Does a Fetus Have the Right to use Your Body?


November 27, 2012 by mattfradd

A few weeks back, guest blogger, Stephanie Gray posted her thought-provoking article, Do We Know When Life Begins? Today she addresses those who acknowledge what is scientifically undeniable (life begins at conception) but who contend, as one woman recently said (yelled?) to me, “no one has the right to use my body without my consent!”

In today’s post, Stephanie addresses the question, “If I’m not obligated to donate my kidney, should I be obliged to donate my uterus?

A Kidney versus the Uterus

Earlier this year, at the University of Ottawa, I debated with a philosophy professor about abortion. Most of the people I debate with deny the personhood of the unborn on the basis of the unborn’s inability to function in certain ways.

This professor, however, argued that even if the unborn are full members of the moral community, as adults are, abortion is permissible because pregnancy involves an extraordinary act on behalf of the mother.

This was the analogy he used to make his case:

“Suppose that you are in need of a kidney transplant in order to survive and that your mothe r is the only  person in the world who is a physical match, meaning that she is the only person who can provide you with a kidney and hence preserve your life. Do you have a right to your mother’s kidney?”

As we know from Church teaching, organ donation from live donors can be ethical, even admirable, but it is certainly not mandatory. Even when it is done, Pope John Paul II stipulated, “A person can only donate that of which he can deprive himself without serious danger or harm to his own life or personal identity, and for just and proportionate reason.”(1)

Could those who are pro-life argue, then, that because “donating” one’s uterus to the unborn does not bring danger to the mother’s life, it should be done? The philosophy professor anticipated that argument. Indeed, he said it would be nice to provide one’s kidney or uterus, but a woman shouldn’t be forced to do it.

Expressing the same sentiment as the Church on organ donation, he indicated that just because one may do it, it doesn’t mean one must. He explained that the kidney case is analogous to pregnancy in the following ways:

“It concerns two persons who stand in the relation of mother and child. Both are, uncontroversially, full members of the moral community, with all of the rights that come with such membership. One person (the child) requires the other person’s body (the mother’s) to survive.

In the kidney case, my right to life and my need for my mother’s body to survive do not deliver any right whatsoever to her body, let alone a right that trumps her rights to control her body. The same goes for pregnancy.”

If that is true about the kidney, does it follow that it is true about the uterus? While many things could be said in response to the professor’s claim, this question needs to be at the heart of our reply:

What is the nature and purpose of the kidney versus the nature and purpose of the uterus?

The answer tells us why a woman is not obligated to give her child her kidney but is obligated to “give” her child her uterus.

The Function of the Uterus

Once one looks at the function of the kidneys and the uterus, it is quite clear why the professor’s analogy does not have merit. The kidneys exist for the health and proper functioning of the body in which they reside. In other words, kidneys exist in a body, for that body.

In contrast, the uterus exists in one body, to be around—and for—another body. The fact that a woman can live without her uterus but a fetus cannot shows that the uterus exists for the unborn child rather than for the mother.

The unborn, as members of the human family then, must not be denied the environment that regularly waits in great expectation for them.

The fact that the uterus, an organ created to nurture the unborn, belongs to the woman tells us something very important—and beautiful—about the nature and purpose of women: that they are to be mothers (whether in physical or spiritual form). A pregnant woman becomes a tabernacle enveloping a person made in the image of the Divine.

Far from being viewed as an injustice, as an intrusion on one’s bodily rights, it should be viewed as a fulfillment of one’s purpose—the purpose both of the woman and of her body, including her uterus. While we cannot deny the difficult, even tragic, life circumstances that a pregnant woman may face, the life in her womb is not something to be destroyed.

It is something—someone—to hold in awe, to admire with sacred reverence, declaring as Elizabeth once did to he r cousin

Mary, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42)

The role of woman as mother means that she (like the father) has a responsibility to her offspring that she does not have to strangers.(2) And while that responsibility does not obligate her to do extraordinary things, such as taking trips to Disneyland or donating kidneys, it does obligate her to do ordinary things, such as feeding, clothing, and sheltering her offspring.

To do otherwise would be parental neglect. In fact, Western countries have made it illegal for parents to neglect their children. And so, maintaining pregnancy is simply doing for the unborn what parents must do f or the born—providing the shelter and nourishment a child needs. It is what is required in the normal course of the reproduction of our species.

Furthermore, when unborn children are aborted, they are directly and intentionally killed in the environment made for them. A kidney patient, in contrast, dies as a result of kidney disease. As a physician friend of mine pointed out, “In the renal [kidney] analogy, if nothing is done, one person dies. In the pregnancy case, if nothing is done, no one dies. ”

Thus, the professor’s kidney comparison can only be truly analogous with abortion if the mother, after denying her child a kidney, then dismembers, decapitates, and disembowels him, too.

Fundamentally, however, the issue in responding to the kidney analogy is to examine the nature of the uterus.(3)

That insight came to me during the debate as I was praying for wisdom about how to respond; I consider subsequent comments from the professor as evidence of the Holy Spirit at work: Shortly after the debate my friend told me,

“The professor told his class that week that the argument that the womb was created for the child was literally keeping him up all night!”

…A woman’s uterus may be in her body, but every month it gets ready for someone else’s body. It exists not so much for us as women, but for our offspring.

With the power to control the destiny of one’s child comes the responsibility to protect and respect the child’s life.

The citations and original article can be found here

Stephanie Gray is co-founder and executive director of The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform:

53 thoughts on “Does a Fetus Have the Right to use Your Body?

  1. Tim H says:

    Nice work, as always! 😀

  2. Lori8069 says:

    Abortion, like pornography, sets a very, very low standard for what is considered “proper behavior” in a whole host of instances–abortion makes human life infinately cheap, and pornography takes what should be something reserved for a comitted, loving marriage and makes that infinately cheap as well.

    We’re living in a philosophically barren fast-food culture that leaves us all mal-nourished and emotionally and mentally sick, with no big obvious alternatives to turn to for spiritual health.

    The arguements for abortion are just as lame as those for pornography–it’s all the same lame defense of the indefensible, that unfortunately makes more “sense” all the time in this sickening death-culture society.

    • Rachel says:

      Exactly. It all involves selfishness. But what alot of pro-choice activists seem to forget that in the vast majority of cases the woman having the abortion hasnt made this choice for herself or the baby at all. She’s been forced, threatened and frightened into doing it. and yet still the culture and pro-choice doctors will dress it up as being good for women because now we have the “choice” and its all about “women’s liberation” and this rhetoric is being used to push the agenda of getting exactly what we want and having as much sex as we want, with who ever we want, when ever we want it “and dont worry if she gets pregnant because you can always pay for her to have an abortion and there’ll be no ramifications”. And most woman who’ve had abortions in the past regret it big time but the pro-coice feminists, who claim to care so much about a woman’s voice, choose to completely ignore the voices of these woman because the truth doesnt suit their agenda.

  3. Once a woman engages in sex, she is ipso facto giving consent for a child to “use” her uterus.

  4. Rachel says:

    Great article Stephanie, and thank you Matt for posting it. I had a new found respect for the proffessor by the end when you said he admitted to being up all night thinking about the matter, but until then I was wondering how on earth this guy ever got through university if he thinks it makes any sense at all to compare deciding not to donate a kidney to purposefully aborting an innocent child especially when you know what the process involves. Saying the mother would be donating her uterus is ridiculous. Can I just say, as someone who had twin boys a mere 7 months ago, that i still have my uterus. It hasnt gone anywhere or changed in any way and I havent changed in any way, Im just the same as ever exept I have a fair few stretch marks but so what? They’re my stripes and I’ve earned them. And as for saying that being pregnant “involves an extraordinary act on behalf of the mother” is so typical of the selfish culture we live in. The only thing extraordinary about being pregnant is the miracle taking place inside of you. Other than that its something you simply get on with. Yes I puked alot, yes I was hungry the whole time, yes I was extreemly emotional and cried often but who cares? I wasnt the first woman to ever be pregnant and I knew it. However I also understand I was one of the lucky ones and I am aware that not all pregnancies are risk free, having had a tour of the special care baby unit where i saw tiny little babies born three months prematurely fighting for their lives in incubators. Thankfully most of the babies in that fabulous unit we have in Newcastle do verry well and thats because we have medicines and machines to help sustain their lives. But sometimes I wonder why some doctors bother to revolutionise these medicines and machines and be pro-choice at the same time. They’ll fight to save the life of a child born three months premature (thank God, and well done to the clever people who do this) but they’ll happily abort a child of the same age (as this is just about legal to abort a fetus of six months, but its classed as murder if you go one day over that six month boundary). Praise the Lord for pro-life doctors who refuse to take part in this. Anyway, I could go on forever. Fab article, and I am completely in love with the whole line about the woman being a tabernacle. Simply beautiful.

    • Lori8069 says:

      I was pretty surprised a few years ago to take a look at the NOW (National Organization for Women) website, only to find that modern feminism consists in solely keeping abortion “safe and legal”, with absolutely no mention of the escalating degradation of women in pornography, for example, or any other indicators that women have woken up to the fact that feminism takes more AWAY from the dignity of women than it ever provided.

      I witnessed a very ill-at-ease president of NOW on a program trying to say that women had every right to get rip-roaring drunk while dressed in a sexually provocative way without being afraid of walking the streets at night–as if women never have the least bit of responsibility to keep themselves safe by avoiding dangerous situations, and the Slutwalk nonsense is the current answer to the increasing lust of men who are being incited by pornography to rape women–women will get tougher and tougher, many of them indistinguishable from prostitutes, while men eventually lose every bit of respect for them, and broken marriages and illegitimate children become the norm.

      You can’t take all traditional sexual morality out of a society and expect everything to go along smoothly without being adversely effected–it’s highly unrealistic. Women seem to be completely forgetting what being treated with respect even looks like, and I’ve lived long enough to see the way that women are treated by men go down significantly in the respect area over the years–women have traded the freedom to be sexually indiscriminate for a culture that sees them as things to use in pornography, and doesn’t care if they are left by husbands or boyfriends to raise children on their own.

      • Rachel says:

        You are so right. Dont get me started on the slut walks. It made me so sad to see beautiful daughters of God have such little respect for themselves. It gave out the completely wrong message and guys turned up at these walks not because they had respect for the women but because they wanted to ogle them and leer at them and the had free licence to do so. And dont get me wrong, I like my wine, but Im with you. People cant expect to behave in a certain way (i.e. how ever the heck they want) on a night out and expect to avoid the clutches of the maniac lurking round the corner. Its like how we tell kids not to accept candy from strangers. The kid may want the candy but they know if they take it they’ll get into a very dangerous situation so they know not to take it. Some kids have more common sense than grown ups when it comes to anything like that. I was watching a morning television programme just last week and they were discussing how pornography gives men (not all men obviously) a sense of entitlement (entitlement to treat women how ever you want, entitled to sex on tap etc) and how that increases rape, and I thought “finally, a talk show that makes sense.” Lads mags dont help either. Im not even talking about hard core porn magazines. The language used in them practically encourages and justifies rape. Matt even posted a blog (if memory serves me correctly) about how researchers compared comments found in lads mags and comments made by convicted rapists who showed no remorse. They then gave the comments to members of the public and they couldnt tell whether each comment was made by the magazines or the rapists. When the answers were revealed most people agreed the comments made by the magazines were the most disturbing. And us girls, according to the feminists, are supposed to go out on the town, get wasted to the point where we dont know what we’re doing and say to a potential assailant, ‘stop! You have no right!’ Guess what? He doesnt care. He’s going to harm you anyway and its all because our fast food culture of relativism and of having everything all your own way, the very culture the so called feminists have bought into, has encouraged him to do it and told him its ok. Please dont get me wrong. Im not some judgmental busy body (at least i hope Im not) who thinks women are the ones to blame when they get into horrible situations. Im not saying that at all. Quite the opposite in fact. I believe fully that the rapist is to blame as he made the decision to carry out the horrible assault. However I cant help but feel angry with feminists who encourage abortions and encourage women to do things which will certainly encourage the risk of danger. And people look at me like Im some crazy chick from outer space when i refuse to allow anyone, men in particular, to treat me like dirt. I’d rather stick two fingers up to this increasingly relativist society of ours and be different from the crowd any day. Catholicism is like the new punk rock.

  5. Lori8069 says:

    I find it highly ironic that a society that cringes at the thought of people throwing live kittens at pit bulls in order to make them more vicious (as in dog fighting), doesn’t feel similarly horrified at the extensive degradation of women in pornography—something that trains men to see viciousness towards women as just a mere sexual preference—what on earth would make a society so sick that they would protect kittens, but not women in general, from being seen as so worthless that their degradation means absolutely nothing?

    If pornography is all about “free speech”, then why isn’t degrading pornography that features women not considered hate “speech” against women?

    Why is it wrong to victimize someone because of their color, or because they’re gay, but it isn’t wrong to victimize over half of the population of the world in pornography?

    Feminism used to criticize women for doing too much for their husbands and families—being “people pleasers” without any sense of their own dignity—but today’s feminism doesn’t make even the slightest effort to criticize all of the foolish women who let themselves be used for everything under the sun in pornography, which REALLY IS degrading to women, not like being responsible and taking care of your family like a good wife and mother—this society is very rapidly losing literally all of it’s common sense, and it’s ability to make what should be fairly simple rational judgments.

    • Rachel says:

      You’re so right. Its like, how dare we do house hold chores or, heaven forbid, bake a cake, oh but its completely fine to do all sorts of things that damage our bodies and make us critically ill. Same thing goes for modern feminism and the abortion argument. They’re more concerned about women’s so called rights to have an abortion than they are about the issue of people aborting their baby because the baby happens to be a female. They may as well say its fine to put someone to death for being a girl and we wont care about her life until she’s turned 21.

      • Lori8069 says:

        How can women be so blind as to have themselves led to their own destruction, and how many half-truths and outright lies will women believe about themselves?

        Feminism has been accused in the past of being led mainly by gay women who wanted a society where women stopped being under any “domination” by men (such as in marriage), and because of the reluctance of many to see homosexuality as normal, was primarily focused on trying to make sexual aberrations, in particular, look normal–it’s understandable that this particular group would do this, but the ramifications on the entire society from this acceptance of these aberrations has been very bad for women in general, even though it’s introduction into society was supposed to empower women by giving them the ability to be comfortable with not being married and to legally kill their own children.

        Women really are, fundamentally, people pleasers–this is why so many of them are desperate to be in pornography–it’s a follower mentality that can’t be gotten rid of no matter what propaganda is thrown at us–this is why the idea that women are all so mature and sensible that they can make perfectly rational judgments for themselves will always fall short of the mark, especially when so many women have a need for acceptance that is much more child-like than man-like, there are so many men want to see them degraded, and there is so much money to be made from it.

        Women are also unable as a class of people to stand up against pornography because so many of them are desperate for attention (and subconsciously see other women as nothing but unwanted competition), but prefer to see themselves as strong and independent, not caring what the truth might actually be, often not realizing what kind of horrible impact being in pornography has had on them until it’s already done and too late to go back and do something good for themselves instead–women need men to protect them from their own weakness to please against their own interests, but pornography brainwashes men to think that women actually know what they’re doing, when they obviously don’t, and the downward trail that has led to the total degradation of women in pornography absolutely PROVES that they don’t.

        Feminism comes across as empowering to women but it’s all about making women fit into the mold of catering to the perversions of both sexes.

  6. […] Stephanie Gray of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, via, November […]

  7. WhoaWhoaWhoa says:

    LorI: are you serious? Do you have no self-respect?

    • Lori8069 says:

      Is this supposed to be a full question, or should I just guess what it is that you’re talking about?

      Yes, I’m 100% serious about every single thing I’ve written in my last post–and I must admit that I don’t see women as nothing but the helpless victims of pornography–women seem to have no sense of self-preservation or any real overview of what constitues a moral society, and men seem to have become like animals feeding off the degradaion of these same women with no sense of decency or respect for them, which the majority of women seem to have no problem with.

      I feel like I’m living in the twilight zone.

  8. […] Stephanie Gray of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, via, November […]

  9. Lori8069 says:

    Now that I have more time to devote to a clarification of what I said in my offending post, here it goes—

    If it was still 1975, and women still had no earthly idea what sort of mainstream, wholesale degradation of women that pornography would develop into in the future (like it has), then I would see women as being nothing but the victims of pornography.

    If the only women in America that would willingly be in pornography were those who would otherwise starve, and they weren’t lining up around the block to be in porno movies (which they do), then I would see women as being nothing but the victims of pornography.

    If women were almost universally up-in-arms about the easy accessibility of pornography to children on the internet (some porn addicts are now as young as 8), and they weren’t generally unconcerned with what pornography will do to the whole fabric of society eventually, including the sexual objectification of children due to the inevitable slide into a moral no-mans-land due to it’s acceptance by millions of men, then I would see women as being nothing but the victims of pornography.

    Either women are innocently naive, with absolutely no responsibility for their own degradation in pornography, and therefore should be protected from their own inability to see the big picture and do things in their own best interest, or their rational adults who knew exactly what they were getting themselves into and really didn’t care if pornography was bad for them, or for others, or for society as a whole–for a variety of reasons, like money, vanity, etc.—it can’t be both ways.

    Or can it?

    Originally, in the 1970’s, feminists were relying on the natural moral outrage of women, in the hope that the good moral sense of women would prevail and that this could stem the tide of degrading pornography that features women. But around 1985, Ms. Magazine published an issue with “Porn: Yea or Nay?” on the cover—it seems that the majority of their readers now thought that all of the money that women could make from being in pornography was more important than whatever sort of negative backlash there might eventually be from women willingly going along with it. To say I was totally shocked and dismayed by this is an understatement. I would say that those women in the mid-80’s might have had really no idea how bad it would eventually be—I’ll give them that. At this point, though, where are the women who have enough self-respect to even criticize it publically? Where are the women who are truly shocked and outraged that rape is now mainstream fare in pornography, and make any kind of an actual stand against it? How very strange it’s been to see how women WERE worried about pornography, about 40 years ago, when it was quite a bit less degrading to women than it is now, but to surprisingly see almost nothing being either said or done about it now, when it’s morphed into something so sick, violent, and beyond-the-pale.

    Women, as a group, are at least half of the guilty party when it comes to pornography, because if they refused to be in it, then there would be absolutely nothing to look at. If there’s no object, then there’s no viewer.

    Women aren’t capable of standing up against their own degradation in pornography, because if they were, then they surely would have stood up against it, as a group, by now. Women have a child-like sense of trust and acceptance that puts them at a distinct disadvantage in comparison to men when it comes to having enough sense not to do something that really isn’t in their best interest. If women were competent enough as a class of people to do what is right for themselves, then they wouldn’t need to be continually reminded that they should stick up for themselves, and not allow themselves to be victimized (like in domestic violence), etc.—people only need to be continually goaded like this, to do what should be obviously in their own best interest, when they’re already impaired in some way. Someone once said “You can’t enslave a righteous people” and I would say that this particularly applies to those times when those who are being enslaved aren’t being forced into it against their will. Women being taken advantage of in pornography is very nearly as bad as children being taken advantage of in pornography—there’s no big, glaring, significant difference.

    Feminism told women “You know what you’re doing, and no one but you has any right to say what you should or shouldn’t do with your own body”, and women actually believe it—that they know what they’re doing. When it comes to pornography, and PARTICULARLY when it comes to pornography, women’s inability to do what is in their own best interest is extremely obvious. Are women the victims of pornography? Yes, in that they seem to be unable to realize that it isn’t good for them, or for other individuals, or for society as a whole, even though THEY are the ones being victimized in it. Are women making pornography worse, and in the process making it harder for other women to have stable marriages or have clean-minded children who have an actual childhood? Yes, because they’re voluntarily going along with it by being in it, and by not standing up against it as a group, and by being unconcerned about the other women (and children) in society that are being negatively effected by it.

    • Alyssia Cutolo says:

      No. Just no. You cannot honestly believe that women are to blame for the suffering of women. YOU CANNOT JUSTIFY THE MISTREATMENT OF WOMEN BASED OF THEIR SEXUAL PREFERENCES! If your husband or child is too damn horny to get off the computer that is their problem. Not the woman’s. If you don’t know how to keep your significant others interest sexually, that is your problem. If your husband isn’t enough of a decent man to keep his dick in his pants, then you married the wrong man. Porn is not the enemy. The enemy is women like you and men who still want to think that there is no problem with the way our patriarchal society is framed. We are not a country based on Christian values anymore. You have every right to your opinion, but you don’t get to tell me how to feel oppressed. Be a better mother and wife and we won’t have these problems. Stand up for your fellow woman instead of being so quick to judge and throw her under the bus.

  10. Alyssia Cutolo says:

    Thank you for telling me that my only purpose in the world is to have children since I had the misfortune of being born with a uterus. Remind me again what happens to the men who engage in sex? Do they now get a free ride from parental responsibility or any responsibility because they aren’t the one with the uterus? A baby is a parasite to the mother’s body.

    No matter which way you spin it, being pregnant is the same thing as having a parasite in your body for nine months. The female “host” gets no benefit from having this thing in her body;however, it cannot survive without her nutrients. Yet, millions of people across America are trying to tell me and all women around me that we must play host to this parasite because “it is a human being.”

    A) It’s not alive. We can all agree that this fetus cannot survive without my fluids and food providing for it. Until this being can survive without sucking the nutrients and life out of my body, it is not meant to have rights. Zombies are alive. They can breathe…. we still wouldn’t have a problem killing them.

    B) You say I should just hold out and give it up for adoption… yet you seem to forget that a parasite has negative consequences for its host. You are not the one whose body will be misshapen for nine months. Who will have to deal with pain in places you didn’t know you had for nine months. The pain of childbirth. The expense of childbirth and pre-natal care. The cravings, the risk of infection, disease, and even death throughout the entire process.

    By saying that I do not have the right to abort this parasite, while it is such, is the same as telling someone who is facing a zombie that it is murder to kill it because it is still a human being… Until this fetus can survive outside my womb, it is completely and utterly dependent on me. The legalization of abortion should not be challenged. If you don’t like them, don’t have them.

    By the way, I personally think abortion is wrong, but I won’t let my opinion affect the lives of others.

    • Alyssa:

      I’m glad you’re personally opposed to abortion but won’t let my opinion affect the lives of others. So, if you were walking down the street and saw two thugs beating up and old lady, would you say, “well, I’m personally opposed to beating up old ladies but I won’t let my opinion affect the lives of others!”?

      Calling an innocent child in the womb a “parasite” is abhorrent! Were you a parasite when you were in your mother’s womb? Aren’t you glad your mother didn’t consider you a leech and tear you out of her womb?

      Astronauts who use umbilical cords in space are completely dependent on the ship for survival; therefore, by your logic, they are no longer separate human lives but are part of the ship that can be destroyed with the ship if the maker of the ship should so choose. Similarly, someone on a life support system is dependent upon the machine for life; therefore, they have now become part of the machine and can be destroyed by the machine’s maker if they so choose. According to your logic, until the astronaut is off the umbilical cord and the patient is off the machine, “it is not meant to have rights.”

      Regarding your comment that “You are not the one whose body will be misshapen for nine months. Who will have to deal with pain in places you didn’t know you had for nine months. The pain of childbirth. The expense of childbirth and pre-natal care. The cravings, the risk of infection, disease, and even death throughout the entire process”: I think most parents would say their children were worth the risk, including your mother!

      • Alyssia Cutolo says:

        All of your “even your mother” comments are suggesting that my mother has to find it in her heart to love someone who would dare have an opinion that differs from her own. Which she doesn’t. She just loves me because she can. Don’t try and use my mother for your weak defense.
        None of your defense is viable because none of the host machines are living things. But in the instance of the person only being able to live off machines, I for one would never call that a life and would not want it. But again, that’s a choice. My biggest point is that abortion is a choice and everyone should be allowed to make it for themselves and should not be condemned for doing so. It is their life, not yours. I’ll die for my own sins, thanks a lot.

      • Alyssia:

        My first thought after reading your last response is, why are you so angry? Your anger is so evident you can cut it with a knife. My point about your mother is that she chose to give birth to you. Aren’t you glad she didn’t see you in the way you see a child in the womb? Be grateful your mother didn’t have an abortion or you wouldn’t be here.

        As regards living beings vs. machines: Machines are the full property of those who make them until they sell them to another. Your argument about a woman’s choice to control her own body is predicated on the assumption that she made her body. Did you make you body? Did you form yourself? Tell me, how did you do it? What design did you use to give yourself life? If you didn’t make it, when did you buy it? How much did you pay for it? Where is the document that says you have exclusive right to make every decision about your body? No, you are not the owner of your life and your body. Your body is a gift to you from God and you have an obligation to your maker to use your gift as he has ordained it to be used. Your womb was given to you by God to be the safe home for a child. You do not have the right to kill that child. Only God can make a life; thus, only God can take a life. Our duty is to respect and preserve every human life, not to decide which ones we want to exist and which we don’t.

      • Alyssia Cutolo says:

        And if I weren’t christian, if I didn’t believe in your God I would still have to be held to your rules? My mother chose to have me and then chose to have an abortion for the fetus after me. Your argument about her is therefore invalid. Angry? Yes Father I am very angry. I am angry over the fact that a group of people have deemed me incapable of deciding what I do with my body. You believe God gave you a body and others believe evolution did, Father. The Lord teaches us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, to love others as ourselves, and to be forgiving and tolerant. By not being tolerant of other religions and their beliefs you are completely going against what the Lord tried to teach us. Father, I by no means think that abortion is a morally acceptable thing, but I also don’t believe I have the right to tell any other person whose religion tells them otherwise, that abortion is murder.

        This article is telling me, also, that my main purpose in life is solely to bear children, just because I happen to have a uterus. Father, what about those who are infertile? Or those woman who simply don’t want children at all or can’t have them, for one reason or another. Not only this, but if you are so against abortion, why be against the contraception that helps fight the pregnancy to begin with. If you believe that abortion is murder, why not educate people on the proper contraceptive methods, and the safe ways to avoid pregnancy. The argument about sex before marriage is no longer valid, because even certain married individuals don’t want to have children, but are still, by your religion, allowed to have sex. Abortion can result in death of the woman as well. It’s not like there are no risks for women who get abortions. The procedure can even result in becoming infertile. This decision is not made lightly, ever.

        ANd with all due respect father, your line about protecting and preserving human life is falling on the wrong ears. My history with this religion is not protection, but oppressing.

      • Sorry about your experience of religion being one of oppression, but mine has been one of liberation. I know a God who loved me enough to die for me and call me to be more than the world thinks I am worth, and that has made all the difference for me. It has made me the joyful man I am who has brought so much hope to countless people, young and old, by helping them realize that, contrary to what some people would lead them to believe, God loves them as they are, but loves them enough not to leave them there, and calls them to be the very best version of themselves they can be. He calls them to nothing less than union with him in his divinity, to regain with him in his kingdom. He tells them that, whatever their past sins are, he forgives them, and whatever harm they have endured at the hands of others, he comforts them. That’s the Catholic faith I know, and that’s the faith I would pray you come to know. Perhaps it might settle some of that anger within you. I have tremendous peace and joy as a follower of Jesus, and so can you if you invite him in to show you how much he loves you, but calls you to holiness in perfection. Of course, that means putting God and others’ needs before my own, and being willing to sacrifice my own comfort for that of another, just as Jesus did for me. And that means even being willing to endure pain and suffering in order to give the unborn child in the womb its right to life. You correctly quote Jesus in saying to love others as we love ourselves. That means to be willing even to die for another, not make the other one die for me. Jesus says “no one has greater love than to lay down your life for another.” Abortion says, “you, child in the womb, must lay down your life for me.”

      • Alyssia Cutolo says:

        Whatever the case may be with that, the question still stands. Can you sit there and tell me that yo could consciously allow someone who is incapable of taking care of a child and knows it, and allow them to still try and foster the responsibility of taking care of that child? Why is the question what a blessing the child will be to the parents, rather than how much of a blessing the parents are to the child?

        Also, where is the father at in all of this. You shoulder the mother with all the responsibility and yet we still live in a society that allows the man a get out of jail free card for being a father. So it’s fair to tell a woman that she has to shoulder all the responsibility for something that the actions of TWO people caused? She has to die for his sins as well?

  11. Ironically, it is the pro-abortion movement that keeps the father out of the loop! They are the ones who don’t want the father to have any say in the matter. We have repeatedly advocated that the father be involved at every moment.

  12. Alyssia Cutolo says:

    I want to hear your response to the first half of my argument Father.

    You have repeatedly advocated for the man to be married to the woman he knocked up and then they can truly be happy and saved. And this miracle that God has bestowed upon them will magically solve all their problems. Right?

    • No. the only “miracle” occurs when everyone acknowledges that God is all truth, he knows everything and we do not and that, if we want to know happiness, we don’t tell God what we want truth to be, but we do what He has revealed. He is all goodness, all love, all beauty, and he will never let us down. His way is not always the easy way, but it is always the right way. I’ve often prayed that if only the people who are using every ounce of energy they have to fight God and His Church instead used that energy to understand and follow Him, they’d have so much more peace. Peace is the result of right order, of our lives being in harmony with God. Only when that happens can we know true peace, and that is what I wish for you.

      • Alyssia Cutolo says:

        What makes your God any better than someone else’s? What makes your God so special that EVERYONE has to believe in Him in order to be good though?

      • Because He’s the only true God! Any others are fake, and only the Truth will set you free.

      • Alyssia Cutolo says:

        Father… you can’t handle the truth.

      • Oh, believe me! I handle the truth very well! Jesus said “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life” and also, “I have come that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete.” My following him has led me to fulfillment, a cheerful disposition, a life of hope and tremendous joy. Your beliefs have led you to a life of anger and denial of modern medical knowledge. Jesus also said, “by their fruits you shall know them.” What has your belief system brough you and what has mine brought me? Again, to quote Jesus, “time will prove where wisdom lies!”

      • Alyssia Cutolo says:

        Well if there is a Hell, I’ll see you there.

      • You have a very peculiar way of looking at things. Murder is the unjust taking of a life. Killing an animal for food is not murder. Do you eat vegetables? You’re killing a plant!

        God gave us dominion over the plants and animals, meaning they are here to serve our legitimate needs. To kill an animal for food is fine. To kill a baby in the womb because you find its presence there difficult is not.

        Virtually all the pro-abortion advocates have long ago ceded the fact that the fetus is indeed a human life. They long ago abandoned the “blob of cells” argument, so you are far behind the times in this debate. They are now arguing that they have the right to kill the child. But that is dangerous! Once we allow one person to decide who lives and who dies, where do we draw the line? If a mother can choose to kill the baby before birth, what’s to eventually stop her from choosing to kill it right after birth? And how long after? One day? One week? One year? Ten years? And then how about Grandma, whose needs are becoming financially burdensome? Can we kill her too? And how about a criminal? Or a poor person on welfare? Or that neighbor whose barking dog keeps us up at night? It therefore becomes all or nothing.

        What we’ve discovered here is that we need to have a consistent life ethic: either every life is respected or none is; we can’t have it both ways. If you advocate abortion, you must by default advocate every other taking of human life. If you prohibit one taking of human life, you must prohibit them all. It’s as simple as that!

  13. KaraFae says:

    I’m pro-choice, and I will continue to be pro-choice. Just because I have a uterus — and in fact, I have two — doesn’t mean that an unwanted pregnancy is a fulfillment of my life’s purpose. I am more than my uteri, just as a man is more than his penis. I should be allowed to choose when I want to become a mother. And before someone responds saying that I shouldn’t have sex if I don’t want to be a mother, that’s an outdated ideal that is focused mainly on a woman’s purity for her husband. I very rarely see the same said for a man. A fetus is not a baby until the mother decides that it is a baby. Now, legally, there’re other definitions. However, if the mother only sees the fetus as a handful of cells that she does not want in her body, it is a handful of cells that she does not want in her body. She will remove it in any way she feels she needs to.

  14. How sad! You have condoned the murder of an innocent child based on groundless opinions. Aren’t you glad your mother didn’t see you by your definition and “removed the handful of cells” that was you? She gave you the chance to have life…now do the same for another!

    • Alyssia Cutolo says:

      I just want to point out that you are getting all of your information on where life begins, from a book that was written in a time where there didn’t even know what proper hygiene was. And that rape and abuse were legal and recommended.

      • No, actually, I’m getting it from modern teaching based on the latest medical research and technology. The more science explores, the more scientists have come to the conclusion that life begins at conception. Everyone acknowledges – even the pro-abortion forces – that if Roe vs. Wade was argued today, abortion would never have been legalized. We simply lacked the knowledge of fetal development that we have today, so if any argument was made in the dark about the truth, it was the argument that legalized abortion.

      • Alyssia Cutolo says:

        Well Father, either way you’re a bloody hypocrite. Do you eat meat? Under your ideas that would be considered murder as well. But I bet you still indulge in that one.

  15. I certainly hope neither of us goes to hell! I at least believe I’m on the right path to heaven. I pray that you are too!

    • Alyssia Cutolo says:

      And your response to the killing of animals being murder?

      • In case you missed it above, here it is again:

        You have a very peculiar way of looking at things. Murder is the unjust taking of a life. Killing an animal for food is not murder. Do you eat vegetables? You’re killing a plant!

        God gave us dominion over the plants and animals, meaning they are here to serve our legitimate needs. To kill an animal for food is fine. To kill a baby in the womb because you find its presence there difficult is not.

        Virtually all the pro-abortion advocates have long ago ceded the fact that the fetus is indeed a human life. They long ago abandoned the “blob of cells” argument, so you are far behind the times in this debate. They are now arguing that they have the right to kill the child. But that is dangerous! Once we allow one person to decide who lives and who dies, where do we draw the line? If a mother can choose to kill the baby before birth, what’s to eventually stop her from choosing to kill it right after birth? And how long after? One day? One week? One year? Ten years? And then how about Grandma, whose needs are becoming financially burdensome? Can we kill her too? And how about a criminal? Or a poor person on welfare? Or that neighbor whose barking dog keeps us up at night? It therefore becomes all or nothing.

        What we’ve discovered here is that we need to have a consistent life ethic: either every life is respected or none is; we can’t have it both ways. If you advocate abortion, you must by default advocate every other taking of human life. If you prohibit one taking of human life, you must prohibit them all. It’s as simple as that!

  16. Alyssia Cutolo says:

    Father I have just as much dominion over the animals in my body as you do the animals in your back yard. I am not far behind in the debate. As far as I know the blob of cells argument is still very much valid, until a certain week.

    See your argument is what we call a slippery slope argument. You pin together a few examples of things that seemed to go together, but in further review have no actual progression from one to the next. Arguing about pro-choice is not the same as arguing for euthanasia, funding for the mentally ill, funding for the poor, treatment of the homeless, or for the death sentence. It is about giving a woman power over her own life and body.

    • The child in your womb is an animal? What animal is it going to be? an elephant? a lion? a sea ottter?

      “As far as [you] know” the blob of cells argument is still very much valid.” Hmm1 Back in the 1980s, MaryAnn Krupsak, a strong pro-abortion advocate, came to my college and spoke about abortion, and she clearly stated then that anyone who denies the child in the womb is a human life is being blind. Gloria Steinem has said similar things. I guess “as far as you know” is limited to arguments of the 1980s. Who’s behind the times?

      Slipperly slope arguments are in fact VERY valid! So much harm has come to societies over the years because of the lack of foresight of individuals to see the ramifications of their decisions. They make knee-jerk reactions based on their personal feelings, but do not look down the line to see the consequences of their choices. Since ancient times, philosophy has sought to form minds by helping people see consequences; that’s what’s called “thinking things through.” Without seeing the consequences, we harm ourselves. Just talk to the myriads of women who have had abortions and later regretted them, citing specifically that they “didn’t think of the consequences” and now they suffer because of it.

      As for giving a woman power over her own body, well, how about the girl in her mother’s womb? Shouldn’t she have that choice too? Abortion takes that away from her and makes her the slave of another, and in her case, the consequences are the most severe – she dies!

      • Alyssia Cutolo says:

        Homosapien. That’s the animal in my belly. If you have the capability to create any other animal…. you’re good. Fine, you want to call my argument outdated, then go for it. I still believe what I believe just as you will, but here are 10 other perfectly valid and legitimate arguments for abortion my dear.

        One of the first things you learn in any Logic class in any university is that a slippery slope argument is invalid. For the simple fact that slippery slop arguments connect things together that don’t actually have any connection. Which is exactly what you are doing. Talk to the millions of women who were forced into having a child who later gave them up for adoption and hated themselves for doing so because they “didn’t think of the consequences.” We can do this all day Father. Adoption is no better to abortion to me. You’re still can be denying that child a life.

        Again, I’m going back to my animal argument. If you are so hellbent on claiming that what is in my stomach is a human, then why don’t we give animals rights too? At this point, that fetus in my stomach has to more thinking capacity than the dog in your house. Hell, if I can’t have control of the animals inside my body, next time a bear walks in your yard, you can’t try and kill it because you don’t need it for food and it’s not harming you. Next time you see a hunter out shooting fox or deer, tell him to stop that because that is an unnecessary kill. YOu are taking away a life. You’re an animal Father, just as I am. THe only difference between us and our animal brethren is the ability for higher levels of thinking. Which that fetus isn’t capable of.

      • I don’t know where you got the idea that slipperly slope arguments are invalid; someone has grossly mistaught you.

        Adoption is no better than abortion? Have you talked with women who have gone through either? Women who give up their baby for adoption do so because they know they can never give the baby the life they very much want it to have. Women who have abortions kill the baby outright. It is a great act of love to give your baby to another to give it the life you can’t – it’s a loving option. Abortion is killing it; there’s no love in murdering a child.

        Regarding the animal rights: it seems the world is way ahead of you. Don’t you know there is a fine of $50,000 and possible jail time for destroying a bald eagle’s egg, which is simply an unborn eagle? Kill an unborn eagle and you go to jail. But if that unborn life should happen to be human it’s protected by law! Strange world we have!

        There is far more of a difference between animals and humans than higher level of thinking. If a fetus is not a life because it can’t think at a higher level, you have just argued for the killing of anyone below the age of reason – which is about age seven. That would mean, by your logic, that no humans except the adults were killed two weeks ago in Newtown, CT., because those children that were slaughtered were all below the age of reason. Try telling any parent who lost a child in Newtown that what they llost was not a child because it didn’t have the ability to think at a highr level! Similarly, you are also automatically advocating that mentally retarded people have no rights because they can’t think at a higher level. Should we kill them too? Be careful! I have a mentally retarded sister!

        No, the ability to reason is not what makes us different from animals. Even ignoring the religious belief of us being made in the image and likeness of God with immortal souls – there’s your difference – do a DNA test on a fertilized human egg and you will find the full DNA of a human being. Since left to the process of nature already going on, that makes it a human life worthy of full protection. Whether you kill it now or when it is six years old, it is still murder!

  17. Alyssia Cutolo says:

    I learned the slippery slope thing from my college education that I have to pay for, because I want more out of my life than just what my uterus provides.

    Again, my mother has had an abortion and it bothers her on a daily basis. One of my best friends has given up her baby for adoption and she gave hers to a good family and she still hates herself every day. Let’s talk about the woman who doesn’t have that opportunity. Who simply must give it up and pray and hope that child will have a better life. So she gives that baby up. And it goes a year without being adopted because it’s a black baby. And then that baby is diagnosed with down syndrome… well now it is just as unwanted by anyone else, because who in their right mind who adopt a down syndrome black baby who’s mother was probably addicted to coke anyway? (This paragraph is meant to portray how I feel the thought process of the average america who is trying to adopt a baby)

    … You do realize the bald eagle was only taken off the endangered species list in december of 2007 right? ANd if the bald eagle were to become extinct, the USA would actually have to find a different national mascot of freedom…. yes? You can’t use this as an anti-abortion stance because this fine wasn’t enforced because they thought that egg was a life worth protecting. THey needed it to be protected so it wouldn’t go extinct.

    Oh I’m sorry. I never realized that, that fetus could talk and say things to me. I never realized that fetus could learn mathematics. Or could breathe. Or could walk around or could really do anything at all. My brother is mentally handicapped. You obviously have no interest in the mentally handicapped’s life either because if you did, you would know that the mentally disabled find it extremely offensive to use the word retarded. Good try on trying to make me seem cruel though. Higher thinking to me simply means being able to have the ability to learn new things. Which a fetus can’t.

    You cannot argue the right of a fetus and completely ignore the rights of animals. Also you can’t ignore the rights of the woman having to carry that child. As for my last point against your argument, what about your precious Pope blessing the Ugandan official who wants to commit a mass murder of all the gay people in Uganda? Obviously the Pope doesn’t think that the living gay person’s life is that important.

    • You are one angry person! Every post you’ve made is laden with violent hatred!

      The Church is all for legitimate animal rights and we are chapions of the rights of the mentally handicapped – remember I told you that I have a sister who is mentally handicapped? But your argument still is unfounded: a fetus cannot reason; true! Neither can a severely mentally handicapped individual or an old person in a coma. By your logic, we can kill them too. Would you kill your brother? I wouldn’t kill my sister!

      You said your mother regrets her abortion. Than how can you possible defend abortion? You have someone in your life who has experienced the pain. Are you going to tell her not to regret it, that she did the right thing, when she knows in her heart that lilling the baby didn’t solve its problems, it only took away its life? Yeah, sometimes adoptions go wrong and some babies don’t get adopted, but many others do and live beautiful lives thanks to the selflessnes of the biological mother. I have a good friend who is black and was adopted by a white mother, as were his black brother and sister. I just attended his wedding, and he is very happy his biological mother gave him up and that his adoptive mother reached across the race barrierr and gave him a loving home. We must advocate policies by pointing out the overwhelmingly good results, such as in adolption, rather than rejecting it because some go wrong. Adopting pets sometimes goes wrong, so should we outlaw that as well? Or should we just kill every unwanted pet? There are millions of good adoption stories, but there has never been a “good abortion.” No matter what the outcome for the mother and those involved, a baby dies, and there’s nothing good about that.

      Where did you get the idea that your value as a woman is only in your uterus? Certainly not from Catholic teaching. Just read Pope John Paul II’s encyclical entilteld “On the Dignity of Woman” and you will read the greatest defense of a woman’s intrinsic value as a woman ever written. It will clearly show you that we see a woman’s dignity as far greater than the use of her uterus, and that’s what I learned from my Catholic education that my parents paid for!

      • Alyssia Cutolo says:

        I refuse to answer anymore of your ill-founded attempts to make me seem like a murderer. No I wouldn’t kill my brother because he is a living breathing organism. The church doesn’t give a damn about anyone’s rights but their own followers.

        She did the right thing because she took away the problems of her family. She does not regret it. Bother and regret are two different things. She did what she needed to do for herself and for her family and she would never regret that decision. And on your adopting pets…. don’t animal shelter “humanely” put down animals because they are over-filled? And before you twist that up, no I don’t think we should put down anything that is living and breathing. But a fetus isn’t. That fetus does not have any rights that aren’t through the mother, so there should be no laws that govern what I, the mother, can do with that fetus. Mothers who drink and smoke while pregnant aren’t charged with endangering a minor right?

        From the article we are commenting on Father…
        Your Catholic education is no better than my public college education. Pope John Paul II was and always will be considered a saint and a wonderful human being in my eyes that is true. Always, good job on completely ignoring my statement about the Pope’s blessing for someone who is the equivalent of a female Hitler. Tell me again Father, what rights does the Catholic Church care about again?

      • It seems to me we are at an impasse. You are never going to convince me that abortion is not murder, and in your angry state, you will not see any of the points I am trying to make, and until whatever it is that is making you so angry is addressed, I am never going to convince you that abortion is killing an innocent life, and whatever the motivation behind it, it is still murder. We are therefore not debating for the purpose of good discussion and the learning of truth, but are each trying to deliver the knockout punch. I am sorry that you are so angry at whatever it is, and I sincerely wish you peace. I know great peace in Christ. If you truly believe that Pope John Paul II was and always will be considered a saint and a wonderful human being in your eyes, then accept that the reason he was this way was because of his profound devotion to Christ and the Church. Read more about him and you may find the peace he found in the midst of great difficulties. If you come to know the mind of Pope John Paul, you will find great peace. I truly desire this for you. Farewell.

  18. […] As Canadian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform executive director Stephanie Gray puts it: […]

  19. […] As Canadian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform executive director Stephanie Gray puts it: […]

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