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Pregnancy, forced organ donation and all that jazz.

Recently, we have seen a rise in pro-aborts using the example of organ donation to try and "catch us anti-abortion activists out" by declaring pregnancy is forced organ donation so wE mUsT bE pRo FoRcEd OrGaN dOnAtIoN. Well guess what? We don’t need to agree with forced organ donation in order to believe that abortion is wrong. There are just sooo many flaws with this comparison...so let’s break it down.


We'll start with the basics: the womb is a weird and wonderful place. The womb is the initial carrier of all life. It is the organ in the lower body of a woman or female mammal, where offspring are conceived and in which they gestate (develop over a long period) before birth. It is also known as the uterus. The natural, biological design and purpose of the womb is to carry the offspring placed there by two adults who participated in the only natural activity two humans can engage in that has the possibility of creating another human life. There’s an issue with pregnancy being compared to an organ or tissue donation, when it is nothing alike...



A pregnant woman doesn’t donate her womb to her unborn child as the womb is naturally and biologically designed solely to house and carry an unborn child. To say that it is donated to the unborn child is the same as saying a women’s vagina is donated to a man during intercourse or a nursing mother’s breasts are donated to her breastfeeding child. Neither does a pregnant woman make a tissue donation of her endometrial lining (which would otherwise be discarded during menstruation) to the unborn child, as this is literally the intended use of the endometrium.


An organ used as nature intended it to be used by another human being does not constitute a donation - when pregnant, the bodily systems of a woman work together to provide nutrition and shelter for her unborn child - this is not "donation"; to claim that it is makes no more sense than claiming that the use of a woman’s body to provide nutrition and shelter for her born children is the same as organ donation.



The comparison between pregnancy and organ donation also doesn’t consider the relative rights at stake; it doesn’t recognise the difference between not acting to save a life (non-organ donation) and acting to end a life (abortion). The pro-life stance on abortion is based on the concept that the unborn child, as a human, deserves the same human rights as everybody else. The point here is the right not to be arbitrarily killed - refusing to donate an organ does not result in the arbitrary killing of the ill individual. We have a right not to be killed; but we don’t have a right not to die. The most important right for the individual requiring an organ transplant of some sort is the "right to health," but this only covers a right to ethical treatment, and doesn’t cover forcing another person to undergo a intervention in order to gain treatment. Therefore, no actual rights of the would-be organ recipient are violated by a refusal to donate.


The comparison to forced organ donation doesn’t mirror the state of pregnancy either. Even if we ignore that pregnancy is not organ donation and pretend instead that it in some way is, it still doesn’t resemble the organ donation that takes place between other born human beings. For example, if I’m pregnant, and the embryo or foetus is already using my uterus; the ‘donation’ has already happened. The only way to stop the foetus using my uterus is to forcibly remove them- which would cost them their life. Likewise- after a kidney donation has taken place the only way to stop a donor recipient from using my kidney is to force them to undergo a surgical procedure and reclaim my kidney from their body. Regardless of how my kidney ended up in their body to begin with – forced, voluntary or as a foreseeable consequence of my own actions – most people would see that this remedy for reclaiming my bodily autonomy is not justifiable.



Finally, the comparisons minimise the bodily autonomy of the unborn child whilst elevating the bodily autonomy of born human beings, including the pregnant women. For example, a person dying of kidney disease can’t violate the bodily autonomy of another person in order to save their own life, even though death may be considered a drastic consequence. However, a pregnant woman can violate the bodily autonomy of her unborn child in the most extreme manner in order to avoid the continuation of pregnancy.


So, on one hand they say that bodily autonomy is so important that we can’t violate it even to save our own lives. On other hand, they say that bodily autonomy is so unimportant that we can violate it drastically in order to not be pregnant. The only way to defeat this this hypocrisy is to argue that the unborn child does not deserve human rights – and there are no arguments that are convincing of this.

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