Does victimization give one dominion over someone else's life?
A woman is raped, and demands an abortion or she'll kill herself and unborn child. Presumably, a compassionate person grants her an abortion.
It's a 13 week fetus. Do you grant her demand?
It's a 20 week fetus. Does that change your position?
It's a 30 week fetus. Does that change your position?
Is her suffering inversely proportionate to the gestation of her pregnancy?
A woman is raped, and demands the execution of her rapist immediately, or she'll kill herself. Does a compassionate person grant her demand?
What if the accused already has been investigated and released on insufficient evidence?
I felt compelled to ask these questions by what I read in the comment thread on the March 24th post at chez Diva. Here is only a fragment of the comment by Nigel Humphries:
I recently saw a documentary about women who suffered in the Ârape campsÂ in Serbia. One of these women dissolved into a weeping, bawling mess describing how, when rescued, she had yelled and screamed in a hospital in order to have a 3rd trimester abortion - eventually only
getting one because she informed the doctors if they did not do it, she would walk into a minefield.
I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and anguish in all of this.
The author of this comment claims he cannot imagine the pain and anguish. That's a cop-out. The implication of his comment is that if one has not experienced a particular tragedy, one must defer without question to those who have. Such irrational thinking cannot hope to find truth or promote justice.
Of course we can begin to imagine the pain and anguish. That's how we know it's appropriate to extend her our compassion. The woman did not have to convince us she's experienced pain and anguish from her rape, we can imagine it. That which we've experienced informs us on how to react to that which we've not. I've never been raped, but I've been treated with contempt. I've never been beaten, but I've been abused and credibly threatened with violence. I have believed my life was in danger, and I have been so depressed I felt ready to die. I've certainly experienced physical pain. All this and more I have experienced, and I have witnessed more still. I can apply my experiences to her situation, even though hers obviously is more extreme.
Besides, the demands of victims aren't automatically just. A victim has a right to justice, though it is not always found. A victim has no right to commit injustice, though it is often done.
An abortion is not justice. The woman's pregnancy may exacerbate her suffering, but the abortion will not cure it.
Once again, the argument comes down to whether a fetus has personhood. That is the only question that matters, but let's face the fact that we don't know when personhood begins. If a third trimester fetus is a person, then an innocent person was murdered to comfort a rape victim. If a third trimester fetus is not a person, then there is no right to deny any abortion. How arrogant it is to act as if we know . . .to grant or deny abortions based on, let's face it, popular opinion. The only moral position is to protect the very right to life that we all enjoy.
Ask yourself one more question: If a scientist could prove definitively that personhood begins at 11 weeks, would you still support abortion on demand?