Bodily autonomy is defined as: “a person having control over whom or what uses their body, for what, and for how long.” The idea of individual autonomy is very much a modern day ideal and can be described as: “to live one's life according to reasons and motives that are taken as one's own and not the product of manipulative or distorting external forces.”1 The key word in this description is “external,” and is the first reason why the pro-choice argument of bodily autonomy is invalid in regards to pregnancy which, as we know, is an internal and very natural part of being a woman.
The word “autonomy” is used in this day as an excuse to commit a moral evil. To prove this point, we shall address the two different forms of autonomy. “Moral autonomy refers to the capacity to impose the (objective) moral law on oneself, and, following Kant, it is claimed as a fundamental organizing principle of all morality (Hill 1989). On the other hand, what can be called “personal autonomy” is meant as a trait that individuals can exhibit relative to any aspects of their lives, not limited to questions of moral obligation.”2
As we can see, the women of today who claim, “bodily autonomy,” are claiming “personal autonomy,” which, as stated above, does not bind them to any moral obligations and therefore, makes it okay to kill an unborn child. If we look further into the actual definition of autonomy and that of moral autonomy, we see that their arguments continue to fail.
1. Autonomy refers to specifically, “external forces,” which pregnancy is not. Pregnancy is an internal force of nature and does not qualify as an external force in any way, shape, or form.
2. All rights and just laws, as well as right and wrong, are governed by Natural Moral Law, an inherit knowledge in all of us and what our just laws are based off of. So, to claim a “right” to personal or bodily autonomy, we are saying, “We want to do whatever it is we want without consequence and without being held back by morals or civil laws.” Therefore, those who claim “bodily autonomy” are asking for license to commit evil and to not be criticized. They are not asking for a right because if it were a right, it would comply with NML (Natural Moral Law).
3. The right to “ bodily autonomy” does NOT give us the right to extinguish a life. It does quite the opposite actually. To abort a fetus who, scientifically is proven to be alive because of the presence of a heartbeat, brainwaves, vital organs, etc., a woman is infringing upon that human being’s right to bodily autonomy by using an external force (abortion) to extinguish their life, which also infringes upon their right to life.
4. Since 85%3 of abortions are performed on unmarried women who have had consensual sex and they choose to use it as a birth control method, these women have no right to claim bodily autonomy in regards to their pregnancy. By having consensual sexual relations, the woman is consenting to the possibility of conceiving a child (even if BC is used and fails, they knew the risks) and therefore, she gave the fetus consent to be within her body and to grow. Thus, to abort the child would further infringe upon this human’s life because: A) you are ignoring their right to bodily autonomy and B) you are terminating their life, which infringes upon their right to life.
5. 1%4 of all aborting women have been victims of rape. That being said, the pro-aborts use these unfortunate victims as an excuse for abortion. In the case of a child conceived as a result of rape, a woman’s right to “body autonomy” has been infringed upon. That being said, the baby is still their own entity and still has the same right to “ bodily autonomy” and life as the mother who carries them. To forcibly remove the fetus/child from the uterus, the rape victim has not only committed the grievous crime of murder, but they again, have blatantly ignored the fetus’s/child’s right to “ bodily autonomy” by using an “external force,” to terminate the fetus’s life and forcibly remove it from the mother’s womb.
In conclusion, I must state that NO ONE has the perogative to violate the rights of another human being. Just as one person cannot kill, sexually assault, steal from, or abuse another person without punishment, a woman cannot justly stop the beating heart of a fetus for any reason, because to do so would infringe upon that human baby’s right not only to life, but to bodily autonomy.