The Abortion Debate’s Contradiction Problem

Here is the abortion debate’s fundamental dilemma:

So, on the one hand, the argument is that embryos and fetuses are a direct and absolute function of the parents, who are solely responsible for their existence. Therefore, if this is the case, parents must have the moral right to do with them as they choose. They are a categorical product of the parents’ labor.

On the other hand, it is argued that embryos and fetuses are utterly independent human beings, of completely distinct individuality/agency, and therefore may NOT be treated or considered as being a direct function of their parents, as a product of another’s labor, to do with as they choose, to govern and control, but instead have inherent rights as full fledged individuals.

The whole of the abortion debate is, to me, the fruitless attempt to reconcile this contradiction. Until you resolve this contradiction–which is impossible, by definition–any judgement you make about abortion is entirely subjective. Period.

Either the child is a distinct individual or he is not. He cannot be both. If he is, then it cannot be argued that he has the categorical right to take resources from his parents. He may have that right, but not always. It would depend upon the context, and whether or not a legitimate contact between child and parents can be said to have been established. If he is not, then he cannot claim any inherent right-of-Self and therefore the parents may reasonably and morally do with him as they please, including abortion.

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