|the feminist factor|
|5- Modern feminists introduce a fifth presupposition. They believe that a woman has a right to “bodily autonomy.” The most outspoken of those who fight for abortion see it as an advancement for women. The feminists say, “A woman deserves the right to control her own body.”
The point here is that women feel that the womb is their territory, and no one can tell them what to do about it. They decide for themselves whether the fetus is a guest or an intruder.
A significant aspect of the bodily autonomy argument is that it seems to eliminate any need for the personhood argument. Even if the fetus were a person with great value, a woman would not be obligated to carry the fetus to term.
Judith Jarvis Thomson uses the analogy of a woman who is involuntarily connected to a famous violinist for nine months in order to save him from a fatal disease. The violinist is certainly a person and a valuable human being, and we would applaud the woman for saving his life, but she would not seem to be obligated to use her body to support the violinist if she does not want to.
Kenneth Guentert wrote, “Even if I believe the fetus is human – and I do – it exists inside a woman’s body . . one human being is wholly contained within another. Rights are in conflict: the right of the unborn child to life against the right of the woman to decide what to do with a part of her body . . . Pro-choice women have accepted the responsibility for what they do with their own bodies – and the creature inside. One may not like their choice, but they have claimed the moral responsibility for themselves and said they are comfortable with it. Let them have it. It is not healthy to mind someone else’s business.”