Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, vs. Pro-Rights
Copyright © 1998 by Mark A. Laughlin
The Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life debate is another shining example of the false alternative. Neither side is right and the debate ignores a third, moral alternative.
Pro-Choice advocates proclaim that women have a right to a government funded abortion procedure whic is flawed since a person cannot have a right TO something without the providers of that something being relegated to slave status. Moreover, this violates the First Amendment rights of those (Pro-Life advocates) who are forced to pay for a procedure they abhor.
The Pro-Life advocates assert that the unborn child has a right to its mother's blood and sustenance. If the unborn child is simply a blob of protoplasm, then it has no rights (see the typical pro-abortion, objectivist articles) and the mother may destroy and remove this protoplasm at will. However, if the unborn child is in human enough form to posses rights, then it must also recognize the rights of the mother to her own life and body in which case the mother is within her rights to withdrawl her support of the child. Anyone else who so wishes may take over the task of sustaining the childs life.
This third option of withdrawing support, does not vanish at birth. Parents may withdraw their support of a child at any time and for any reason. If parents refuse to support a child, they may not, however, deny other people from taking over the task of raising it. To force a parent to "due their duty" encourages a stilted, poisonous, and unloving child rearing environment. However, if a parent agrees to care for a child and is then negligent in providing for its proper care, then we are justified in seeking civil damages and perhaps criminal charges against the parent. It is up to the courts to set the guidelines of enforcing parental contracts and laying down the legal requirements for announcing a parent's intention of withdrawing support so that other people have the opportunity to offer to take over the task of providing for the child.
An interesting novel that explores this concept is Solomon's Knife by Victor Koman.