The philosophical foundation of all Feminism is the belief in the transcendent value of human life, both male and female, and the subsequent, radical equality of every human being. The objective morality of human behavior cannot be predicated upon thin air. When a woman asserts her right to educate herself, to select a spouse, or to choose a career, it is because she believes that self-determination is an exigency, ontologically rooted in a rational, free nature.
Many Feminists include, in the list of rights to which they lay claim, the reproductive right to Abortion. Several aspects of this “right” are called into question by the new laws regulating Abortion in Oklahoma.
Reporter Susan Donaldson James details Abortion advocates’ objection to the newly mandated sonogram. This detailed picture of the baby living in the womb must be made available to the mother, along with an explanation of the status of her baby, so that the child’s mother is fully aware of all aspects of the terminal procedure she and her baby are about to “undergo”. This is known, in every other medical procedure, as facilitating informed consent. The article portrays this presentation of information as a violation of Reproductive Rights.
But under a new law in Oklahoma… (women are) required to undergo a sonogram…The doctor must then turn the screen towards her and describe fetal dimensions and details like the number of fingers and toes and heart activity. Already, one of the three abortion clinics in Oklahoma is reporting that women are so upset about the sonogram procedure, they are leaving the clinic crying. ‘Not one patient would look at the screen and they all closed their eyes or turned their heads,’ said Linda Meek, director at Reproductive Services in Tulsa, which does 3,000 abortions a year.
‘But it’s hard to turn your ears off,’ she said. ‘Several of the patients were in tears afterwards. No one changed their mind.’
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights has filed a legal challenge to the controversial law, arguing it violates both the patient’s and doctor’s freedom of speech and intrudes upon a patient’s privacy in her relationship with her doctor.
The sonogram confronts us, individually and socially, with the reality of the independent human life at stake. The tiny human being is contingent, yet fully in possession of personal existence. This baby’s right to live and fully develop is based upon the same foundation evoked for every Feminist claim to equality.
There are brilliant warriors for women’s rights with whom I gladly link arms to establish equal standing in society, but logic demands that I part company, in all charity, with these women when they assert that they are inherently endowed with the right to kill another human being.
The James article begins with the story of Joelle, a young girl who was raped for two years by a music teacher and, finding herself pregnant, went to a clinic in which she procured an Abortion. Her story is heartbreaking. Her pregnancy, resulting from repulsive sexual abuse, confronts us with the test of how sincerely we, as a society, believe in this intrinsic value of the gift of human life.
Even in the face of this horrendous violation of a woman’s right to dispose of her own body, the sonogram denies us the ability to blithely commit another crime against humanity, in the torturously tempting pursuit of alleviating one woman’s unjust suffering.
The sonogram stands as an unimpeachable oracle. Turning back to gaze at the perfectly formed toes and fingers, at the beating heart, and cord bonding the baby to the mother who is his or her whole universe, the nature of the choice at the heart of the “Pro-Choice” question can no longer be camouflaged. The mother can choose to endure temporal suffering, or she can sever the cord, burn and cut the little toes and fingers, and stop the beating heart.
If we establish that women have the right to thus slaughter their babies, we establish as moral one human being’s right to kill another human being in order to avoid personal suffering. But, we cannot destroy another human being, without obliterating the very foundation of our rights.
Some women suffer emotional trauma if they carry the baby resulting from rape. Others find relief in carrying the child and giving the baby to a loving home through adoption. Some women are physically tested to their limit by such a pregnancy, while others die as the result of infected Abortion clinics or hemorrhage. The article speaks of the awful mental anguish experienced by women asked to look at their babies before allowing them to be killed. Few Abortion advocates bother to speak of life-long guilt and depression some women feel after Abortion. All of these sufferings are real and terrible. And yet, the individual, subjective emotional effects of Abortion do not change the intrinsic value of the child.
Feminists must be logical. Pro-life is inherently pro-woman, because it is pro-human rights. A Pro-Life-At-Any-Cost position solidifies the justification for all the improvements that rational feminists desire to see in society.
Instead of childishly screaming that the Oklahoma Abortion Laws were specifically designed to oppress women, it is time to behave maturely and consider that perhaps the law was motivated by the desire to affirm and protect the human rights of an innocent baby, and, in so doing, affirm the value of every human gifted with life.