Alan Noble responds to Allison Benedikt’s recent article supporting sex-selective abortions. Noble writes:
Her logic is simple but quite reasonable, given her assumptions. She argues that if we believe that women have the right to abort a fetus for economic reasons, they should also have the right to abort for other reasons, like sex selection. I love how Benedikt simplifies this issue: Abortion rights is really about the autonomy of the individual and her right to make decisions about her body.
The abortion debate needs to take place over this question of whether or not women have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies. And even though I profoundly disagree with her, I’m grateful that Benedikt brings issue down to that point. For Christians who are looking for ways to move past the unhelpful rhetoric of some on the religious right, the popular belief in our culture that people ought to be seen as autonomous individuals is an important place to start.
Fundamental to the pro-choice position is the belief that the individual is morally autonomous and thus the final authority on his or her actions and body. We see this philosophy taught everywhere, from commercials which tell us to exercise our freedom by buying a product, to our obsession with trying to just “be myself,” to libertarianism.
But Christians recognize that we are not autonomous, we are wholly dependent on God and we have a responsibility to look out for the interest of our neighbors. We believe that life is so sacred, as a gift from God, that we do not have the right to decide when life “begins.” It is not that we believe women shouldn’t have the right to choose, it’s that we believe that no person should have the right to choose; no human has the authority to determine at what stage life begins.