Assumptions behind "the abortion debate"


4 comments posted
Wombs are property ... now we want your kidneys

The state asserts its power over what happens inside a woman's body. Using arguments about "life," the state asserts it is working for the common good by compelling a woman to carry through a pregnancy - even if it endangers the woman's life or if the pregnancy was forced.

This same logic - the state controlling someone's body for the common good - might be extended to kidney donation, or bone marrow transplantation, or even blood donation. Until now, these have been voluntary and being an organ donor is a personal choice.

If the state has a compelling interest in seeing pregnancies through because of life, what about these other situations.

To whom does the body belong?

It can be argued, "but there's a baby. What about the baby's right to life?"

Well, that's a pretty point, because there are any number of people who are well beyond "baby" who need organs, marrow, and blood to give them their "right to life."

On the one hand we find it morally repugnant, and pretty much illegal, to sell our kidney (just like we can't sell babies), but it is right for the state to get involved if it preserves life?

How selfish of someone to die without having offered their body to the state. The state has more use for the corpse than does the bereaved family.

If a woman's womb can be seen as needing state regulation for the "right to life," then a man's body could also be used in this way - to the concept of organs, marrow, and blood.

With most people having two healthy kidneys, and each year a significant number of kisney patients can no longer tolerate kidney dialysis, under the right to life, what stops the state from compelling people "donate" their kidneys?

The state is crossing a line and some want to make is a sharp line. Wombs only, but that line is not as sharp as some would like it to be.

Today it may merely be wombs, but as the anti-abortion people oft remind us of a slippery slope, they aren't looking at the precipice behind themselves. And that slope is at least as slippery as the one they have their eyes on.

A blanket right to life means adult life, too, and the day make come that our bodies are the property of the state.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 21 March 2006 - 2:49am

Actually, if you ask me, a person should be allowed to sell a kidney if he so chooses. Free market and all that.


pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit on 21 March 2006 - 9:12am

I hear how "selfish" women are when they ask that a rapist's leavings be removed from their bodies. I wonder if those who are trumpeting so loud about this are ready to take the next step and say that people who aren't organ donors are selfish?

Life they say begins at conception, but it ends at death, so why not harvest the needed parts to help others live? That would be the argument for the other side of this coin.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 21 March 2006 - 10:12am
I'm sorry, Mr. pennywit, you MUST give up your kidney

After all, the person with a tissue match to yours has a right to life. You cannot simply withhold organs on demand!

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 21 March 2006 - 10:51am