled by the notion of liberty as a chief virtue.

If we are truly principled (which we rarely are), then we would not oppose 'bodily pillaging'. 


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