The issue is who decides, the woman or the state. It’s about freedom of choice.
The abortion lobby has always realized that abortion itself is
indefensible. This has forced them to argue that whether abortion is
the deliberate killing of a living human being or not, is unrelated to
the question of whether it should be legal. In short, they have to
divert attention toward the philosophical concepts of “choice” and “who
decides” because they can’t afford for the public to look at what’s
being chosen and decided.
To imply that the issue is not abortion, but choice, is to say
that what’s being chosen is irrelevant. That is clearly illogical given
that all choices are not equal. Choosing whether to buy a new car is
vastly different than choosing whether to produce child pornography,
and the morality of those choices is not affected by the eventual
decision. However, the pro-choice position is that abortion becomes
acceptable simply by the act of choosing to do it.
Defenders of slavery also used this same strategy. During the
1858 Abraham Lincoln- Stephen Douglas debates, Douglas said he did not
support outlawing slavery, saying, “I am now speaking of rights under
the Constitution, and not of moral or religious rights. I do not
discuss the morals of the people favoring slavery, but let them settle
that matter for themselves. I hold that the people who favor slavery
are civilized, that they bear consciences, and that they are
accountable to God and their posterity and not to us. It is for them to
decide therefore the moral and religious right of the slavery question
for themselves within their own limits.”
Just substitute the word abortion every place the word slavery
appears, and this statement perfectly defines the pro-choice position
in America today. Lincoln’s response to Douglas’ pro-choice position on
slavery was, “He cannot say that he would as soon see a wrong voted up
as voted down. When Judge Douglas says whoever, or whatever community,
wants slaves, they have a right to them, he is perfectly logical if
there is nothing wrong in the institution; but if you admit that it is
wrong, he cannot logically say that anybody has a right to do a wrong.”
Lincoln recognized that there is nothing intrinsically noble
about the concept of choice, and that there are choices which a society
cannot allow the individual to make.
The fact is, before one can rightly claim that the issue is
“choice” or “who decides,” he or she must first examine what’s being
chosen. If it’s what color shoes to wear, that’s one thing; if it’s
whether to kill another human being, that’s another. Except in
self-defense, the decision about whether one human being can kill
another one cannot be left up to the individual who wants to do the
Besides, this “who decides, the woman or the state” rhetoric
is idiotic on its face. Laws against abortion would not let the state
decide who gets abortions any more than laws against rape let the state
decide who gets raped. Instead, they establish that certain behaviors
are so unacceptable they must be illegal.
Finally, as used by abortion advocates, the term “pro-choice”
is both inaccurate and dishonest. In an abortion, at least three people
are directly impacted: the mother, the father, and the child. The
pro-choice argument is that only one is entitled to a choice.
Additionally, it has never been a part of their agenda to protect any
choice other than abortion. They don’t lobby for women to have the
legal right to be prostitutes or use crack cocaine. Yet these laws, and
thousands of others, deny women “the right to choose” just as much as
laws preventing abortion would.