Shouldn’t Women Be Able to Control Their Own Bodies?

Shouldn’t Women Be Able to Control Their Own Bodies?

By |2020-05-09T15:26:00-04:00May 27th, 2018|Categories: Abortion|Tags: , , , |

The battle over “my body, my choice” is not new; it has been raging over a century. A cartoon in the May 1919 issue of Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review shows a woman being crushed by a giant roll of paper labeled “Laws Controlling Women’s Bodies.” Another offensive but equally common slogans pro-abortionists use are variations are the indignant demand “What makes you religious fanatics think you can tell me what to do with my uterus?,” and the tiresome chant “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!”

mom with baby bump

Interestingly, the first person to make the “woman’s body, woman’s choice” argument for abortion was the libertine and reprobate Marquis de Sade. His sexual writings actually inspired the word “sadism,” and he was, not surprisingly, guilty of blasphemy against the Catholic Church. In 1797, he wrote:

The penalty against child-murdering mothers is an unexampled atrocity. Who then has a greater right to dispose of the fruit than she who carries it in her womb? … To interfere with the usage a woman chooses to make of it is stupidity carried beyond any conceivable extreme.1

Let’s examine the science that disproves these claims.

What Should Be Our Pro-Life Response?

To begin with, it is impossible to reply directly to this slogan unless we have the user clarify what he or she means by it. We need to do is ask, “Why do you consider the unborn child to be a part of the woman’s body?”

The usual response is momentary hesitation, followed by one of three possible answers;

  1. The fetus (unborn child) relies on the mother completely for its existence;
  2. The fetus is inside her body, therefore it is part of her body; or
  3. The fetus is a parasite.

You can give concise and effective answers to each of these.

(1)  The unborn child relies on the mother

When asked to clarify, most pro-abortionists will argue that the unborn baby is totally dependent upon the mother. They are implying that this allows the mother the “right” to dispose of her baby.

These are separate arguments and should be treated as such. Certainly a newborn baby is just as dependent upon its parents for all of its needs as one not yet born, and will quickly die if not cared for. Does this mean that the newborn baby can be neglected or killed outright? As we see today in the infanticide debate regarding failed abortions where the child is born alive, the inevitable conclusion to draw if one is pro-abortion is affirmative. Some “intellectuals” have been arguing for decades that it is perfectly permissible to allow handicapped children to die, calling this “fourth-trimester abortion” or “post-natal abortion.” Moving the goal post means more and more killing is inevitable.

For example, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Francis Crick, one of the co-discoverers of DNA, actually claimed that “no newborn infant should be declared human until it has passed certain tests regarding its genetic endowment, and that if it fails these tests, it forfeits the right to live.”2 Hastings Center ethicist Joseph Fletcher has said, “It is ridiculous to give ethical approval to the positive ending of sub‑human life in utero, as we do in therapeutic abortions, but refuse to approve of positively ending a sub‑human life in extremis [after birth].”3

baby sleeping black and white

The pro-life answer is simple rebuttal. Every child who is born healthy is already entitled to care under the pain of prosecution for murder. And that baby, too, is completely dependent, so the argument is a non sequitur.

(2)  The unborn child is inside the mother

The second assertion is that the unborn child is inside his or her mother, and is therefore part of her body.

Sometimes a pro-abortionist will also claim that the unborn child is inside the mother, depends on her completely, and is therefore part of her body. We can reply by describing an analogous situation involving astronauts in space.  They are totally dependent upon their vessel for everything — their air, water, food, and all other needs. If they should exit the vehicle unprotected, they would be nonviable, and would die in minutes. This also holds true for a nonviable unborn baby. Yet no thinking person would argue that the astronauts are part of a space station!

Even the staff of Barack Obama, the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history, recognized the unborn child as a separate human being. Pregnant women entering the White House must formally register their unborn children as separate visitors, with “Baby” as the first name, expected birth date, sex if known, and even “000-00-0000” as a Social Security number!

This silly policy demonstrates the totally illogical and schizophrenic nature of pro-abortion “thinking.”

(3)  The unborn child as parasite

Pro-abortionists have a pressing need to dehumanize the unborn child in order to salve the guilt they feel when they support the practice of abortion or actually have one. Sometimes they will resort to the “fetus as parasite” argument, going beyond dehumanization to paint the unborn child as some sort of disgusting wormlike abomination draining the blood and life force from its “host.”

Third-trimester abortionist Warren Hern insists in his book Abortion Practice, “The relationship between the gravid female and the feto-placental unit can be understood best as one of host and parasite.”4

When pro-abortionists insist that the unborn child is a parasite, they are acknowledging its separate nature, because parasites are never part of their host’s body. They are biologically separate and distinct organisms. Anyone denying this fact is simply being anti-scientific.

baby in the womb ultrasound

One way to clarify your point is to ask the pro-abortionist a question.  If they went to some underdeveloped part of the world and picked up a tapeworm because they ate some insufficiently cooked food, would they consider that parasite to be a part of their body?

Woman and Child: Separate Bodies, Separate People

If an unborn baby were part of its mother’s body, it would share all of her biological characteristics. Yet the baby even has its own distinct DNA.

In order to highlight the fact that the baby is a separate being, consider these facts, which not even the most ignorant pro-abortionist can deny:

  • All mothers are obviously female. About half of their children are male. How can a human being be both male and female?
  • The mother and baby frequently have different blood types.
  • The baby can be a different race from the mother.
  • Every cell in the mother’s body has a set of chromosomal characteristics that is entirely distinct from every cell in the baby’s body.
  • When the unborn child anchors to the uterine wall, there is a concerted attack by white blood cells to defeat him, and he must defend himself. The mother’s immune system recognizes it as “non-self.”  Therefore, it is not part of her body.
  • The baby can die without the mother dying. The mother can die without the baby dying (the baby can be rescued if he is viable).
  • The unborn baby initiates a process that culminates in its leaving the mother’s body. Challenge a pro-abortionist to name any other body organ that does this.


Pro-lifers agree that a woman does indeed have the right to manage her own health.  However, maintaining that right does not allow the mother to destroy her child’s body. When she conceived, she had already passed the right to life on to that new life.




  1. The Marquis de Sade, quoted in “Yet another Effort, Frenchmen.” Juliette [New York City: Grove Paperbacks, Inc., 1968], pages 336, 782 and 783.  It is interesting to note that de Sade’s novels were replete with several recurring themes, one of the strongest of which was the pleasure which certain disturbed individuals derive from killing both pregnant women and unborn children. In one of his grisly and deranged novels, he describes with great relish the skewering of a pregnant woman with a red hot iron rod driven through both her and her unborn baby, as described in Dr. Kenneth M. Mitzner. “The Abortion Culture.” Triumph, March 1973, pages 20 to 24.
  2. Nobel Prize winner Dr. Francis Crick. Pacific News Service, January 1978.
  3. Hastings Center ethicist Joseph Fletcher. “Four Indicators of Humanhood?:  The Enquiry Matures.”  Hastings Center Report, December 1974.
  4. Abortionist Warren Hern. Abortion Practice.  B. Lippincott Company, 1984.
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About the Author:

Brian Clowes, PhD
Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Best known as author of the most exhaustive pro-life informational resource volume The Facts of Life, and for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books and over 500 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 70 countries on six continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer.


  1. Avatar
    Chauffeur December 5, 2019 at 1:26 PM - Reply

    Powerful arguments, but sadly too intellectual for the pro-abortion crowd. Granted, some people use logic to come to rational conclusions, but not all. In most street conversations, I find my opponents are too emotional to be rational. They apparently aren’t interested in the Truth, but rather justification that supports their beliefs. Ultimately, deep in our hearts, we all know that abortion ends a human life. But some people are able to bury that reality.

  2. Avatar
    Paul Francis December 5, 2019 at 2:06 PM - Reply

    Cain murdered Abel through envy that his own priestly action was not acceptable to God. Abortion is the inverse of that murder-motive in that its industry makes its buck by advocating for one or both parents’ refusal to anticipate and accept responsibility for having exercised the first priesthood bestowed upon our race.

    Even as in the liturgy, where the priest enters the sanctuary to offer gifts to be immolated for the glory of God, so with marital union, an immolation of germ cells culminates in conception. Unlike all subsequent priesthoods — themselves fission-based, marriage’s immolation has the character of fusion, giving immediate rise to life, not death. The paradigm after which it is modeled is the Holy Trinity itself.

    Even the first Christmas’ joys were shadowed by an infant-murderer’s envy. May the Prince of Peace help us be rid of the Herods yet amongst us.

    “This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from our enemies, free to worship Him without fear, holy and righteous in His sight all the days of our lives” (from Lk 1).

  3. Avatar
    Emily F. Crowley December 10, 2019 at 1:08 PM - Reply

    This is very helpful. Thank you for giving me the words to defend life.

  4. Avatar
    GUY MCCLUNG January 24, 2020 at 10:11 PM - Reply
  5. Avatar
    Christian April 15, 2020 at 1:42 AM - Reply

    Sorry, not smart enough. Some arguments are getting you somewhere, but others make me (and others smarter than me) wonder if you actually are aware of unnecessary and pointless parts of the argument.

    “The baby can be a different race from the mother.” – what does race have to do with anything here?

    This is just one easy example for an idiot like me to point out.

    Now if you’d like to see more women killed during abortion, make abortion illegal.

    When will you learn?

  6. Avatar
    Ronald U. Sirius July 27, 2020 at 12:50 PM - Reply

    Is this real? Why do old white religious dudes have such strong feelings about how other people should be allowed to live? Also, how did I get here?

  7. Avatar
    Zaira September 4, 2020 at 12:59 AM - Reply

    I am pro-choice but it is still her choice to have the baby or not, if one of the parents don’t want the baby the woman should have an abortion. If you don’t have a uterus or if the baby is inside your uterus you should NOT tell the woman to keep the baby if she does not want to, especially if she is a minor. Pro-life people rather always bring religion into everything, if they want it that way ; In the bible it states that A human life begins when it starts breathing, therefore it is not a child yet. Also why would you not want an 18> y/o to not adopt a child but expect her to birth one? Reasons they get an abortion is because 1. They were raped, the rapist should not get a say over whether she gets to keep the baby or not since giving birth to one will remind her of a lifelong traumatic experience. 2. She is a minor, a child should not be giving birth to a child, being young increases your chances of dying while giving birth and the baby can also die and will cause her to drop out of high school thus not giving her an opportunity for a good job and not be able to provide, also her family might kick her out of the house. 3. Not enough funds, after having a child you will need to provide for it with your money and giving birth also costs thousands. 4. Disease, there was this certain disease I can’t quite remember the name of but it can kill the woman, baby or both during childbirth. All of you pro-birth people should not come around saying to put the child up for adoption if there are more than 1.5 million children waiting to be adopted, It’s better to get rid of them before they start suffering, it costs to put a kid up for adoption. for your #1 debate, A child does NOT need both parents to survive, it mostly needs the mother than the father but it does not need both parents UNLESS they family is very low on funds. On your second debate, nothing makes sense, when the astronauts are on earth they are independent but on the space station they are dependent, but astronauts are humans ; space stations were created by humans which you would be saying that the clump of cells created the woman giving birth to it which is completely unrealistic, the woman is giving birth to that unwanted fetus that was created inside her body. In your 3rd argument, you are talking about dehumanizing an unborn child but taking women’s rights to have a say or get rid of the fetus is quieting her voice and making her stay silent over her own body which is dehumanizing and by parasite they mean that it could ruin a woman’s life and is unwarted like an actual parasite. There is no such thing as half male half female thing, most of the humans on earth are male, there is your proof. Having different blood types is not a justification for not having an abortion, if it is then that means the child and woman are not related. The baby will not be a fully different race from the mother, either the same race or mixed what does race also have to do with any of this? About the chromosomal thing, there such thing called uniqueness. Sperm is not an unborn child, didn’t they teach you this at school? Both can die during childbirth. Oh yes, tell me another body organ that does such thing, will ya? I am laughing so hard at this but what do you want to control the lives of other people and the body of women as if they were objects to please you? If that is what you believe they are then what the hell are you? I will say it but every single pro-lifer at least lowkey hates women, admit it, and yeah it is the parents’ rights to decide if the child is born or not, one no is enough. Imagine going through birth and massive pain, loose many household funds tearing up you vaginal vestibule and get stretch marks on your body which society has considered ugly, have limitations to fun activities while pregnant ; stop working for weeks and loose money and provide for a child that turns out you never wanted and were forced to have and they end up turning into pro-life, or even if you wanted, meaning your child wants to shut out the voice of people like you, I would be so disappointed if I was your mother, i guess she really didn’t raise you well. Would of have names you Anna Bortion, no cap.

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