AN ARGUMENT FOR ABORTION
P1. A woman should be free to choose what to do with her own body
P2. If abortion is illegal, then a woman is not free to choose what to do with her own body
C. Therefore abortion should not be illegal
While a woman should be free to choose what to do with her own body, no mention is made of the competing rights of another human life which is dependent on that body to survive.
Rights do not act in isolation and must always be understood in their relation to other and competing rights. David Blankenhorn said:
A basic problem when we use the language of human rights is the tendency and the temptation to treat each specific right as if it stands alone, in splendid isolation and reigning in absolute mastery, conveniently disconnected from other rights that may conflict with it – and also disconnected from any overarching anthropology or system of values that alone permit us to adjudicate rights in conflict and also to understand rights in relationship to duties, obligations, and other human goods that cannot easily be expressed in terms of rights. The obvious danger in this take-your-pick, cafeteria-style, essentially de-contextualized approach to human rights is that each right, in its isolated supremacy, tends to get expressed in absolutist, totalizing terms.David Blankenhorn. 2005. The Rights of Children and the Redefinition of Parenthood. [ONLINE] Available at: http://americanvalues.org/catalog/pdfs/family-humanrights.pdf. [Accessed 21 April 2019].
A right exists only in community with, and at times in tension with, other rights.
The woman’s right to choose has to be balanced against the child’s right to life. However surely a woman should be free to choose what to do with her own body if carrying a child to term would almost certainly would take her own life.