A right to abortion can be argued under self-defence, since the fetus is threatening the woman’s health, autonomy, future, and maybe life.
-Joyce Arthur, Pro-Choice Action Network, Aug. 9, 2002I was recently reading a fascinating exchange between California lawyer Keith Bray and our loveable “I never met an abortion I didn’t like” Joyce Arthur. This past summer, Keith made the offer of a public debate with one of the star leaders of the pro-choice movement. Travel and additional expenses were offered, all for the opportunity to hear one of Canada’s leading pro-choice advocates defend and advance her beliefs on abortion.

It was not to be.

Joyce explained her position of why she refuses to enter into public debate. “These debates don’t change peoples’ minds, they’re just promotional gigs for the anti-choice movement. There is little or no benefit to women, to abortion providers, or to the pro-choice movement, for me to participate in this debate.” She went on to say, “It doesn’t really matter ‘what is the unborn.’ Women need and will have abortions regardless.”

Regardless of her hesitancy, fear or whatever, of having to explain what she believes in public, Joyce let the cat out of the bag by her admission, given at the start of this article: “A right to abortion can be argued under self-defence, since the fetus is threatening the woman’s health, autonomy, future, and maybe life.”

Joyce obviously was taking a cue from Eileen McDonagh, author of that wonderful book: Breaking the Abortion Deadlock. McDonagh says that the pro-choice movement in the West has always been terrified of the notion of fetal rights, or, that matter, anything that would humanize the unborn. The movement resorts to violence in stopping the public display of abortion photos largely for the same reason – because the photos seem to show a baby who has lost his or her life through a violent act. Hence, they destroy displays, and seek to kick pro-life groups off of university campuses.

But more about the notion of self defence.

While perusing newspapers this summer, I came across a photograph that stunned me. Here was a photo, if a picture is worth a thousand words, worth a million dollars. If ever there was a photo that properly described the new pro-choice position, that of an unborn child being a “threat,” then this was it.

As McDonagh describes: “Even in a medically normal pregnancy, the fetus massively intrudes on a woman’s body and expropriates her liberty. If a woman does not consent to this transformation and use of her body, the fetus’s imposition constitutes injuries sufficient to justify the use of deadly force to stop it.”

I should add that even McDonagh is terrified to defend her views in public against pro-life leaders such as Scott Klusendorf.