On Abortion

An argument that is not mine:

  • Women are Persons (i.e. have value, wants, desires, hopes, worth) and are in every relevant way the equal of men regarding rights.
  • A person has the right to bodily autonomy.
  • Therefore, women have the right to bodily autonomy.
  • A fetus or embryo, for the sake of argument, is a person (even thought it doesn’t have the same wants, desires, hopes as an adult woman).
  • A woman, by virtue of her bodily autonomy, can chose what to do with her body.
  • A woman can chose to be pregnant, and rescind that choice at any time.
  • If a woman cannot rescind, i.e. abort, the permission to be pregnant with another person, then she does not have the same bodily autonomy as a man.
  • Therefore, a woman must have have the choice to abort or not, unless she is less than a man.


It matters not a whit that one believes a fetus or embryo is as much a person as a woman. Nobody would countenance forcing a man to share his body or parts to support the life of another person. Even though not providing this lifesaving act would mean the death of the other.

I don’t believe a fetus/embryo is of the same value or development as an adult. But I have not used that in the argument.

If a fetus/embryo is a unique individual (doubtful), so is a woman. Neither has the right over the other.