[Today’s guest post is by Sean Cahill, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law. She says: “Because it changes the way my voice is heard when it comes to life issues, I feel compelled to state that I’m a woman, despite what my name suggests.”]
Pro-choicers claim that a woman has a “right” to an abortion. To be clear, this is not merely an argument that to obtain an abortion or allow abortion would be morally permissible, but a claim that the absence of legal abortion on-demand is morally impermissible. Where does this “right” come from?
When claiming this “right,” people cry “My body, my choice!” A person’s body has an inherent dignity and we should have a right to choose what happens to ours. To which pro-lifers reply: in the vast majority of abortions, didn’t the woman choose to have sex? Didn’t she exercise a choice, regarding her own body, a choice that could result in a pregnancy and in this case, did?
Abortion advocates respond to these inquiries often with an all-knowing head shake and an eye roll, leaving the questioner waiting for the earth-shattering retort, that somehow we have all been wrong, that our parents lied to us during that sex talk in grade school, that we were right in preschool: sex doesn’t make babies, a stork brings them. Instead, the answer is some variation of: “A woman consents to sex, not to the resulting pregnancy.”
All of us, pro-life and pro-choice, know that sex makes babies. But many of us wish it didn’t. We know that in every pregnancy, a brand new human being has been created, with a unique DNA sequence that is distinct from any that has existed before. We know this to be true, but we wish it wasn’t. The phrase that ten year olds taunt each other with on the playground while giggling, confounds many adults: “Sex makes babies.”
We know that women’s bodies have the amazing ability to carry life, to give this brand new person sustenance and a place to grow. We know this is to be expected, but we wish it wasn’t. Ultimately, we wish that women’s bodies didn’t work the way they do. We wish we could completely divorce sex from babies. When we can’t, this makes us angry, indignant even. So angry that when a healthy woman’s body acts as women’s bodies have for millions of years, and a new life comes into existence within her womb, a common reaction is to ask: What went wrong? What can we do to fix this? We want to fix one of the defining features of the female sex, as if a woman getting pregnant is equivalent to a car breaking down.
We scratch our heads and ask: How could this be? In this day and age, with all our technology: sex still makes babies? We can put a man on the moon but sex still makes babies? There must be something we can do about this. We can make it less likely through contraception and education, but what can we do to stop it all together? Nothing? That can’t be! We have a “right” to stop this! Sex is always going to make babies?
Then there’s only one thing left to do: kill the babies.