BRUCE LOGAN shares his Submission to the Select Committee considering the Abortion Legislation Bill. In his submission, he says that the “my body my choice” argument depends entirely on the dehumanisation of the child in the womb. The assumption of autonomy implicit in the claim is self-contradictory. If the mother has a right to bodily autonomy so too does the child. One cannot claim autonomy for oneself and deny it to another.
19 September 2019
Human life begins at conception. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is going to be arbitrary. Consequently abortion is about killing. The only way to avoid that accusation is to dehumanise the child in the womb. The argument that claims that viability depends on some event in the womb or even birth has neither scientific nor theological validity. It depends entirely on subjective impression and perceived need.
“My body my choice” argument depends entirely on the dehumanisation of the child in the womb. The assumption of autonomy implicit in the claim is self-contradictory. If the mother has a right to bodily autonomy so too does the child. One cannot claim autonomy for oneself and deny it to another.
The contemporary claim to justify abortion is a consequence of a cultural shift in our understanding of what it means to be human. Until recently the prevailing effect was that human dignity was a consequence, not of our own subjective response to reality, but because it was given to us by transcendent and permanent truth.
The ideology underpinning abortion “reform” legislation transfers authority from any conviction in permanent truth to subjective and therefore changing opinion. That’s why it is now becoming possible to consider killing a child that manages to survive an abortion procedure. We used to call that “exposure” when the Romans did it; leaving the child to die outside the city gates.
The present abortion reform bill reinforces a destructive force already going on in our society. It changes our understanding of the foundation for law. If the law can decide in its presumptive wisdom what it means to be human the consequence has to be increasing tyranny. The kind of world envisaged by the present bill is one in which a child has no rights by the fact of his or her humanity. Rather it has rights given to it at the state’s discretion.
In New Zealand abortion should be continue to be criminalised because it is about killing children. The “criminal” should be the one who performs the abortion and not the woman on whom the abortion is being performed.
That the select committee recognises the duplicity in the present demand to decriminalise abortion. The ‘reformers’ consistently fudge the issue making it seem that the present bill is informed by compassion for women.