I've been thinking a lot about abortion over the last few days, since Obama promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he's elected.
And I've been trying to think of ways to explain the problem to some of my more pro-choice friends and acquaintances without resulting to religion, or even natural law (since some of these people believe in neither.)
So, how about this one? (Please feel free to critique my argument in the comments, if anyone reads this, since I'm trying to build a more convincing case.)
For a moment, assume that abortion has no negative effect on the mother. (I don't believe this, but we'll assume it for the sake of argument.)
In that case, abortion is an act that delivers a good to the mother by ending her pregnancy. At the same time, it deprives her child of a good, by ending his life.
Now, if abortion were "fair", the good delivered would equal or exceed the deprived good.
So the good delivered (assuming that without abortion, the mother in question would just continue the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption), is about 9 months of the mother's life where she doesn't have to deal with the inconveniences and discomforts of pregnancy, plus an avoidance of childbirth( which many women seem to fear unreasonably.)
The baby, on the other hand, is deprived of 60-70 years of life.
Clearly, in this case, the harm to the baby outweighs the good to the mother... so we must be giving the mother's rights a LOT more weight here than the baby's.
You could probably draw a parallel to slavery, where the good to the master (cheap labor that allowed greater agricultural output) did not counterbalance the slaves' loss (many people deprived of liberty for generations). In this case, also, the slave owner's right to a comfortable life was given a lot more weight than the slaves' right to freedom.
So, at this point, my question for pro-choice friends and acquaintances is: What current circumstances justify weighting the abortion equation to give the mother's rights such a high priority over her child's?
Obviously, this is not the entire argument for the pro-life side. For instance, I would argue that the abortion industry as currently formulated also does grave harm to women. Especially since a dog being spayed has, under current law, MORE right to expect competent care and sanitary conditions than a woman at an abortion clinic does.... but we'll put that problem aside for now...
Anyway, if this blog has any readers (I'm not sure it does!) does anyone have a comment on the argument above?