Let’s say I break my arm.
I guess I could just leave it. Maybe it’d fall off. Perhaps it wouldn’t.
But if I had any sense I’d get it seen to.
Or I might catch a serious disease which if left untreated would kill me.
It’s around injuries and accidents that we have developed the mordern health care system. “First do no Harm” is what doctors sign up to – they’re there to fix stuff that would otherwise kill us or do serious injury.
Pregnancy is not a disease. It’s a normal bodily function (in the female of the species anyway).* Without it, the human race would have ceased to exist centuries ago. Without it, this blog would have no readers.
I am assured by women I know who have had several children that pregnancy is seriously inconvenient. It typically starts with months of vomiting and nausea and vomiting and ends with a very large belly that makes certain tasks quite difficult and squashes various internal organs creating such problems as a need to frequently urinate. In the case of an illegitimate conception, a late term pregnancy tells the whole world of the shame of the pregnant woman.
(Of course, in this day and age there is rarely shame in such situations, indeed the entire concept of an illegitimate pregnancy is largly absent from our society. Strangely however the feminist movement seems to forget this fact whenever abortion is discussed.)
I am also assured that life after birth is severely inconvenient too. But believe it or not, that’s beside the point. Any parent who really finds the inconvenience of a live baby too much to bear may utilise foster parenting or adoption.
No, this post is about abortion and questions of ending a pregnancy. To me, the ultimate question is one of the convenience of terminating a pregnancy verses the fact of the human rights of the baby. Does the woman have the right to “her own body” or does the conceived baby?
Again, let me more clearly define what I’m talking about. I’m speaking of situations where the woman has consented to the sexual act knowing that one probably outcome of choosing pleasure over responsibility is a pregnancy. Rape or incest are quite different debates to consensual situations.
But back to my original point. Healthcare is fixing a broken arm, or treating a disease. Doctors do not cut off arms because patients ask. You cannot go into a hospital and ask to be injected with smallpox because you’d like a few days off work or a new experience.
So why can a woman go into a hospital and ask for a procedure which, if universally applied, would end the human species?
*Yes, I’m male. Get over it.