“For me the question on abortion boils down to this: Why should anyone be able to prevent a woman terminating a pregnancy if that is her choice?”
In my opinion that is completely the wrong question. The abortion debate is always framed by “progressives” around the slogan — “a woman’s right to choose.” But that is a diversion. It is smoke and mirrors, designed to hide from the real question; because the real question is mired in a moral and ethical minefield and has absolutely nothing to do with a woman’s freedom of choice. Unfortunately progressives don’t like to deal with complicated questions.
We all agree that everybody has the right to choose. But how far does that right extend? Most would agree that it should extend only up to the point where the choice you make directly infringes upon the rights of others. In other words you do not have the right to choose to take another’s life; not even if that other life is an inconvenience to you. Most societies and people accept that human life is sacrosanct and that you only have the right to take another person’s life in self defence if that person is directly threatening your life.
So if you accept the basic principle of the right to life; then you must accept that the abortion issue is not about a woman’s right to choose.
The question; the only important question in the abortion debate therefore is this — At what point precisely does a human embryo become a human being; and what precisely constitutes a human being? Because once it is a human being, then nobody has the right to kill it, not even its mother.
I do not claim to know the answer to that question: Nor does medical science. I find it difficult to believe that either a bunch of progressivist fundamentalists, or a bunch of religious fundamentalists know the answer either.
Of course we have only dipped our toes in that minefield here. We would also need to discuss euthanasia too. You have no automatic right to terminate someone’s life for example if they are brain-dead. So ask yourself this question. If a mother has the right to terminate the life of a healthy baby three weeks before birth, with its whole life potentially ahead of it; then why does a daughter not have the right to terminate the life of her sick old mother who is not going to last more than a few months anyway? And if you believe, as many “progressives” inexplicably do; that abortion should be freely available but not at very late stages in the pregnancy, then you must be able to answer that original question. At what point precisely does a foetus become a human being?
None of that has anything to do with either religion or economics.