hard to find new perspectives. Many
arguments run along the usual lines of bodily autonomy, personhood, the moral
value of autonomy and human life, etc.
So I was surprised not long ago to have something pointed out to me that
led me to alter my stance.
doesn’t automatically override someone’s bodily autonomy. Granted, the case is
weakened because the violinist argument applies more to rape victims, but even if we
except consensual sex from the thought experiment, we run into a broader
bodily autonomy question and David Boonin’s Toxic Waste analogy. I suggested that Boonin’s analogy is
consistent in principle with existing moral precepts: even if another moral
being is inside us we can still owe bodily compensation for causing existential
harm to another moral entity.
participant on the thread pointed out that nowhere in law do we allow
bodily compensation by the offender for the victim. This is quite true; one not need have read
the Merchant of Venice to appreciate the problems involved with bodily
compensation. Since this is the case how
can we ask women to give the foetus bodily compensation when our society does
not legally require this in any other situation?
to introduce a new law, but it does raise a point that doesn’t seem to have been
addressed in any detail. And this is not just a simple matter of introducing a
new law that focuses just on abortion and women, because when we think of legal
matters we must make a general case for the principle. If you didn’t make this
a general principle under the law, the result would be giving prenatal persons
more rights than post partum persons: offenders would be forced to abrogate
bodily autonomy to save prenatal life, yet post partum people cannot demand as
much. Conversely you are giving pregnant women who consented to sex fewer
rights than the rest of the population.
wherein an offender causes severe or existential harm to the victim and the
only compensation is the temporarily use of the offender’s body, or if
applicable (without leading to death), use of the offender’s organs or blood. For
example, if a drunk driver caused a victim to need an organ transplant and no
other organ was available, the law would abrogate the drunk driver’s bodily autonomy
and allow the removal of the organ.
the legal or moral basis to force a pregnant woman who consented to sex to
compensate the foetus for putting it in existential peril. The most you could
do would be to offer the woman a choice between jail time or the fetus’s use of