Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New at Live Action - Why "Viability" Is a Meaningless Standard for Human Rights

My latest Live Action post:
Viability. For those trying to justify abortion, it almost seems like a magic word, the quality that singlehandedly determines whether or not a baby has any rights. If a baby can’t survive outside his or her mother’s womb, they say, it doesn’t count as a real person; it’s just a part of the mother’s body.

But like all magic, the viability standard is a mere trick, a rhetorical sleight-of-hand directing the audience’s attention away from the truly relevant facts about a baby’s humanity. In truth, “viability” has no real ethical relevance.

How could it? Surely the protection of the womb and the nourishment of the umbilical cord can’t be morally significant, since these needs – shelter, nutrients, oxygen – are not at all different from the needs of adults; only the delivery method is different. None of us are “viable” without external aid of some sort.
Read the rest at Live Action.

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