A Response To Your Body Autonomy Argument

A Response To Your Body Autonomy Argument

Why body autonomy isn't a good defense of the pro-choice agenda.

Recently, I’ve heard many people make pro-choice arguments that include bodily autonomy as a justification of their pro-choice stance. Body autonomy basically says that no one, other than the person himself, has a right to his or her body, and no one has the right to use someone else’s body without his or her full consent. This is the law, and why compatible donors cannot be forced to donate, even if he or she would save the life of the other person. When I first heard the argument of body autonomy, I accepted it at face value—people do have a right to their own bodies before anyone else does, and yes, that’s the law. But I don’t think bodily autonomy supports the pro-choice argument or a woman’s right to an abortion.

The following is an excerpt from a pro-choice argument that I recently found, using the concept of bodily autonomy to defend his or her stance as pro-choice.Read carefully:

“There is a concept called body autonomy. It’s generally considered a human right. Bodily autonomy means a person has control over whom or what uses their body, for what, and for how long. It’s why you can’t be forced to donate blood, tissue, or organs. Even if you are dead. Even if you’d save or improve 20 lives. It’s why someone can’t touch you, have sex with you, or use your body in any way without your continuous consent.

A fetus is using someone’s body parts. Therefore under bodily autonomy, it is there by permission, not by right. It needs a person’s continuous consent. If they deny and withdraw their consent, the pregnant person has the right to remove them from that moment. A fetus is equal in this regard because if I need someone else’s body parts to live, they can also legally deny me their use.

By saying a fetus has a right to someone’s body parts until it’s born, despite the pregnant person’s wishes, you are doing two things.

1. Granting a fetus more rights to other people’s bodies than any born person.
2. Awarding a pregnant person fewer rights to their body than a corpse."

Wow, strong argument, right? But I’d like to break it down a little bit, beginning with the comparison of a mother’s providing for a fetus to someone being “forced to donate blood, tissue, or organs.” There is a huge discrepancy here that isn’t being noted: when you fail to donate blood, tissue, or organs, you are not directly killing a human being. Yes, your lack of donation could lead to the death or ailment of someone, but with an abortion, a child is being killed, by your own hand, by your own choice. Not simply getting its resources removed. A fetus clearly doesn’t have the ability to speak or to persuade the mother to keep it, either. The parallel cannot be clearly drawn here for that reason.

Looking at the writer’s point that a fetus is in a woman’s body by permission, not by right, I’d argue that that child would not be in that woman’s body without (in most cases) being the result of a decision that that woman made. It is not simply a parasite that has attached itself to a woman’s uterus, no. Babies don’t just appear and latch on. They are made. And that fetus would not just appear if its parents had not created it.

The author sums up his argument with two points, the first being that by not allowing a pregnant woman to get an abortion, you are “granting a fetus more rights to other people’s bodies than any born person.” This really just sums up how the bodily autonomy argument falls short—by not granting women the right to an abortion, you are not giving a fetus more rights than other human beings. You are simply not giving a pregnant woman more rights than another human being. No one, pregnant or otherwise, is legally allowed to kill an innocent person, and by granting a woman the right to abort her child, we are giving her more rights than other humans.

This writer sums up my points very well with his or her statement that by not allowing a woman to get an abortion you are “granting a pregnant person less rights to their body than a corpse.” The difference here is that by a person choosing to not donate organs or blood, they are causing harm through inaction, after death. An abortion is causing harm through action—actively doing something to prevent someone else from having life. Someone who was created, most likely, by the pregnant woman’s choice and action. Comparing abortion to a person who has decided not to donate his or her organs is criminalizing to that person and decriminalizing what would be an actual crime if it were done by or to any born being.

There are too many flaws in the logic for me to agree with the argument of body autonomy. There are strong, thorough defenses and arguments against the pro-life stance, but body autonomy isn’t one of them.

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Knowing The Difference Between Redirection And Failure

This difference is everything.

Redirection, by definition means, the action of assigning or directing something to a new or different place or purpose.

Collectively, we know what redirection means in the basic sense of the word. However, when we experience redirection, we often view the situation as a failure or a loss. We as human beings can become easily frustrated or discouraged in seasons of misfortune and perceived failure.

In life, it’s rare that things go according to plan. We don’t get the job we wanted, we graduate college in 6 years not 4, perhaps don’t even finish, plans get cancelled and we disappoint ourselves. Unfortunate scenarios and events occur in everyone’s life, and no one is immune to mishap. So how do we stop viewing these inevitable complications as failure?

First, we must learn to not recognize them as such. Life is not easy and when things don’t work out it doesn’t mean we’ve failed. Often times we’ve just been redirected. We’ve been put on a new path to reach our end goal. This can be a challenging concept to accept at first, we often feel pressure to complete certain tasks in a very specific time frame or order. However, there is no right or wrong order when it comes to living your life. We all experience different events at different ages and each one of us embarks on a different journey to reach our unique end goal.

That being said, it’s common for people to feel that they have failed at a task due to time, specifically lack of time. We feel we weren’t given a fair amount, we miss a deadline or progress takes us longer than projected. Not completing tasks by a deadline can leave us feeling like failures, often times our lack of timeliness results in sanctions from someone who holds more power than we do. The fear of punishment can also manifest the fear of failure. Time is a non-renewable resource we cannot make up for lost time or create extra time for ourselves, but when we fail to meet a deadline it is important we forgive ourselves.

Failure leaves us feeling as if we have limited or no options after. We have exhausted all of our energy and resources into one project ultimately to watch it fail. After experiencing this, it can be hard to become re-inspired and find a new focus, but refocusing can be the best remedy.

Not every failure should be viewed as a loss, some failures provide us with new opportunities and growth, they redirect our lives and put us on the path we are supposed to be on. We will be disappointed and we will be hurt in this life. However, being denied of a job does not mean you’re forever unemployed, it may open new doors, the relationships that you’ve been hurt in can help you grow and prosper with your next partner, and every mistake made is not the end, they may even foster success.

Redirection happens to everybody, no one’s life is perfect or simple, even if it appears that way. As humans, we all struggle and we all feel like giving up at times. Let redirection fuel your next journey and allow your failures to become your inspiration.

Cover Image Credit: Caitlin Rounds

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The Contradiction Of Being "Woke"

Is just saying you're an activist enough?

It's no secret that students everywhere are forming many different opinions on gun violence, among other political issues, and it's important that young people stay involved in the political climate. We are the nation's future. However, as I evaluate the situation, I begin to wonder if just saying you are an activist is actually enough to voice an opinion.

Lately, I've seen countless tweets calling out gun violence in America, and there's a glaring contradiction I see whenever I stumble upon these tweets. On the one hand, I agree with the viewpoint of these young people, and I want to support the aforementioned tweet, however, is tweeting really enough to call yourself an activist?

I don't want to act like the gatekeeper for social issues, but it seems counterintuitive to jump on the bandwagon of BLM or March for Our Lives when in reality, many of the young people tweeting or expressing an opinion online, are really only doing it for the publicity. With the goal of being "#WokeGoals," many young people find themselves forming an opinion that is just an accumulation of what their parents or their favorite celebrity think.

While yes, there is merit in listening to the opinions of others, its beginning to seem like activism is mainstream, and in order to catch the sensationalist wave, many younger people are voicing an opinion for the sole purpose of jumping on that bandwagon.

We are an incredibly vocal younger generation, which is incredible, but more often than not we are preaching to the choir. I highly doubt that a Twitter argument over politics is actually going to change someone's mind, nor do I think that unbridled rage can change the opposing sides mind, however when you tweet, your social circle is going to be the primary audience, and it's more than likely that they already agree with you.

Activism for the sake of change is needed, and important, however in order to achieve the social goals that one claims to support, it is necessary to back that up, and not get swept up in the sensationalism of it all.

Cover Image Credit: webershandwick.com

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