If not a right to choose, then an obligation not to?
From the outset, to even ask if a woman should be entitled to retain sovereignty of her own body, is to ask if civil freedom itself must be subject to the censure and oppression of an unduly empowered elite. Speaking of individual freedoms, must, of necessity invite comparisons with oppression at every level of society, since we can no more justify freedom by removing the will of the individual concerned, than we could hope to forever suppress it via universal subscription.
For myself, the primary question goes to one of precedent. Where we’d make the choice to deny women this most fundamental and far reaching of choices, we’d practically sanction the opening of any and all floodgates to include every last whim and bone of contention by any organised group of sufficient animosity . Being that the right to dictate both one’s own personal social contact and the unique prerogative of presiding over one’s own physicality, must stand as the foremost recognition of freedom, their suppression, or, in this case, absolute denial sends the clear message that not only are women to be made to continually chafe beneath the yoke of historical inertia, but further, that an individual’s right to pursue their lives as they will, must first be accredited on the sole basis of gender.
Dealing with the issue of whether foetal consciousness should impact any conclusion, the traditional approach has been to overlook the broader social implications of morality and progressionism in favor of the minutiae of cell biology. As much equates with the same biological determinism that was once used to not only justify, but to propagate, the slave trade. The idea that physiology must take precedence over and above the collective global mindset and desire for social improvement. The very same approach we see utilised towards discrimination and elitism in terms not only of gender and race, but of sexual orientation, age, physical capacity and economic status.
There is a very real danger here in attempting to partition these issues to the point where no common denominator is acknowedged.
The ramifications of abortion, inclusive of the effects upon family members and loved ones notwithstanding, the final choice must always lie with the woman herself, or it lies with others, and to the detriment of those qualities we call respect, compassion, tolerance and empathy. The view taken by those in opposition to abortion can be summed up as at once deleterious and literally hypocritical, and in terms of both social contract and cultural moral development.
Be assured that where any society looks to imposition of unchecked suppression and brutality, it sounds it’s own death knell.