Begging The Question, Abortion, And Slavery
By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:
Given America’s sad history with slavery and the shame with which it is regarded today one might think that defenders of Roe v Wade (1973) would be a little more cautious about the rhetoric they use in defense of what they regard as an absolute right to abortion. The two are connected. Recently, defenders of Roe v Wade (1973) submitted enough requests to the State of Nebraska to justify a license plate that reads, “My Body, My Choice.” They did so in response to a pro-life plate that said, “Choose Life.” The rhetoric “My Body, My Choice” is essentially identical to one of the defenses for chattel slavery as practiced by Americans in the 18th and 19th centuries. Slave owners argued that slaves were their property and it is no one else’s business what they did with their property. Paul Finkelman writes, “[th]roughout the Revolution, southern politicians argued that slaves were property, not persons” (p. 113). Were human beings capable of being property, that would be true but it begs the question to assume that humans can be property. In order to justify this way of thinking both pro-abortionists and slavers had to deprive the slaves and infants in utero of their humanity. The pro-abortionists do this with the slogan, “My Body, My Choice.” Like their slave-owning forebears, they too must deprive the humans within their bodies of humanity. There is no question, of course, whether the pregnant woman is involved in having a baby. What is in question is the status of the baby. The slogan, “My Body, My Choice” assumes what must be proven, that the infant developing within the pregnant mother is a mere appendage of the mother.