Rights for unborn women!

Rights for unborn women!

The pro-abortion lobby claims that abortion is part of ‘a woman’s right to control her own body’ and a necessary part of ‘free choice’. How do we respond to this argument?

The right of one individual to make free choices should never infringe upon, or take away, the right of another individual’s right to life.

Not all advocates of women’s rights favour abortion. Susan Carpenter McMillan has stated: ‘As a feminist, I believe strongly in a woman’s right of choice. But with abortion, we’re really talking about the rights of human beings versus the right of an individual to kill another human being. We’re talking about someone’s right to life versus someone’s right to choose death for another person. We’re talking about life versus a lifestyle.’

Many of those who led the campaign for the women’s right to vote also campaigned against abortion. They saw abortion as an option used by irresponsible men selfishly to pressurise unmarried mothers to kill their unborn babies. For example, Susan Anthony, who helped win the right for women to vote in the USA said ‘Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them’.

Deceit through slogans

Pro-abortionists tend to evade logical debate. Rather, they rely on repetition of deceptive slogans. Let us look closely at the claims of the often-repeated abortionist slogan ‘Every woman has a right to control her own body’:


The word ‘woman’ means a ‘female human being’. Since more than fifty percent of aborted children are ‘female human beings’, obviously not ‘every woman’ has a right to control her own body. If the claim ‘every woman’ is to be valid, then it should include all female human beings – all women – even the ‘little women’ in the womb whose sex is determined at the moment of conception. A factor also often ignored by the feminist lobby is the fact that in many countries and especially in the Third World, a major cause of abortion is sex selection. Parents choose to abort female children because they want sons. This killing is surely more serious than any other form of gender discrimination.


Rights, in general, except possibly the right to life, are not absolute. No man or woman has an absolute right of control over his or her own body. For instance, the laws of society do not allow us to inject our bodies with drugs or sell them in prostitution or to use our bodies to commit acts of criminal violence. Because all life is interrelated, many individual rights are relative and not absolute. In the case of abortion, the fact that the unborn child has the right to life is of paramount importance in evaluating the validity of other rights.


The word ‘control’ means ‘to exercise authority over or to regulate and restrain.’ To be in control is to assume responsibility. Abortion does not assume responsibility for oneself or for the child. Thus abortion promoted as a means of being ‘in control’ is often evidence of a body that has been ‘out of control’. If one claims to want ‘control’ then one must ‘curb or restrain’ the body before exposing it to the possibility of pregnancy or take responsibility for the results afterwards. Deciding whether to engage in sexual intercourse is a reproductive choice. The ability to make this choice is a woman’s reproductive right.


Science and medicine show clearly that in a pregnancy there are two individuals each with a separate body. Fetological study leaves us in no doubt that by every physical measurement; the intrauterine being is fully human. These little human beings are able to cry, urinate, dream, hiccup, swallow and suck their thumbs. They have their own heartbeat and bloodstream (often of a different blood type to the mother). Brain waves can be detected and they can feel pain (including the pain inflicted by the abortionist). Unborn children are able to hear and when born can recognise familiar voices such as that of the father. They have their own genetic code, unique features and identity. The body of the unborn child would be rejected as foreign tissue from the womb – were it not for the placenta.

A woman has a right over her own body, however the body of the unborn child is not her body, but that of another human being who also has a right to control its own body. This right is the right to life. Abortion is clearly the destruction of a separate human body.

Do South African women really support abortion?

Pro-abortionists always claim that they are acting in the interests of women and have their support. This has been soundly repudiated by polls, which show that over 70% of South African women are opposed to permissive abortion. This statistic was the same for supporters of both the National Party and the African National Congress. Given proper education about the facts of abortion and life before birth, such as those given in this document, those supporting permissive abortion would shrink to an insignificant minority.

Despite anything the abortionist lobby would wish us to believe, the overwhelming majority of women were and still are opposed to permissive abortion laws.

Distracting from the real issue

The outcome of a debate is often determined by the way it is framed. The pro-abortion lobby is trying very hard to divert attention from the basic issue of whether or not the unborn child deserves the right to life.

They do this by trivialising the debate and bringing in other peripheral issues such as the rights of the mother, street children, population growth, health costs etc – while ignoring the thousands of unborn women being murdered by abortion.

If they are allowed to centre the debate around these other issues, then the rights of the unborn child will be easily over-ridden.

The abortionist lobby, by framing the abortion issue as a ‘women’s rights issue’, also creates the impression that most women would like to have the opportunity to murder their children – a grave insult to the compassionate and loving women of our country. We must reject completely the idea that abortion can in any way be looked at as an advancement of women’s rights.

For more information:

On women fighting abortion visit <www.FeministsForLife.org>;


Weekend Argus, 23 April 1994, p24

Human Sciences Research Council poll taken in 1992. Quoted on ‘Agenda’ television debate, March 1994. A poll taken by a pro-abortion organisation called the ‘National Progressive Health Care Network’ yielded a similar result (quoted on Radio South Africa, 14 April 1994). A poll of young people taken by the Readers Digest also found the majority opposed to abortion (Feb 1994 issue).