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Using Pro-life Arguments to Reach Pro-choice Goals (Page 1)

Breaking the Abortion Deadlock
From Choice to Consent

Eileen McDonagh

For over twenty years the abortion debate has raged, with each side entrenched in unyielding positions. This book breaks the impasse by using pro-life premises to reach pro-choice conclusions. While it is commonly assumed that state protection of the fetus as a form of human life undermines women's reproductive rights, McDonagh instead illuminates how it is exactly such state protection of the fetus that strengthens, rather than weakens, not only women's right to an abortion, but even more significantly, women's ability to call on the state for abortion funding. McDonagh's approach, by bridging the divide between pro-life and pro-choice advocates, revolutionizes the abortion debate in a way that opens up a whole new avenue for resolving the abortion conflict and advancing women's rights.

McDonagh reframes the abortion debate by locating the missing piece of the puzzle: the fetus as the cause of pregnancy. After exposing the myths on this subject, her exacting analysis presents the scientific and legal evidence that the ultimate source of pregnancy is the fetus. The central issue then becomes what the fetus, as an active agent, does to a woman's body during pregnancy, whether that pregnancy is wanted or not. McDonagh graphically describes the massive changes produced by the fetus when it takes over a woman's body. As such, pregnancy is best depicted not as a condition that women have a right to choose but rather as a condition to which they must have a right to consent.

Abortion, therefore, does not rest on the intensely debated principle, stated in Roe , that women have a right to be free from state interference when choosing privately what to do with their own bodies. Instead, as McDonagh's book explains, abortion rights flow inevitably from women's more established right to consent to what another agent does to their body. Specifically, women have a right to resist an unwanted intrusion by a fetus as well as to receive help from the state to stop such an intrusion.

Moving abortion rights from choice to consent has broad legal and cultural ramifications tapping into the very cornerstone of the American political system: consent. McDonagh unravels the consequences of extending to pregnant women the same guarantees of bodily integrity and liberty possessed by others in our society. Specifically, she shows why a woman who does not consent to be made pregnant by a fetus, not only has a right to terminate pregnancy, but why the state violates constitutional due process and equal protection guarantees when it fails to provide her with the same protections against nonconsensual intrusions by a fetus as it provides against nonconsensual intrusions by other parties. This book pivotally strengthens, therefore, not only women's right to abortion but also abortion funding. By providing new grounds both for the public funding of abortion and for the removal of government restrictions on abortions, it lays the foundation for enhancing women's rights through major policy changes in legislatures and courts.
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replied September 8th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
That's very excellent! Wonderful points that I think we've stated on here, but never so succinctly or clearly.
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replied September 9th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
That actually really makes me think about it in a different way.

Hmm.... I like it.
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replied October 3rd, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
i am about halfway through the book right now. It is excellent. The bottom line is, if pro-lifers want the zef to be considered a person, then the zef can be held accountable for it's actions, precisely because it's a person. It would be the equivalent of a mentally impaired person.

A mentally impaired person cannot rape, murder, kidnap, or impose bodily harm on another person just because they are mentally challenged.

One person can use lethal force against any person, mentally impaired or not, to stop them from doing the above things.

Causing someone to be pregnant against their will constitutes grievous bodily harm, and a zef, if it is a person, can be stopped by lethal force from doing that to a woman.
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replied October 3rd, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Well yes, that's a point I think I've come across before: Person or not, the fetus is using the woman's body without her permission.
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replied October 17th, 2007
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Eiri wrote:
Well yes, that's a point I think I've come across before: Person or not, the fetus is using the woman's body without her permission.


Exactly, and over turning that law (as in McFall v Shimp http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/lawmcfa ll1.html) would be fundamentally changing the very principles upon which our republic (U.S.) is founded. A.K.A., that will never happen.
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replied October 18th, 2007
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futureshock wrote:
Eiri wrote:
Well yes, that's a point I think I've come across before: Person or not, the fetus is using the woman's body without her permission.


Exactly, and over turning that law (as in McFall v Shimp http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/lawmcfa ll1.html) would be fundamentally changing the very principles upon which our republic (U.S.) is founded. A.K.A., that will never happen.

I'm not so sure; they just banned Mom and Dad in California Wink All joking aside, it really does freak me out and make me worry.

If "states rights" could remain far more individualized then I wouldn't have as much of a problem. But it seems when one state makes a law, all the others follow suit, if slowly. I HOPE to god that doesn't happen with this.

By the way, new Icon! Made by me, photo and all! There was a gorgeous flower growing outside of my dorm tonight!
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replied October 18th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
It's lovely Eiri! Very mellow...
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replied October 18th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
It's pretty, but I thought you were nightangel at first...
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replied October 18th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
futureshock wrote:
It's pretty, but I thought you were nightangel at first...


Insults like that will get you banned Future! Shocked

(J/K nightangel Wink )
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replied October 18th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
I ike it too Erir.. No offense but the other one" dragon fly reminded me of a tampon for some reason..
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replied October 18th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
I know it did, remember? Lol.
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replied October 19th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Hey ladies check this out what control is about..lol!!

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replied October 19th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
LMFAO.

OMG thats hillarious.

and so so tru Razz
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replied October 19th, 2007
We have something in our constitution called an amendment that protects us from cruel and unusual punishment. If you consider the fetus growing in a womens womb the womens right to consent, then KILLING the fetus would in fact be considered cruel and unusual. Of course, I guess you wouldn't send a fetus to prison for 15 years for rape.
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replied October 19th, 2007
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KIrving wrote:
We have something in our constitution called an amendment that protects us from cruel and unusual punishment. If you consider the fetus growing in a womens womb the womens right to consent, then KILLING the fetus would in fact be considered cruel and unusual. Of course, I guess you wouldn't send a fetus to prison for 15 years for rape.


um..

a fetus cant rape anyone.

a fetus cant even feed itself, much less force sex on anyone.

that was a little over dramatic.
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replied October 19th, 2007
rainfire1424 wrote:
KIrving wrote:
We have something in our constitution called an amendment that protects us from cruel and unusual punishment. If you consider the fetus growing in a womens womb the womens right to consent, then KILLING the fetus would in fact be considered cruel and unusual. Of course, I guess you wouldn't send a fetus to prison for 15 years for rape.


um..

a fetus cant rape anyone.

a fetus cant even feed itself, much less force sex on anyone.

that was a little over dramatic.


Sarcasm. I like to use it.

How can you say a fetus is violating a womens right to consent when the fetus had no choice in the matter.
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replied October 19th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
KIrving wrote:
rainfire1424 wrote:
KIrving wrote:
We have something in our constitution called an amendment that protects us from cruel and unusual punishment. If you consider the fetus growing in a womens womb the womens right to consent, then KILLING the fetus would in fact be considered cruel and unusual. Of course, I guess you wouldn't send a fetus to prison for 15 years for rape.


um..

a fetus cant rape anyone.

a fetus cant even feed itself, much less force sex on anyone.

that was a little over dramatic.


Sarcasm. I like to use it.

How can you say a fetus is violating a womens right to consent when the fetus had no choice in the matter.

what if the woman didnt either?
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replied October 20th, 2007
rainfire1424 wrote:
KIrving wrote:
rainfire1424 wrote:
KIrving wrote:
We have something in our constitution called an amendment that protects us from cruel and unusual punishment. If you consider the fetus growing in a womens womb the womens right to consent, then KILLING the fetus would in fact be considered cruel and unusual. Of course, I guess you wouldn't send a fetus to prison for 15 years for rape.


um..

a fetus cant rape anyone.

a fetus cant even feed itself, much less force sex on anyone.

that was a little over dramatic.


Sarcasm. I like to use it.

How can you say a fetus is violating a womens right to consent when the fetus had no choice in the matter.

what if the woman didnt either?


If a woman becomes pregnant against her will, she should get an abortion before it becomes a living fetus, an abortion being the same as if she didn't even become pregnant. Seems reasonable to me, but if it is a living fetus, then the right to live would always outweigh the right to consent.
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replied October 20th, 2007
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Why is it more okay to kill an embryo than a fetus? They're both alive. They're both developing human offspring.
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