The Chauvinist Corner                  



DOES A WOMAN HAVE A RIGHT TO CHOOSE? Of course. She can choose what to eat each day. This is a choice and she has a right to make a decision as to what that choice is to be. No individual that I know of opposes this right. Therefore, it appears to be without opposition that a woman has a right to choose. The title phrase of course is too ambiguous to have any meaning worth getting into large scale debates over. It is an incomplete statement, in that it has no object or qualification as to what she might be choosing.

If the title of the article were rephrased thusly, “A woman's right to choose to do anything at all she desires,” then the assertion is patently false. A woman may not legally rob, assault or extort. This is not contested by even the most radical feminist to my knowledge. Once again we are left without anything to discuss.

So far we have established that a woman has a legal right to choose certain things, but not all things. So, what is the limiting factor in her right to choose? When her choice will harm another person, physically, financially and sometimes emotionally, the law stops her from doing so.

Let us take an example. A woman delivers a baby after eight months of pregnancy. She is unmarried, young, and without financial support. She decides that she doesn’t want this baby in her life. She wishes that it had never existed because of the problems that it brings along with its presence. She reasons that this child will grow up unloved and despised. No child should have to go through that. It might be molested by a boyfriend of hers or end up on drugs or in a gang. She decides that the only humane thing to do is to terminate the life of the child. She takes out a large kitchen cutting utensil and proceeds to separate her child into smaller pieces for ease of disposal. She has exercised her ability to choose but not her right to choose. She has no legal right to kill her child. In fact she is guilty of murder, and can be prosecuted for that crime. The newspapers, child rights advocates and other like minded groups join their voices together with the religious right, and like minded groups in outrage that such an atrocity has occurred. Liberal talk show hosts, join their voices together with the conservative talk show hosts in denouncing this woman’s actions. All agree that this is an outrage.

Now, take a second example. A woman, also very young, has carried a fetus for eight months. It has developed to the exact same point as the child in the first example. This woman decides that for the same reasons as those listed in the first example, she is going to hire a doctor to do exactly the same thing to her child as the mother did in the first example. The doctor lays her on a table, and proceeds to segment the body parts of the baby into separate pieces for easy extraction. The child dies a rather unpleasant death. Suddenly the reactions of the general population is no longer uniform. Now we have the country divided into two hostile camps. Now the liberal and the conservative disagree about the morality and ethical nature of the act. The conservative reaction is consistent. He is outraged by the brutal murder of a baby. The liberal suddenly sees no problem with the act.

Here we have a clear demarcation between the anti-abortionists and the pro-abortionists. Consistency would dictate that if one of the above acts is a crime, so is the other. It takes a mental effort of huge proportions to see any significant difference between the results of the two acts in the two examples. In both cases a child dies. In both cases a mother is freed from the responsibilities of mothering a child. In both cases the child will not grow up in a neglected environment. In both cases the child was equally well developed physically and mentally. The only difference is not significant to the child, it either has or has not moved a few inches outside the wall of mother’s abdomen. The two children are of equal intrinsic value and are an equal loss to humanity.

Does a woman have a right to choose to end the life of her baby? If people believe this, then they are hypocritical if outraged by mothers who drown, smother, or neglect their children to death, because it is a woman’s right to choose what is done with her baby’s life. They have no grounds for outrage about a woman exercising her right to choose.

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