Saturday, December 26, 2009

The "My Body, My Choice" Fallacy

The battle cry of the pro-choice/pro-abortion movement is "My body, my choice!" In other words, they are saying that a woman is the owner of her body, and only she can decide what can or cannot be done with or to her body. They believe that no person or law should force a woman to do something to or with her body that she doesn't want to do, or prevent her from doing something to or with her body that she wants to do. This belief has its roots in the feminist and women's rights movements.

In regards to the abortion issue in particular, members of the pro-choice movement say that a woman is justified in having an abortion performed on her body to remove a fetus (unborn baby) from her womb because she owns her body, and can choose to do whatever she wants to her body. Whenever I'm discussing the abortion issue with someone who uses this argument, I ask them if they support laws that prevent people from ingesting or injecting narcotics like cocaine and heroin into their body? More specifically, I ask them if a woman should be able to take narcotics legally, since they believe a woman has a right to do whatever she wants to her body? This question usually poses a quandry for abortion rights supporters. Most people, including most pro-choice supporters, are against narcotics use. The reasons for being against the legalization of narcotics is because narcotics can harm people. People can become addicted to narcotics. People who are high on narcotics can harm other people, especially when they are operating large machinery, like automobiles.

So why does the narcotics legalization question pose a quandry for some people with the "My body, my choice" mentality? If such a person supports laws that prevent women (and men) from ingesting or injecting narcotics into their body, they are, in effect, preventing women (and men) who want to take illegal narcotics from doing what they want with their body. They are against a woman's (and man's) "choice" when it comes to narcotics use, but for a woman's (and man's) "choice" when it comes to abortion. The conflict this situation sets up is obvious.

When I ask abortion-rights supporters if they support laws that prevent women from taking narcotics, they often respond that they think narcotic use should be legalized, or that the restrictions on narcotics use should be relaxed. Although this may shock you, it shouldn't really surprise you. They probably feel it would be hypocritical to support a law that upholds a woman's right to choose abortion, and at the same time support a law that takes away a woman's right to take narcotics. Rather than risk being accused of hypocrisy, they say they support the legalization of narcotics.

Some abortion rights supporters say that they oppose the legalization of narcotics because narcotics harm people. The same could be said for abortion. Many women are physically, emotionally, and mentally harmed by abortion. Abortion also results in the death of another human being, the unborn child that is forcibly removed from the mother's womb.

If a woman's right to do what she wants with her body is not an absolute right that applies to all situations, the possibility exists that there are some situations where a woman does not have the right to choose what she wants to do with her body. This reduces the "My body, my choice" argument to mere opinion. If you are pro-life, and a person tries to use the "My body, my choice" argument to justify abortion, respond by saying "That's your opinion, and I disagree with it."

Peace be with you!


P.S. - This post only addresses the "My choice" part of the "My body, my choice" argument. The "My body" part of the argument is really a separate issue. I believe that a woman doesn't own her body. God owns her body, because he created it. Hmm, that sounds like a good topic for another blog post!

Poll: If you support abortion rights, do you think narcotics use should be legalized so that women and men have the right to choose to take drugs?


  1. There is a huge difference between putting something IN your body, and REMOVING something from your body.

    You might not always have the right to put things into or onto your body. But you always have the right to say "no" to someone/something going into / onto your body. Nothing can or should be done to your body without your consent.

  2. Possessing/purchasing illegal substances is a crime, but having them in your system is not. Public intoxication ("drunk and disorderly conduct") is left to the states, but that legislation is based on behavior, not the presence of substances in one's body.

    In other words, this entire post is based on a flawed understanding of controlled substance legislation.

  3. Christian Prochoicer - Thank you for responding. I must disagree with what you're saying. A woman has a right to refuse to let a man rape her, but it's a totally different situation when it comes to a baby that came to exist inside her body because she had sex, especially consentual sex. The baby did not intentionally invade her body. If the woman did not have sex, the baby wouldn't be there. Even in the case of rape, the woman doesn't have the right to kill the baby. It's not the baby's fault that it was conceived via rape. It has the right to live, the same as anyone else. Please understand that I do realize how extremely difficult it would be for a woman to carry a child conceived by rape to term. Either you believe that all unborn babies have the right to live, regardless of how their are conceived, or they don't have the right to live and can be terminated by the mother if she so chooses.

  4. Regarding the comment by the Anonymous user that accused me of having a flawed understanding of controlled substance legislation - I appreciate your comment, but I think you missed the point of my post. The purpose was not to discuss the intricacies of drug usage legislation. The purpose of the post was to demonstrate that a woman doesn't have any more of a right to abort her unborn child than a woman has to use narcotics. Pro-choice activists claim that a woman can do anything she wants to her body. My post demonstrates that a woman does not always have the right to do what she wants with her body. I just used narcotic usage to illustrate my point.

  5. Christian Prochoicer - Everything I said in my response to your comment is true, and not merely my opinion ("what I believe"). Just because you disagree with what I say doesn't reduce what I say from fact to opinion. I realize that some of the things I said in the comment are at odds with existing civil abortion laws, but that doesn't make the statements untrue or reduce them to opinion. If, when slavery was legal, a person said that slavery was wrong, was he/she speaking the truth, or was it his/her opinion, since the law said slavery was ok?

    I disagree with the statement by you and the anonymous guest that people have the right to use narcotics, even though it is illegal to purchase them. If that is true, why do people get arrested for possession of a controlled substance? Or are you going to tell me that it's illegal to purchase and possess a narcotic, but once it's in the person's body, it's ok? I hope not, because that would be unreasonable.

    Thank you for your responses.

  6. Christian Prochoicer -

    1) When I said that a woman does not have the right to "kill the baby", I meant just that. No matter what slant you put on it, abortion kills an unborn baby. That is a fact. Deny it all you want, but I am not wrong about this.

    2) Notice in my previous comment that I said that "I realize that some of the things I said in the comment are at odds with existing civil abortion laws." In other words, I realize that a woman currently has the right, according to civil law, to kill her unborn child via abortion, but according to God's law, she does not have that right. Since you claim to be a Christian, I assume you understand what I mean by "God's law". It is apparent, however, that you go against God's law in regards to abortion.

  7. "The same could be said for abortion. Many women are physically, emotionally, and mentally harmed by abortion."

    May I see a source for this information? Unless you are talking about injuries sustained from attempting to self-abort, or obtaining an abortion from someone other than a medical professional, I have actually never heard of women suffering physical harm from an abortion beyond normal surgery recovery. Please share.


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