Therein lies the crux of whose body and whose choice. Abortion doesn’t dismember the woman’s body or crush her skull open to suck her brains out. Those practices are aimed at another vulnerable human being: the baby carried in her womb. That person’s heart is beating, his arms and legs moving, and perhaps his thumb is in his mouth. He feels pain.
The most popular words of pro-abortion and pro-choice advocates are perhaps “My Body, My Choice.” On the surface, it makes sense and sounds rational and reasonable. In fact, it’s so sensible that even anti-vaxxers are using it to talk about their bodies and their choices. Don’t we all make decisions related to our bodies, especially medical decisions?
The person who composed or created that slogan hit it big, and credit is due for such a commonsense, clever phrase. It seems difficult to debate. How could anyone challenge such a recognized personal decision with a response, such as “no, you don’t have that right” or “no, your body is not open to your choice”?
Wouldn’t such a person or response be widely ridiculed? After all, we all make decisions about having surgeries for appendicitis, cancer, broken bones, cysts, and even benign tumors. “My Body, My Choice” certainly applies to these.
At the same time, however, the patient contemplating the procedure usually discusses the details with the surgeon. If it’s surgery for a broken bone, the doctor will discuss how complex the break is, that he plans to insert a pin, and the estimated length of time to recuperate. If it’s surgery for cancer, he may tell a patient how he intends to extract or excise the cancerous growth, what the recovery will be like, and what outcome to expect. Will it lengthen the patient’s life, or is it just a stopgap procedure to improve temporary well-being? After all, it requires the patient’s consent because it is the patient’s body and the patient’s choice.