May 03 2010
Abortion, then, involves the killing of a human being. But that abortion involves the deliberate killing of a human being is no reason for abortion to be illegal. Nor should one be morally troubled by it.
This is one of the less troubling citations from the article by a philosophy prof at Saint Mary’s. People with disabilities, watch out. Calling on Stephanie Gray to have a sit down with this man (she’s rather good on how/why/when we are all human).
It would take a great deal more philosophising for me to be untroubled by killing a human being, just by the by. Even if I were well-versed in what would make me totally happy and independent, and understanding that a human being is not a person.
Brigitte would like to highlight some other troubling bits from that piece: Specifically…
A human fetus, on the other hand, though human, has only a rudimentary awareness of its environment and lacks self consciousness entirely. It has no interest in living, for it can have no interests at all.
Because a fetus is not a person, killing a fetus is not killing a person. That established, now comes the time to speak of a woman’s right to choose. A pregnant woman is a person, and because easy access to abortion helps her to live her life as she wishes, we as a society should make sure abortion is easily available to women generally.
Now it is true that each human fetus is potentially a person, in that, most likely, in the fullness of time, any particular fetus will become a person. But this is an argument against abortion only if it is better to have that particular future person walking around than it is to respect a here-and-now person’s autonomy.
The overall point is that abortion is not in any degree a morally fraught option. A woman considering whether to have an abortion or, instead, to raise a child is making a practical decision, not a moral one. This is what we who are pro-choice have to make more widely known.