They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, which is why Prolife NZ considers it a badge of honor that the Campus Feminist Collective at Auckland University have decided to rip off our 2013 national JustThink campaign and post flyers around Auckland University with the title ‘Just Think (harder)’.
It’s also great to see pro-choicer’s willing to engage in constructive dialogue at Auckland University, especially in light of last year’s attempt by certain pro-choice people at that very same university to try and quash freedom of expression by revoking Prolife Auckland’s affiliation.
So let the thinking and dialogue continue!
Below are the various claims made in their pamphlet, with our rebuttals beneath each one…
Great to see such a positive start to their flyer, and also pretty pleasing to see the willingness to engage in friendly dialogue about these issues. This is what makes universities such a great place – the free and open exchange of ideas – and it’s definitely a welcome change at Auckland University.
The term embryo is certainly one valid technical term that can be used when discussing this issue, however it is more than just a little bit deceptive in this situation for these two reasons:
1. It conjures up images in people’s minds of this:
When in actuality this is REALLY what we are talking about when we discuss abortion in NZ (because the majority of abortions take place between weeks 8 and 10 in this country):
(Oh, and yes, these are exact scale models for each of the stages of development listed above them)
2. Abortions that take place from 11 weeks onwards kill a fetus, NOT an embryo – approximately 25% – 30% of abortions in NZ take place from 11 weeks onwards
Referring to an unborn human being as a “collection of cells” is a totally redundant term, because ALL human beings are a collection of cells. In fact, so are non-human things like plants, birds and fruit. Calling something a ‘collection of cells’ isn’t actually a description of what it actually is, instead it is a description of what it is MADE OF.
Secondly, If sentience, the ability to feel and perceive, as well as the ability to think is what makes something a person, then no human being is a person when they are under a general anesthetic – because in such a state that cannot do ANY of those things.
It would also mean that any person who cannot feel pain (a condition which affects a small number of people), and who was asleep would not be a person either according to this logic.
So I guess this means that the Campus Feminist Collective would also support the killing of human beings who are under a general anesthetic, or if they were unable to feel pain and asleep?
This argument also justifies the killing of any dependent human being, ranging from infants, to young children, to certain sick or disabled persons.
A young child who depends entirely on the body of another human being for their survival (which is a LOT of children) would also have NO right to life, and could be arbitrarily killed if we were to adopt the logic of the Auckland Campus Feminist Collective.
Secondly, the right to bodily autonomy does NOT justify the deliberate killing of innocent human persons who depend on your body for their continued existence (if it did, then deliberately killing any dependent person, like infants, young children, certain adults, etc, would be ethically permissible simply by invoking bodily autonomy).
This argument also fails to consider that if an unborn human being is actually a person (as we firmly believe the evidence shows it to be), then it is ALSO entitled to the right to bodily autonomy.
Abortion isn’t actually about choosing something for our own body, instead it is about choosing something (the total destruction) for the body of another human person.
The right to bodily autonomy is about the right to be free from an UNJUST aggression that is directed at your body, but how an unborn human being can ever be considered an unjust aggressor when it doesn’t even have the ability for intent, let alone negative intent, makes no real sense.
Let’s also not forget that it is never permissible to deliberately deny the necessities of life to an innocent human being, and in the first few weeks of every human beings life the womb is one of those necessities of life. And as the unborn human being is innocent, its hard to see how abortion could be considered anything other than a deliberate denial of the necessities of life to an innocent human being.
This is basically just a representation of the previous flawed bodily rights argument from earlier in the pamphlet, however I think it is worth noting the contradictory nature of what is being proposed here.
If it is a “fallacy” to claim that an unborn human being has human rights, while the rights of the pregnant person are set aside – then wouldn’t it also be a fallacy to claim that a pregnant person has human rights, while the rights of the unborn human being are set aside?
What the Auckland Campus Feminist Collective is asking us to accept here is that human rights is ultimately about respecting the human rights of only SOME human beings – in this case the bigger, stronger, already born human beings.
But as far as Prolife NZ is concerned, this is a grave contradiction that is a rejection of the very fundamentals of human rights.
Innocent human beings are entitled to human rights. Period. If there is ever a conflict between two different innocent human parties, it is NEVER acceptable to simply rob the more vulnerable party of their human rights as a way of resolving that conflict.
It is totally illogical to and hypocritical to claim, in the one breath, that access to abortion is about respecting a pregnant person’s human rights, and that this right must never be violated – while at exactly the same time claiming that it is okay to violate the human rights of another innocent human being if it suits you to do so.
Such an ideology makes human rights meaningless, and it ultimately undermines the very feminist framework which the Auckland Campus Feminist Collective have built their organisation on. Because if human rights are given to by bigger and stronger human beings, if and when it suits them to do so, then feminists can never legitimately claim that women, in countries where the majority support laws which treat women as second class citizens, are entitled to equal rights. According to the Auckland Campus Feminist Collective’s logic, such women would only ever be entitled to those rights if the majority decided that it suited them to grant rights to those vulnerable women.
The pro-life position is the ONLY one which actually respects human rights, and is consistent in its application of them, because it refuses to group persons into various categories and then pit them against one another before claiming that only some human beings should actually get human rights.
With almost 15,000 abortions in NZ last year alone, it’s pretty hard to take seriously this claim that NZ abortion laws are incredibly restrictive.
And the comments about abortion not being used as a contraceptive are also pretty hard to square away with reality when almost 50% of abortions each year in NZ involve pregnancies where contraception was NOT used.
It’s also worth pointing out the fact that NZ women have been turning away from abortion for the last nine years, with the actual number of abortions per 1000 live births, stillbirths and abortions having been on a decline for that entire nine year period here in NZ.
And this is ultimately the heart of our disagreement with the Auckland Campus Feminist Collective, because what we firmly believe is that a pregnant person should have absolute bodily autonomy and choice right up to the point where those choices will harm other innocent human beings and violate their human rights – at that point, what is being chosen is not actually a valid choice, because no choice to embark on a course of action that will deliberately violate the rights and do harm to another innocent human being should ever be considered just or ethically right.
Once again, big ups to the Auckland Campus Feminist Collective for actually dialoging about this issue! Viva la difference, and long may it continue. Cheers guys!
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