With five decades of an infanticidal free-for-all having had a cap put in it, the left is hopping mad about the whole situation. Feminists everywhere, fresh from having enthusiastically demanded that a needle go in every arm, have abruptly rediscovered bodily autonomy as an eternal, sacred principle defining the Who We Are Values of Our Democracy.
Far be it from me to argue against bodily autonomy. I had a great time over the last couple years throwing “my body, my choice” into the faces of the sanctimonious injectoids.
Now, the vaccinators insist that bodily autonomy doesn’t apply to vaccines, because, you see, if you’re not jabbed, you’re not protected, and you’re endangering the jabbed you interact with by potentially spreading the coof of doom to their defenseless immune systems. You see, the mRNA product protects against infection and transmission, which is why it’s so important that everyone be made to take it, because even though you’ve taken it you aren’t protected. Or something. I don’t pretend to fully follow the argument; I’m skeptical they do, either.
But I’m not here today to argue with our leftist compatriots. To the contrary! My purpose is to agree with them. I just want to take their basic argument, consistently and fairly, to its logical conclusion, and to do so in the spirit of inclusion and equity that we all publicly agree is the foundation of our moral order.
A fetus does not have the right to the resources of the mother’s body: so far as I can tell, that’s the foundation of the argument in favour of legalized infanticide. By imposing its unwanted existence on the mother’s body, the parasitic clump of cells is stealing from her, and this isn’t at all fair. Unless the mother is allowed to excise her little ovarian tumour, it will get in the way of all of the good things in life. She might have to scale back her ambitions at her very important career in human resources. Worse, if she’s forced by the state to carry the child to term, she won’t be able to enjoy consequence-free sex. Rather than a garden of delectable male delights, Tinder turns into a minefield of potentially life-altering catastrophe.
This is obviously inhumane and nightmarish, as I’m sure all right-thinking people agree.
The thing is, though, the present state of affairs still consigns women to intolerable slavery.
Let’s face it: children are pretty useless. In addition to having gigantic carbon footprints putting all other lifestyle choices to shame, they’re useless eaters throughout their life cycle. Ask any new parent, and they’ll tell you that pregnancy was the easy part. While they’re babies, they need constant changing, they wake up at all hours of the night, they puke all over the place ... essentially little machines for turning your hard-earned dollars into shit. If the mother breastfeeds, there’s the enormous caloric toll taken by milk production. It doesn’t get any better when they’re toddlers, at which point they’re generating even more poo, while making even more noise, and to make matters worse the monsters have become mobile, a threat to themselves and others. As they get older, they admittedly become toilet trained, but the mischief they can get up to only grows in scale and horror.
Throughout all of this, they’re entirely parasitic. You don’t get any useful work out of them. They’re not an investment that ever pays for itself. We don’t have an agrarian economy anymore where you can put them out in the field to milk the cows when they’re old enough to say their own names. Hell, these days you can’t even rely on them to look after you in their old age: the ungrateful wretches are much more liable to abandon your broken form in a retirement home, then proceed to happily ignore you as you rot away in a concentration camp for the aged.
If a fetus is a parasite in the natal environment and therefore has no right to the biological support of the mother’s body, how is the situation any different after birth?
Hence my first point: to be consistent, we must allow mothers to relieve their children of their lives at any point up to that at which they become fully self-supporting. Should the mother change her mind about the desirability of a dependant, it is the grossest imposition upon her bodily autonomy to prevent her from burying an ice-pick in its ear. Frankly, if a middle-aged woman is still receiving generous birthday gifts from her elderly mother, even that should be considered something of a legal grey area.
My second point follows directly from the first, and is made in the spirit of sexual egalitarianism. Since we have agreed that a dependant child has no more right to life than a fetus, for both are parasites living off of the life-energy of the mother, well, what of the father? Even should the father decline to marry the woman in whose womb he so carelessly spilled his seed, our enlightened society imposes upon him the costs of child support. Should he fail to make his payments timely and regular, the money will be extracted directly from his bank account. For every story of a woman’s promising career cut short by the unfortunate initiation of a life in her loins, there is a story of a man financially ruined by the costs of feeding and housing his useless offspring.
It follows quite directly, then, that a man should have the right to demand a fetus be aborted, at any stage in the pregnancy. There can be no question of this being an imposition on the mother’s bodily autonomy, for by agreeing to maternal homicide we have agreed that the fetus is not her body, but a parasite upon it, having no rights of its own. Since the child is also a parasite upon the father’s body, due to the time and energy he must expend to care for it, the father’s bodily autonomy is also being jeopardized should we prevent him from ending the child’s life for any reason he chooses. And of course, following the argument given above, the father should be allowed to do this for so long as the child remains an economic dependant.
Thus, the logic of abortion as justified by bodily autonomy leads us back to the family structure of the Roman era, in which the paterfamilias – and the materfamilias, we are not so sexist as the Romans! – have absolute right of life and death over every member of their household.
This might strike you as monstrous. Even if you’re a leftist, perhaps, it may seem a bit extreme to argue that a man should be able to order a woman into the baby abattoir because her growing womb cyst will cramp his style, or that a mother should be allowed to put strychnine in her teenage daughter’s vegan chili after the wilful child refused to clean her room for the hundredth time.
If so, perhaps we can agree that bodily autonomy is not the right frame with which to discuss the murder of children.
Although that’s apparently gotten less certain in the era of the socially deprived lockdown baby.
Edit for clarity: these are devil's advocate style arguments, in case someone doesn't read the whole way to the end where I explicitly state that.
If I were to push back on this, I would point out that there is a line between the baby needing a particular parent, the one with the womb it is implanted in, and the baby needing any human parent, and that makes a point where the bodily autonomy argument holds up. If a baby can't be born (one way or another) and survive on its own with the help of some third party, then it is arguably part of the mother/a parasite.* If the baby could be born and someone else could raise it, because the baby can do the breathing etc. it needs to do on its own or with a little help, then it is definitely its own person that owns itself. I think your argument glosses over that distinction.
One can (and should I think) make the argument that parents are responsible for the wellbeing of their kids, and along with that responsibility comes authority and limited ownership over the kid. A parent that can't or won't take that responsibility also gives up authority and the limited ownership to another adult. Ownership is limited because kids are humans that own themselves, but on a bit of a mortgage you might say due to being dependent on adults for their continued existence and raising. Since the parental ownership is limited, specifically around the wellbeing part, that stops one short of the "parents own their children and can dispose of them at will", replacing it with the obligation to not kill the kids because they are humans, and instead hand them to someone else to take the role of parent, giving up all parental status. This hinges on the kid being capable of existing outside of its specific parent, however, because you can't transfer the responsibility to another person, otherwise. If one holds full responsibility that cannot be discharged, and yet not full ownership, that gets you in sort of an odd place, a place really close to "society owns your body in some very real ways, or at least has some extremely strong claims to it." That's the kind of exception that gets you to vaccine mandates or whatever nonsense the state wants to do to you for the good of other people.
Another way of looking at the objection is a least harm principle based on conflicting rights. After the kid can live on its own (in the biological sense, not getting a job sense) it is clearly least harm to bring the child to term and adopt it to someone else. A few month's cost to the mother compared to the lifetime of the child that is almost certainly going to live because someone else will take care of it.
If the kid can't live on its own yet, then it gets fuzzier, because one can make the argument above that it isn't an actual viable human without someone who doesn't want to take care of it taking care of it. If someone is willing and able to take care of it, then you are back to least harm is to give it to that person obviously. If you make the claim that it is viable despite not being able to live without being directly attached to mom, you create a bit of an odd position that anything that happens to the kid while in the womb is mom's responsibility as though the fetus was a post-natal kid. Which is probably ok for the most part but would require investigating miscarriages as at least accidental deaths. It also moves lots of prenatal care into the realm of taking care of your post-natal child, which might get weird.
All in all, I don't think those are airtight arguments, more just devil's advocate sort of things. We humans probably need to be a bit more careful than average when talking about this stuff, however, because these questions get to the very root of what it is to be human, in the sense of our ancestors dealing with these questions for all our existence, and coming up with very different answers.
Personally, I am all for just saying "Fuck it, first trimester is fine, after that not, and pay for it yourself. NOW CAN WE PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS?!" I actually thought Roe v Wade would never be overturned simply because the political parties loved using it to get the base riled up and drive voter turn out. Regardless of the moral or ethical dimensions, I am thrilled that it got overturned just for the good governance outcomes I expect. Even if every state's laws stay exactly the same as they were last year, not having it be a national issue is a huge win. People being able to select states closer to their preference on this issue is a bonus.
Coof of doom. Poof. Proof. Spoof. If children are useless eaters with massive carbon footprints, the solution is obvious: Global mgmt will need to stop feeding them starting with baby formula, then fertilizer bans for Africa per EU green guidelines.