Right for life

The antagonists of choice often use the phrase “embryo’s humanity” and here they mean the physical human qualities, however this is a very ambiguous phrase, maybe, intentionally ambiguous. In this context the word “humanity” assumes compassionate human feelings and merits, such as susceptibility or love. This is thoroughly selected term which is called to invoke compassion towards embryo and attach him humanlike qualities, which it simply doesn’t have. The ability to feel happiness, sorrow, malice and hate – this is integral part of our “humanity” but we don’t begin to develop so difficult emotions till we enter social interaction with other people.

The alternative phrase which is often said by the antagonists of choice “this is life” is one additional ambiguous and misty term. Obviously, embryo is living and quite possible to state that embryo is a separate living unit (although this is a questionable point of view because of embryo’s full dependence on mother’s body). If we simply call embryo “life”, then it is telling us nothing, if this term is not a synonym of the term “human being”, and this means that the antagonists of choice simply make a mistake of vicious circle.

There is the same problem with the phrase of the antagonists of choice “life begins at the moment of conception”. From the biological point of view this is the absurd statement, because life at this planet began only once, approximately three and half billion years ago, and since it was not stopping. A settled ovule is only the continuation of life in a new form, only one small step is separating it from separate sperm cell and ovule which were living before union and presented the unique genetic potential of a new human being. In the context of the movement against choice the term “life begins at the moment of conception” can be translated only in such a way “A human being appears at the moment of conception”. And here we can see the vicious circle again.

So, does the embryo have “the right for life”?

The antagonists of choice say that embryo has inalienable right for life. However many of them support the exceptions in prohibition for abortion if the thing is in rape, incest, threat for life and woman’s health. And this clearly points at the fact that they concede the concession in right for life for the embryo, and they evidently don’t count it as absolute and paramount. By doing the compromises in their determination “right for life” to make a concession for women’s rights, thereby they automatically recognize that women’s rights are more important than embryo’s “right for life”.

Even if it was possible to say that embryo has a right for life, this doesn’t conclude the right to use the body of other person. For example, the state cannot make people become donors of organs or blood even with the aim of saving somebody’s life. The law doesn’t force us to risk our own life and jump into the river to save the sinking person how noble it would be. So, even if embryo has a right for life, a pregnant woman cannot be forced to save this life by providing her own body for nine months against her will. And as the answer for this, the antagonists of choice say that to be pregnant is not the same as to be Good Samaritan because woman have chosen having sex and voluntarily accepted the risk of pregnancy. However sex is not the contract for pregnancy and people have a right to have not reproductive sex. Such argument is also sexist and puritanical because it punishes for sexual behavior of women but not men.

Even if the embryo was a human being with the right for life, this doesn’t mean at all the automatic cancellation of the woman’s right to make a choice which can in certain circumstances have a big moral weight. Freedom of the own moral self-determination is the fundamental right in our society. And as the pregnancy is associated with huge physical, psychological and long-term consequences for woman (and not just a simple inconvenience), then her freedom will be significantly limited if she was forced to bear the pregnancy.

If embryos have the right for life, then some can declare about the analogical right of unwanted embryos not to live. This declaration is absolutely extraneous for the supposition of the antagonists of choice about that every life is precious and must be encouraged and saved by any means. Though, in the real world people commit suicides because they don’t want to live anymore, and other people are sorry that they were born. in the long run, life holds no joy not for everybody, especially if the talk is about unwanted children who are prone to the high risk of dysfunctional life. Some people believe that enforcement to life is the violation of the human dignity and conscious. To be really precious, the right for life must conclude its opposite – the right for death.

However, in the final analysis, holding the “right for life” requires the individual was able for independent existence. He must “get life” before he has a “right for life”. Embryo cannot be the separate individual as he lives inside the pregnant woman and his development depends on her. Actually, the embryo’s development fully corresponds to the biological definition of “parasite”, especially if the pregnancy causes serious abnormalities in the woman’s organism, like parasite causes the abnormalities in the owner’s organism. People, who are talking about “parasites”, are not trying to humiliate embryos with the help of negative connotations with the word “parasite” (actually parasites and owners sometimes reciprocally support each other and probably this doesn’t refer to the majority of pregnancies). Though, parasitic relationship of embryo and woman means that the prolongation of its existence demands woman’s consent. If she is continuing to bear the pregnancy against her will, this will be violation of her rights and crime against bodily security.

The second formulation of the highest moral law states “Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end…” (White, p. 52) And here Kant underlines the idea of unconditional self-value of the human personality, that every person is the whole unique world which have the highest meaning in itself and which is inadmissible to sacrifice to something which is going against with its destination.

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