Is abortion a choice, or a medical necessity?

Since Andrea asked us to say it with her (in response to abortion coverage in current American health care reform bills): Abortion is not medical care.

North of the border, we manage to maintain the spectacular inconsistency that abortion is a woman’s choice, and that at the same time, it is medically necessary. (Abortion is medically necessary when the woman says it is medically necessary.)

I can see abortion advocates arguing that sometimes it’s medically necessary, but otherwise it’s a woman’s choice. The notion that late-term abortion is ever necessary is questionable enough, but that line of argument would fall squarely into one of the five bad ways to argue about abortion: disguising your true position by appealing to the hard cases.

That is, pro-choice advocates tend to appeal to hard cases, which are rare, and then extrapolate to all abortions. “What if a woman was raped? What if a woman’s life is in danger?” These are serious and complex issues — but they account for a small percentage of all abortions. These are bad arguments for all abortions being legal, ethical, or “medically necessary,” and honest pro-choicers know it.

Blaise Alleyne (0T9) completed a B. Sc. with a major in computer science, and minors in English and philosophy. He is currently in the Masters of Theology Studies program at Regis College at the University of Toronto. Blaise has been involved with UTSFL since becoming a member in 2005.

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  1. [...] Unfortunately, Canada already subscribes to the incredible inconsistency that abortion is both a woman’s choice and a medical necessity. [...]

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