The Political Case

Choice

Since abortion is impossible to justify on the merits (it kills a living human being, remember), "choice" has become the foundation of its political justification. Abortion advocates don't want to talk about facts or science, but they love to talk about "choice". "It’s my body. My choice!" 

Nothing has so clouded and confused the politics of this debate more than the misconstrued application of this one little term. The bottom line is this: Choice is nothing apart from the context to which it is applied. Individual choices are either recognised or restricted based upon the circumstances at hand. You simply cannot talk about choice in isolation. 

For forty years, however, abortion advocates have sought to bestow upon choice a nobility all its own, a nobility it has no claim to. They refuse to be called "pro-abortion", but they gladly accept the label "pro-choice" (despite the fact that there are countless other issues for which they are decidedly not pro-choice). The fact is, laws against rape, murder, assault, theft, speeding, drink-driving and even smoking are all "anti-choice". They take away legal protection from one particular choice in order to protect a more foundational freedom. All such laws are "legislating morality". 

Furthermore, in almost 99% of all UK abortions, the woman having the abortion chose to have sexual intercourse in the first place. Therefore, it could just as easily be argued that these women already made their choice when they chose to engage in behaviour that often leads to pregnancy. Ultimately, restricting a woman's right to abortion does not restrict a woman's right to not be pregnant. Abortion, after all, does not keep a woman from being pregnant. Abstinence does that. Abortion simply ends the pregnancy of an already pregnant woman by killing the embryo or fetus living within her. 

In the end, we are only free to choose so long as that choice doesn't kill or harm someone else, and our government exists to take away those choices that do. Nobody argues that a man should be free to choose when the context is sexual assault. What a fool he would be to try and justify rape by saying, "My body, my choice." Why? Because rape is a violent assault which involves more than just one body. And so is abortion. The heart of the issue is not "choice". The real question is humanity, and nothing short of anarchy can guarantee the perfect freedom of choice.

Person-hood

There are essentially two issues which must be resolved concerning unborn embryos and fetuses. The first is, "Are they human beings?" The second is, "Should they be recognised as persons under the law?" We've already established that there is no debate on the first question. It is a matter of plain, objective science. Embryos and fetuses are fully and individually human from fertilisation on. If this were not true, if unborn children were not demonstrably human, there would be no need to even talk about rights of person-hood. "Removing a fetus" would be the moral equivalent of pulling a tooth. This, however, is not the case, and so the debate must now enter the political arena. 

There is a very real sense in which the need to answer this second question is, in itself, an absurdity. If you look up the word "person" in your average dictionary (we'll use dictionary.com), you'll find something like this: 

Person noun: a human being, whether an adult or child

A person, simply put, is a human being. This fact should be enough. 

This isn’t the first time a specific group of human beings have been stripped of their rights of person-hood, and consequently brutalised. 200 years ago we celebrated the abolition of Slavery. Africans were sold into slavery and treated as property. This was justified on the premise that they were sub-human. In Nazi Germany, millions of Jews were mistreated and murdered justified on the premise that they were sub-human. 

There remains one, and only one, group of human beings in the UK today for which being human is not enough. The inconvenience of their existence has resulted in a legal loophole of shameful proportions. What is a person? A person is a human being (unless, of course, you haven't been born yet, in which case we'll define person-hood in any way possible so as to exclude you, kill you and forget you).