Abortion and the Right to Life
There is an interesting discussion regarding abortion going on at Ken Grandlund's blog, Common Sense. My comments:
On the flip side, it seems to me that the abortion of a fetus before it becomes a person ought to be totally legal and unregulated. There are many things that are "bad for us" that I am sure you do not advocate state intervention in. I am proud to be able to eat Hardee's Monster Burgers and Oreo cookies and occasionally stay up all night reading blogs. These things are bad for me, but making the personal decision of whether or not or how often I will partake in them confirms my status as a sovereign individual; society has no right to dictate how I use my own personal private property, in this case the property being my body. How do abortions differ? Fundamentally, how are they different than ear piercings, tattoos, or liposuction? From where does society assert the right to dictate to a woman how she uses her own body? This essay and your recent one on the drug war seem to contradict each other.
Essentially, there is no gray area in this debate. Either a given fetus is a person and owns its life, or it is only a part of the mother's body, no more of an individual person than her arm or foot is. If yes, it is murder, in every sense of that word, to abort it. If no, then the question of whether or not to abort the particular pregnancy becomes an amoral one -- the fetus has no rights to consider.
Your attempt to remove religion from the debate also removes ethics, the most central and crucial branch of philosophy. Popular opinion ought not have any weight in this discussion.