Abortion: A Strictly Philosophical Discourse on Morality. Part 1

Posted: February 12, 2012 in Freedom, Health, Morality, Philosophy, Politics, Violence
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Before we begin the arguments for and against the moral permissibility of abortion, I’d like to talk a little bit about why it’s important to discuss this philosophically. At the social level, when we have arguments about things as controversial as abortion, we rely on intuitions. Some things just feel intuitively wrong, and to let others do those things, feel just as wrong. It feels wrong to murder, and it feels wrong that other people commit murder. These intuitive mores stem from our traditional values taught to us by our guardians and communities. Allowing room for abortion in our society has opened a can of worms for a few decades, and I’d like to peer a little further into what we call intuitions so that we can actually defend our arguments beyond, “It’s just wrong!” or “Well, why not?” Recently, the political debate has shifted back to the culture wars of years past. Legislative action has been taken fore and against rights to birth control access, gay marriage, and abortion. In some states now, it is mandatory for a woman to see a sonogram before they choose abortion. This is purposefully done to elicit an emotional response. What we are going to talk about is the nature of that emotional response and whether or not it’s founded in reason; whether or not it’s rational for this deliberately provocative law to be enforced. However, this debate will take place pre-politics. In other words, things are not morally right or wrong based on what the law says, or what politicians or theologians say. For example, it is morally wrong to cheat on your spouse, but not illegal. It is also considered amoral to take drugs recreationally, but it is highly illegal. Legislation is based on the communal knowledge of moral topics, not the other way around, and so the more we understand about what it is we feel is right and wrong, the more accurate the legislation will be to our liking (let’s hope). The point is to motivate a deeper understanding of why we hold our own beliefs and moral standards. Why is abortion morally wrong? Why is murder wrong? Are they the same thing? What about in the cases of rape, incest, or mother’s at risk of dying due to the pregnancy?

Still a polarizing topic.

We will also be holding this discussion outside the realm of religion. While the anti-abortion position is most commonly held by religious conservatives, the actual religions themselves offer little insight into the arguments. At their core, what ever reasoning can be interpreted from the religious texts can be contained within the philosophical arguments anyway. Besides, pointing to a centuries old book which condones many things we now consider immoral (i.e. slavery, rape, polygamy, betrothal, torture. Just to name a few), and saying that it is an authority on abortion is a little asinine. It is clear to anyone who takes a moment to look that our morals do not arise from theodicy. Philosophically speaking, if there was a god that pronounced, “Abortion is immoral,” it doesn’t necessarily follow that we must agree with that particular god either. As many people in the world know, justice does not always come from the powerful. Souls too, are a dubious thing. There are too many questions we’d first have to answer about souls, which we are helpless to answer no matter what religious or new age book we’ve read (and no, they do not weigh 21 grams). Where beliefs are subject to questioning in terms of morality, religion often claims to hold the ultimate position, though its reasoning is as intellectually unsatisfactory as, “It just is,” or “Because I said so.”

There is one last thing before we get into the first of two (or more) opposing arguments I’ll present here. Most, if not all, the material presented here is as accurate as I can portray it from a textbook and class lessons in Bioethics. Many of these explanations are direct from a professor who deserves most of the credit for being informative and artfully nonpartisan. On top of sharing this topic with everyone, it will serve to be my own study guide and I only make this point to express that there are other versions of these arguments out there, and perhaps better ones to be made. These are not necessarily my own philosophical views on the moral permissibility of abortion. Again this is only an exercise in learning about how to analyze our own beliefs.


Position 1:

Tooley’s Argument for the Permissibility of Abortion

Most social conservatives would say that killing a human fetus (for the time being we will use the term fetus to umbrella all stages of the unborn, never mind zygote or embryo) is morally comparable to killing an adult person. It is murder. It might be possible that someone, out there in the conservative world, believes that aborting a fetus would be the same as killing a lizard and that it is still morally wrong, but I have yet to hear any one propose that argument. So for now we will assume that all anti-abortionists hold that killing a fetus is the moral equivalent to killing an adult person. Again, it is murder.

Michael Tooley, a philosopher, would describe this using the term Moral Status (or Moral Standing). Essentially anti-abortionists imbue a human fetus with the same moral status as a standard adult human being. Already some of you might be trying to figure out whether you feel this is true. Well, let us consider this: What moral status does a rock have? Presumably, none. Why not? For something to have moral status, it needs to be the type of thing toward which moral agents (you and I) have moral obligations. If we break a rock, or drop it into a lake, we do not hold a funeral or a candle light vigil for its loss. It’s just a rock, right? A rock is not something to which we have moral obligations. Well, what about a chicken? What about a chimpanzee or a dolphin? Somewhere in your mind there is a scale of things to which are ascribed with different levels of moral standing. An animal generally tends to have a higher moral status than a desk or chair, or even plants and insects. We tend to grant the highest level of moral status to standard adult human beings. When I say standard adult human beings I mean the kinds of beings that can think in terms of moral principles and regulate behavior accordingly. You may not be a standard adult human being if you are in a persistent vegetative state, like what people refer to as being brain dead or in a coma. This is not to say that a person in a persistent vegetative state has the moral status of a rock, but it does imply that generally speaking, and all other things being equal, that person does not have the same moral standing as a standard adult human being. To reinforce this concept: If you were in a burning building with the opportunity to save one person, a) someone who is in a state of brain death or b) the attractive model down the hall, you’d probably choose the latter.

What gives a standard adult human being moral status? Is it fingers and toes? or hair? and two eyes, a spine? Not really. These are mere physical attributes. Remember, when I said, “standard adult human beings [are] the kinds of beings that can think in terms of moral principles and regulate behavior accordingly.” This means that we must have a few mental properties in order to do these things. Properties of standard adult human beings insofar that they are moral agents are things like sentience, self awareness, the ability to suffer, etc. It also follows that because we are self aware; we understand what the self is. Some animals show signs of being able to understand themselves. Certain types of monkeys can recognize themselves in a mirror, and not try to grab the monkey behind it or throw shit at the copy-cat reflection. This is a sign of self awareness. Other animals express the desire to not die. This is crucial. While we do not think a lizard has a concept of self, we do notice when we threaten its life, it will resist death. This means it has some kind of concept of self, to which it wishes (to some degree) to continue being in existence. This grants it, at least a smidgen of moral status, beyond something like a blade of grass, which we mercilessly mow down and slice at.

Ok, so now that we have a cursory understanding about what moral status means, we can move onto what Tooley means when beings have a serious right to life. A human being can be many things. In a genetic sense, it is anything with the code we classify as Homo sapien. If we remove the brain from a person, but keep the body alive with machines, is it still living? Well, yes, perhaps in the same way a car with the engine on would be. Is it a human being? Only genetically. Is it a person? Tooley would say no. He would explain that if X is a person, then X has a serious moral right to life. A serious moral right to life is equivalent to having full moral standing. A serious right to life takes full moral standing a little further by saying, “if X is a subject of experiences and other mental states and X is capable of desiring continued existence, and if X desires to continue to exist as such an entity, then others (us) are under a prima facie obligation not to prevent it from doing so.” Sounds complicated, I know. Essentially what it means is that if something doesn’t want to die, and it is fully aware of itself and that it wants to keep it that way, we are generally obligated to not fuck with them. All else being equal, we are in a sort of moral contract to not kill X. In order to want to continue to exist, a being must have a sense of self, the capability to desire, and the understanding to some degree of existence and non-existence.

Tooley argues that a human fetus is not yet a person, though it is a human and a member of the Homo Sapien race. It does not have a serious moral right to life in the same way adults do because it is not self aware amongst other traits that determine high moral standing. One might think that this is up for debate, but it is generally accepted that humans do no attain self awareness even after birth. Fetuses are also incapable of desire in the way a standard adult human being is capable of desire. So to desire to continue to exist is completely out of the realm of what a fetus can do. This ultimately means that a fetus does not have full moral standing. Aborting a fetus, to Tooley in this way, is not the same as killing an adult human being.

Anyone well versed in the arts of argumentation will also be able anticipate the counter arguments used against them. Michael Tooley defends against 6 alternative points and we will do it in the form I copied from the blackboard.

“It is seriously wrong to kill and organism…”

1)      …that belongs to the species Homo sapiens.

  1. Tooley already defended this point regarding special cases in which certain Homo sapiens are not granted full moral status. But, what if being a member of the classification Homo sapiens means something special? Tooley would call this speciesism. In the same way that saying to be White is more virtuous than being Chinese is racist; to say that being human is more virtuous than being a whale is arbitrary and unfounded.

2)      …that belongs to the species Homo sapiens and has achieved human form.

  1. Again, permanently comatose humans or humans where the brain is  removed completely, still is a human but does not have a serious right to live in the same way a standard adult person would.

3)      …that belongs to the species Homo sapiens and is capable of spontaneous movement.

  1. Well what about sufferers from ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease), or other forms of paralyzation? Their mental faculties are unperturbed. They are still capable of full moral status.

4)      …that belongs to the species Homo sapiens and is capable of existence outside the womb.

  1. What about conjoined twins, where one is completely dependent on the other to live? Or in more extreme cases, where one is parasitic to the other, and one life must be sacrificed to save the other. Gruesome perhaps, though still a necessary side of the argument.

5)      …that belongs to the species Homo sapiens and is no longer in the womb.

  1. Uh, we’re talking about abortion still right?

6)      …that has the potential to become one of us.

  1. This is the most potent counter argument to Tooley. It is the argument from potentiality, of which we will discuss when we move onto the next philosopher. A common argument used by anti-abortionists is that you’re robbing the potential life of something that will eventually become a person. That is not to say that you’re killing the next Leonardo Da Vinci or as some anti-abortion bill boards claimed over a year ago, the next President, because it could also be said that you’re killing the next Adolf Hitler or Pol Pot or Charles Manson. This is called conjecture, and using slippery slope arguments are not permitted. Never the less, to deprive a potential person of personhood strikes many people as intuitively wrong. I think this lies at the core of many mainstream beliefs for anti-abortion position holders. Tooley responds to the people who argue for potentiality, which I’m going to hold off for now.

Up to this point we have read about a seemingly reasonable argument for the moral permissibility of abortion as supported by a one Michael Tooley. The response comes from another philosopher whose entire argument addresses the 6th objection listed above. Before I continue onward with the second part of this topic, I’d like to hear from you readers. Abortion is a polarizing topic. If you’re against the argument, sound off! If you think this sounds reasonable, explain why. Are fetuses people? If you think they are and have something not addressed by the above argument, then please contribute! If this philosopher changed the way you thought about abortion, be sure to include everything you can about that. If I get enough comments I’ll continue with this topic.

  1. JBO says:

    While I don’t want to undermine philosophical discussion of any type, does not any on discourse on the ‘moral standing’ and ‘human potentiality’ of fetuses sidestep real-world abortion concerns? Even if we can successfully argue that abortion is ‘murder’ in the most heinous sense, or that a fetus is ‘human’ in the most robust sense, would that play any role in concerns that women (perhaps couples, but never just MEN) face when they find themselves, for whatever reason, about to go through pregnancy and become responsible for a newborn? Would not abortions be sought by those in this position whether it were legal/ethical or not? The causes of unexpected and/or unwanted pregnancy seem the most paramount and addressing them the only way to avoid some (forever) slippery philosophical discussions, in my view. I realize that’s a tall order, such as it is.

  2. Robyn says:

    Abortion is a very polarizing topic and not something that can be taken lightly. In the cases of rape, incest and risk of death to the mother, I feel that abortion is a valid choice. Even if (in the first 2 cases) the mother carried to term and gave the child up for adoption, the sheer agony and torture, for lack of a better term, the woman would have to face every day knowing that there would be a living reminder somewhere in the world of that hideous violation. That, I believe, is cruel and unusual punishment, especially for the person whom the crime was committed against. As for the third scenario, the mother would be dead, leaving the child without its mother and very possibly with a lifetime of guilt over unintentionally causing the death of their mother.

    As far as other situations go, for the most part, I agree with Roe v. Wade. Women have the right to have control over their own bodies. Some may say that by having an abortion, the woman is taking away the right of the fetus to have control over its own body. However, if the fetus could not survive on its own outside of the womb, it would not have control of its own body anyway. Would it be better if abortion was illegal so women, regardless of the reason, would find medical hacks to perform these back alley procedures that could endanger the woman as well?

    Personally, I don’t know what I would do if I had an unwanted pregnancy. I know what I think I’d do, but until you’re in that situation, like in most things, you don’t really know for sure what course you’d take.

  3. Jack says:

    How about the question of killing an organism that:
    1. Is a child molester or mass murderer
    2. Osama Bin Laden – everyone cheered when they heard about his death
    Wonder how many “anti-abortionists” oppose the killing of the above

    • The Riot Act says:

      When we talk about the aborting of fetuses and murder, we are talking in terms of unjustified killing. I may not have made that explicitly clear. When we are talking about killing people in self defense, or in retribution, then there can be a moral case in their deserving to be killed. This isn’t necessarily murder in the sense we think of it. Murder is unjustified. This of course wades into a different argument about whether or not any type of killing can be justified, but I take the liberty here of using it in the most familiar sense. Thanks for the comment!

  4. […] Abortion: A Strictly Philosophical Discourse on Morality. Part 1 (theriotactnyc.wordpress.com) […]

  5. I guess would initially object to the following on two grounds, first being the requirements of “moral status, and second, the idea that speciesism is necessarily relevant, even as a point of refutation to any objection which may be raised, I choose this initial foreseen response because there are responses to other objections which follow from it.

    In relation to moral status, it has in defined as being “standard adult human beings [are] the kinds of beings that can think in terms of moral principles and regulate behavior accordingly.”. This definition I would find to be unsatisfactory, it would then exclude beings whom are unable to think in terms of moral principles, such as cases of psychological abnormalities, or even those resulting from physical disturbances such was the case of Charles Whitman. Yet in such cases I would retain that these are still incidents of adult human beings, even though their capacity for holding moral principles has been impaired.

    “It is seriously wrong to kill and organism…”

    1) …that belongs to the species Homo sapiens.

    Tooley already defended this point regarding special cases in which certain Homo sapiens are not granted full moral status. But, what if being a member of the classification Homo sapiens means something special? Tooley would call this speciesism. In the same way that saying to be White is more virtuous than being Chinese is racist; to say that being human is more virtuous than being a whale is arbitrary and unfounded”

    I would retain that, yes, having the classification Homo sapiens does augment status. Homo sapiens capacity for ration thought alone sets them apart from the rest of the current evolutionary spectrum. The analogy of virtue in relation to being White over Chinese as opposed to human over a whale is apples and oranges, even to the argument of “higher and “lower” pleasures may be applied to this point. Relating to this objection, I noticed a picture posted on facebook last week there there was a checklist, listed as being checked off read “emancipation”, “civil liberties”, “women’s rights” and lastly, unchecked,was “animal rights”. Initially I thought it was a “which one does not belong” picture, however, when I realized it was actually attempting to put forth a statement, I replied in kind. Its not like the argument from potentiality may be applied to either of these examples(this whale may be the next what?…Moby Dick? This lizard may be the next…throwback Budweiser or Disney/Dreamworks inspiration?), as it can for Homo sapiens. I would bequeath the same amount of credence to this response as I would to this list, the implication being none at all.

    • The Riot Act says:

      Well to respond to you first point, you’re right. Tooley submits that things that cannot think in terms of moral principles do not have full moral standing and a serious right to life, and you’re right to point out that this leaves room for some argumentation. Actually, Tooley’s argument leaves room for infanticide. He maintains this position intellectually. He has to. Though, in most cultures (though not all) infanticide is taboo. Good observation.

      Secondly, you identify homo sapiens as having the capacity for rationality, which is what separates them from the rest of the branches of fauna that inhabit the Earth. Well, we can use thought experiments to play around with this notion. Simply, if there was another animal that suddenly developed all the rational and moral capacity as homo sapiens, would we still hold ourselves in higher moral standing? Would that be solely because we were homo sapiens? If so then it’s speciesism. If not, then why? So while currently it happens to be the case that homo sapiens are the only beings that seem to have the ultimate capacity for rational and moral thought, we may not be the only ones with the basic capacity for it. Other species might have the early potential for our level of reasoning, and it’s just the happenstance of evolution that one species should be so advanced and that we just happen to be that species. My second post I think addresses this a little bit in an indirect way.

  6. chadachada123 says:

    What about people like me, who actually think that abortions are the *moral* course of action for pretty much anyone that is unsure of their ability to raise a child, especially if they lack the means to take care of them?

    In my opinion, it’s selfish to want to force a child into this world when they could alternately never even know consciousness.

  7. Vanessa says:

    Even if we valued a fetus (covers all terms of pregnancy, still) as exactly equivalent with a 100% healthy adult male, in every single case, the fetus still would not have the right to life IF the life was coming at the expense of parasitically using the body of an unwilling human host.
    Here are additional arguments not mentioned, countering every argument I hear every single day.

    First of all, sex does not mean consent to pregnancy, just as it is not consent to STDs, proof that it’s not the case is that for over 4,000 years we have been trying to find birth control methods that really work, from lemon diaphragms to condoms made out of animal intestines, and spermicide made of crocodile droppings, etc.
    Second, it separate sex and love from procreation?
    Newsflash, we can make virgins get pregnant (potentially I never heard of us actually doing it) by using IVF and other such methods, which is another method of separating sex, love, and procreation, it is completely invalid as a complaint. Sex, love, and procreation all have their own places, and they don’t HAVE to be mixed together. If you personally prefer it, good for you, you can live like that, but I choose not to.
    Third, if all women always aborted every pregnancy (alternatively “think like you” because I do not want to be pregnant, I will not keep a pregnancy, and I refuse to feel bad about it. I have all kinds of mental and physical things holding me back from wanting to, and with my bipolar and such, if I ended up attempting suicide and living or anything at all, I could easily be charged with murder. I’d rather not take the time and legally kill any fetus in me…end rambling) then the human species would die out!
    Ummm, not everyone thinks like me, not everyone will abort. In fact more “pro life” women abort than pro choice women. Our population is increasing, and if we are facing any kind of endangerment issue, it’s not cause we aren’t making enough babies, it’s because we have too many people for our environment to handle.
    Fourth god/the bible/jesus/pray/heaven/ etc.
    Sorry guys your personal religion is completely invalid. There is no proof that your god is more valid than any other god. You may choose to live accordingly but we do not live in a theocracy, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to prove any of your claims. Your claims of “my god is the true god!!” is no more or less valid than someone of any other religion.
    Simply put, I do not mind you having personal ethics based on a religion I may or may not be a part of, BUT I do mind you trying to force your religion onto me, my (figurative of course) children, my friends, my government, or my society.
    Fifth Wouldn’t you be hurt if you went through (describes an abortion, typically a late term one which happens in about 1% of all cases, often forms that are no longer used, but acting like it happens in every abortion all the time).
    yes I would. Because I have a developed nervous system, thus the ability to feel pain, I also have a brain, making me capable of registering pain, I also have thoughts/memories which add to it.
    Simply put, a fetus (usually aborted within 11 weeks) can not, so if I was the same age, no I would not feel a thing.
    Sixth What if your mother aborted you? Remember your mother was pro life!
    First of all, in my case, I actually would prefer to have been aborted. I suffer chronic, unexplained pain similar to arthritis or lupus. I have a heart condition that makes pregnancy life threatening. I have several mental health issues including bipolar and tokophobia, as well as aspergers and anxiety. I was never actually wanted. Yes my mother thought she wanted kids, and she does like kids, she just doesn’t want me specifically, and has made sure to show it since I was 6.
    no I wont “fix her mistake” by killing myself, I have reasons to keep living, but with the pain I live through everyday, I really do wish I never would have been put through it.
    Second, you don’t know if my mother was pro life or pro choice, she even told me she DID consider aborting me, but was too scared to, she only had one ovary at the time because at 15 she had a cyst that was too threatening the ovary had to be removed. She was believed infertile, and she thought I was the only one she could get. 5 kids later she does regret having me.
    Abortion would definitely have been the best and most humane solution in my case, and I do feel like a victim by not being aborted, and when people use this argument against me, it really does trigger my bipolar and depression.
    Seventh well if you don’t want a baby there’s always adoption.
    Really? Never heard of that ever!
    Actually, abortion ends an unwanted pregnancy, adoption ends unwanted parenthood. Adoption would do nothing for my issues, I actually would like a kid, I just don’t want to get pregnant, I will adopt, an older kid, you know one of the millions of children waiting for a loving home that go through their whole lives without one so that parents can be selective and only get the cute little, healthy, babies they want.
    Plus infant adoption hurts every single person ever involved, if you don’t believe me contact some natural mothers yourself. you may find a couple that are not in pain over it, but many many more recall it, and suffer everyday. Not to mention what the children go through, and how the adoptive parents (if they even care, as some just don’t) feel when they see the hurt between mother and child, even the natural father hurts.
    Adoption hurts, and it is sick, sick, sick to promote that. Once all the children in the system have homes you can talk about loving families that want to adopt. Really, but when there are thousands in each state, and millions worldwide, I really will not buy into it. Adoption should be to help children that need homes, not use women as incubators for other women.
    In fact I met one natural mother that found out she adopted to a fertile couple out of the guilt they put her through, she went through torture. Why? Because the woman did not want to get stretch marks or gain weight. Who is selfish now?
    Eighth abortion is unnatural. Actually no it is not. 80% of all pregnancies are aborted, naturally. 50% of all pregnancies are aborted before the woman even knows she is pregnant. It’s called spontaneous abortion, it happens when for some reason the host and “parasite/baby” are not compatible at that time for some reason. My pro choice aunt had 13 of them (known) trying to have one baby, due to lupus. Mother killing child is unnatural? You should really go out and see nature. Of course on paper statistics will not agree with it being logical or the way things should go for the species, but it happens, frequently. Some animals even use contraception, many animals kill their young shortly after birth. I witnessed my friend’s rabbit do exactly that, bit heads off, smothered them with fodder, etc.
    I also witnessed two cats go through a similar experience, one of which had a dying kitten, the mother decided to attack it and kill it right then. I stepped in and saved the kitten, and he lived. The other cat, however, had a dead kitten and was physically mourning that kitten, despite her other 4 healthy ones.
    yes some animals despise offspring, some animals simply do not want to handle one that will reduce the ability to survive and thus “sacrifice” it, and some will mourn their losses. In fact the same animal could do both of the latter two.

    Abortion is perfectly natural, any way you slice it. You just have to give up your rose colored glasses when you take a look at nature.

    Ninth Pregnancy is not a disease that you need to “cure” and I despise birth control being seen as some type of medication, even “preventative medication.”
    Actually, you are right, pregnancy is not a disease. It can lead to disease, like my heart, but it is not a disease.
    it is however a disability. Every pregnant woman, to different degrees, is disabled. Even the same woman in different pregnancies. In one pregnancy my mom was confined to the couch all pregnancy long due to severe morning sickness. She was also under so much stress her doctors advised her to not quit smoking. (me)
    In the next she was working 3 jobs, up until 6 months pregnant when they started firing her over her pregnancy, and her husband was laid off work at tyson’s; we became homeless for several months, even living on welfare, despite her working hard all through the pregnancy. She was able to quit smoking (my oldest brother)
    The next one was similar to that one, except she only had one job, and was slightly more disabled. Nothing real notable about it. (my second brother.)
    Then she was pretty much unable to do anything but stay in water and relax, as anything else caused too much pain. 5 months in she had to stay on bed rest. She had twins, and the boy one had to be flown out of state for health complications, requiring 2 more months off of work. (my third brother and first sister)
    So yes to different degrees pregnancy is a disability, and contraception is a preventative medication to prevent a temporary disability, and/or a medical procedure (childbirth, or abortion). Just because in your mind that equals women view pregnancy as a disease, doesn’t make it so.
    Tenth -gory picture of an “abortion” which is not supported by facts and is unverifiable, often late term, or 3d type pictures of fetuses, never showing any abnormality, never showing the early stages where it does look like a glob, etc-
    Well you want me to describe what a fetus does inside you?
    In the womb, in the last trimester, a fetus begins to start learning how the breathe, to make it’s lungs functional in the outside world. To do this, the fetus does breathe in amniotic fluids from inside the uterus. Do you know what that’s made of? The fetuses own urine. After breathing in the fluid, it is then released again, in the same fashion as it was before.

    I know, how about we let people watch a real abortion before getting one, exactly the same week they are along, and using the method they choose, the surgery, or the RU 486 pill.
    In addition, those wishing to keep their baby, must watch a birthing video with the same requirements, same week, vaginal or c-section.

    If blood and gore is enough to change someone’s minds, I wonder if they will have a child after watching that?
    I know at least 3 women who are tokophobic due to watching a birthing video. One of which watched the video, then it was rewinded and she had to watch it backwards too, she’s still scarred.

    Sooo if scarring from watching abortion makes abortion immoral, perhaps birthing is super immoral.

    My eleventh point is expanding upon my opening. Even if a fetus had full personhood status, felt pain, looked like a cute little baby, etc. it still has no right to live off an unwilling human host.
    We do not allow forced organ donations. Yes many of us view refusal to donate organs or blood which may safely be donated as selfish and immoral, however some people see it akin to cannibalism, often for religious reasons. We do not judge them, they have a different moral status. We cannot say if we are right or they are right, so we keep it at freedom to choose if and when to donate body parts.
    A woman donating to a fetus is no different.

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