Monday, October 17, 2011

Personhood: ProChoice’s Weapon of er….Choice - a closer look

Recently, a feminist poster who goes by the name Auragasmic Beth on Twitter who tweets with the #prochoice hashtag has linked me to her private blog. I will give my take on her thoughts and how they fair against science. The post is entitled "Personhood: ProChoice’s Weapon of er….Choice" 

 





The post begins with a quote “If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?” – Mary Astell This quote attempts to make the implication that men are free, but women are not. That idea can go either way. Not all men are born free either. According to Anti-Slavery International, there are over 20 million people - men and women- who are born into bondage. (http://www.antislavery.org/english/) To imply that only women suffer slavery is erroneous. Women alongside men and children are subject to whatever social condition they are met with at birth. Slavery is not exclusive to the female gender.




<<When confronting a Prolife advocate, it’s always best to forgo the tedious debacle of debating personhood and the sanctity of life. These two issues are intended to distract the Prochoicer, to prove the absurdity of creating a timeframe for essential human rights that the Prolifer believes should be granted at the moment of conception. What the Prolifer fails to acknowledge, however, is that the most convincing Prochoice argument can be made when personhood of the fetus is assumed.>>



Sacerdotus comments:

I disagree. Personhood and life are the heart of the abortion issue. Justice Blackmun himself gave the judicial opinion: “The appellee and certain amici [pro-lifers] argue that the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.” - Roe v Wade 1973

We are dealing with a serious matter: killing of innocent life. The preborn are slaughtered daily on the grounds that he/she is not a "person." This discriminatory tone is reminiscent of slavery in America where black people were seen as "livestock" or "3/5" human.-(http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1narr4.html) Ironically, this blogger attempts to present an argument regarding the slavery of women, yet ignores the slavery of those not yet born. Who are we to decide who is to be born or not? Who gave us the right to enslave one group over another? Why/how is one stage of human life less important than the others? Those are important questions we must ask in the debate against abortion and slavery.

Men, women, and children born or unborn are equal. They have inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is unfair, and immoral to make these rights valid exclusively to those who are in the stages of development that follow birth. Just like it is unfair and immoral to make these rights exclusive to males, or white people only. Personhood does not appear out of nowhere. Personhood is included in the development of every human being. Biology teaches us that human life begins at conception. ("The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote."- Sadler, T.W. Langman's Medical Embryology) We cannot limit personhood to a mere conditional state in life.

Prochoice Professor Mary seller wrote: "I hold a contrary view and believe that to be a human being is not simply to be biologically alive, but also to experience the powers of mind and spirit that are special to human beings. People have the capacity for creativity, emotion, spirituality; they can reason, exercise responsibility, and make moral judgements. Underlying these is sentience, which in turn depends upon physical structures, predominantly, the central nervous system " - (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mary-seller-an-embryo-is-not-a-person-629164.html)

Mary Seller is wrong in claiming the capacity for creativity, emotion, spirituality, reason, responsibility and moral judgments are a prerequisite for human life/personhood. Let us take the case of infants and their psychological and sociological development. Infants are not capable of creativity, emotions, spirituality, reason, responsibility or moral judgments. (http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/growthdevelopment/a/child_dev.htm) (Infants and Toddlers at Work: Using Reggio-Inspired Materials to Support Brain Development by Ann Lewin-Benham, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) Where have we seen an infant create, express emotions that are not mimicked, pray and so on? There are no instances of this. Nevertheless are they human beings? Well, according to Mary Seller's view, they are not. Let us take on the idea of sentience as a requirement. Object permanence is an example. Infants are not fully aware of the natural world. When objects (living or non living) are away from their perception, they believe that the objects have vanished completely from reality. (http://psychology.about.com/od/oindex/g/object-permanence.htm) If sentience were a requirement of personhood, then infants are not persons because they are NOT fully aware of the natural world or themselves. They are not fully sentient. The biological, sociological and psychological truth is that every human being is a person who develops sentience, intelligence, creativity, emotion, spirituality, reason, responsibility and moral judgment with time and mental/physical development. The only difference is the stage of life in which these are acquired or learned.



The post continues to attempt to debunk another young girl's blog regarding "use of body." The blog post goes on as follows: <<“If the room is stuffy, and I therefore open a window to air it, and a burglar climbs in, it would be absurd to say, “Ah, now he can stay, she’s given him a right to the use of her house–for she is partially responsible for his presence there, having voluntarily done what enabled him to get in, in full knowledge that there are such things as burglars, and that burglars burgle.”


What Thomson successfully illustrates with these analogies is that a woman is very capable of participating in consensual sex without consenting to the use of her body by a z/e/f afterward. It would rightfully be considered unjust to force a woman to continue an unwanted pregnancy just because she possesses a particular organ and biology that allows her to become pregnant. The premise of punishing women for their biological design is especially prevalent in cases where Prolifers insist that a z/e/f resulting from rape should have equal rights to the victim’s body. While equal right to life can be established for BOTH the woman and the fetus, the person providing the housing for the fetus ultimately has the right to decide whether or not she wishes to continue sharing her body – as it IS her body.

It’s important to recognize that while someone’s right to life can be situational or circumstantial (i.e : Capital Punishment) that no single human being is morally obligated to share their body with another person to ensure that person’s survival. For example, if I was dying and my very survival depended upon a kiss from Cillian Murphy, he wouldn’t be morally obligated to provide me with such a gesture. Sure, it would be kind and generous of him to do so, but he wouldn’t be obligated to do so because I have a presumed right to life. Operating under the assumption that all people have a right to life doesn’t guarantee a right to life at another person’s physical, emotional or psychological expense.

In this entry, we’ve established that a woman cannot be held at the mercy of her biological design. In concluding this, we’ve inevitably demonstrated that she is not morally obligated to share her body with any z/e/f that may result as a consequence of her possessing a uterus. So how can someone possibly suggest otherwise? Enter: RABBLE RABBLE Sanctity of Life RABBLE RABBLE. Exit.>>




Sacerdotus comments:


The analogies provided give the idea that a burglar breaking and entering must be entertained by the victim because it is "her fault" that her property was not secure. The blog continues claiming this idea is absurd. However, it is partially absurd. Yes it is absurd that a victim must entertain a burglar. However, it is the victim's fault for not using common sense by protecting her property.

In cases of burglary, the authorities always advise that property security measures be taken in order to prevent theft. Just by entering in Google "police advice to secure home" one will see the many links of police giving advice of how to secure property. These measures can be the installation of cameras, security alarms, window guards and locks. It is pure gumption that in an unsafe world, we must live safely and secure our property. However, this burglary analogy is irrelevant to the issue of abortion. In order for this analogy to have some validity, human offspring must be classified as an "intruder." Biologically and embryologically speaking, that is not the case. A normal female body is designed to house a child within the womb. -(http://www.americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/understandingovulation.html) He/she is not an intruder in the sense of a burglar being an intruder in one's home. The case might be made for children conceived in rape; however, 50% of the genetic material at fertilization are of the woman despite the intrusion of her body by a rapist. One thing must be clear and not be avoided: The conception DID NOT "invade" her or "intruded." It was THE ATTACKER and HIS SPERM that invaded/intruded- that is if the conception did take place.

Feminist rhetoric uses terms such as "consensual sex" and "unwanted pregnancy" in an attempt to mask the reality behind sex and pregnancy. It is an attempt to separate sexual from reproduction. The reality is that the act of sex or Coitus, biologically speaking is for reproduction. All animals in the natural world use sex in order to continue its particular species. (http://biology.about.com/od/basicgenetics/a/aa062708a.htm) Popular culture often pushes the idea that sex is just for hedonistic purposes; however, naturally speaking, that is not the case. Moreover, when 2 adults have sex they must be aware of its function. That is to say, that since sexual reproduction is for reproduction, they must not be surprised if a pregnancy occurs. This is where personal responsibility comes in. According to Prochoice Professor Seller, "responsibility or moral judgments" are requirements for personhood. If these qualities are important for a human being to be a "human being," then why are they ignored when it comes to consensual sex? It is a contradiction. The entire Prochoice ideology is a contradiction. There is no such thing as an "unwanted pregnancy." The real term is, "unwanted responsibility."

Now there is the mention of rape. Yes rape is an intrusion into one's body. However, once again Feminist rhetoric attempts to separate the nature function of reproduction when pertaining to conception and the crime of rape. Both are not synonymous. Conception will happen if the biological conditions are met regardless of whether sex was consensual or not. Therefore, we cannot conclude that a conception stemming from rape is an intrusion or invasion. As I mentioned before, 50% of the genetic material at fertilization are of the woman. The real issue here is not the conception, but the crime. Why punish this conception who has no fault of the crime?

As with the burglar analogy, just like police tell us to secure our homes, so too do they advice women to use self defense in order to thwart attacks. Again, the phrase "police advice to prevent rape" entered into Google will bring about many links showing how to defend oneself. It is interesting to note that men are also victims of rape. However, men cannot abort anything. So what then? How can a man gain back his "bodily autonomy?" Is this exclusive to women only? The reality is that abortion solves nothing. An innocent conception is killed, and the rapist moves on knowing any conception he instigates can easily be killed. This empowers sick individuals to continue raping because rape fuels the delusion of power. - (http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1981/3/81.03.06.x.html) The answer to rape is not abortion, but rather; self defense, education, and better policing. Less than 1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest according to
(http://www.abortionfacts.com/online_books/love_them_both/why_cant_we_love_them_both_29.asp). So obviously, rape cannot be a big issue in the abortion debate since it happens rarely.

The post continues claiming that "woman cannot be held at the mercy of her biological design." That is a falsehood. Women at different intervals before menopause have their menstrual cycle. This menstrual cycle or "menstruation" maintains homeostasis with the goal of fertilization. (http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/menstruation.cfm#a) However, this cycle brings about much discomfort such as: weight gain (perhaps secondary to overeating and/or water retention), headache, palpitations, fatigue, dizziness, bloating, tenderness and swelling of the breasts, constipation, or diarrhea. - (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/513070) In light of biology, we cannot conclude that a "woman is not at the mercy of her biological design." This menstrual cycle cannot be shut off until menopause. Menopause is the point when a woman's ovaries stop producing eggs, her body produces less estrogen and progesterone, and menstruation becomes less frequent, eventually stopping altogether. -(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001896/) This happens from age 45 to 55. In order for the conclusion that - "[a] woman cannot be held at the mercy of her biological design" be valid if indeed a woman has total absolute control of her body. This of course is not possible in the natural world. We all are subject to nature. While we may be able to move our bodies, give them nutrition and so on, nature always supersedes our so called "bodily autonomy." Bodily autonomy as prochoice see its, only exists in the imagination of the prochoice advocate and radical feminist.




<<For anyone who still suffers from the fanatical delusion that life is sacred, I cordially invite you to visit Sudan, Congo, or Somalia. A quick vacation in one of these spots should cure you of any fantasies that persuade you to believe life is in any way, shape or form, sacred.>>


Sacerdotus comments:

Life is not a delusion; however, thinking that human life is dispensable is. The blogger is correct in mentioning countries where human life is oppressed. Those people in those nations must be defended as well. I agree in that we all should visit those nations and realize why life is sacred and must be protected from conception to natural death. We will realize that when we attempt do define who is a person or who has a right to life, then that is when we will see events occur in the world such as those in Sudan, Congo, and Somalia. Before prochoice can attempt to destroy slavery, it must free its mind and heart from the slavery of ignorance and rhetoric.

about 2 months ago

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