The assumption behind this statement is that the unborn child is a part of the woman’s body. Now this presumption may be understand in three ways.
First, the fetus or unborn child relies on the mother completely for its existence. This is understood to mean the mother has the “right” to dispose of her baby. However, this dependence on the mother for all its needs or else it would die can also be said of a newborn baby, if not cared for.
Does this mean that a newborn baby can be neglected or killed outright? Many pro-abortionist think so especially when it comes to handicapped children. They say a newborn baby must pass certain tests to prove its humanity and if it fails these tests then it forfeits its right to life.
Second, the unborn child is inside the mother. This assertion, they say, means that the unborn child is therefore a part of the mother’s body. However, being inside something does not necessarily mean the object is part of the thing, like a person being inside a car or a building.
The argument may be extended to say that the unborn child inside the mother depends on her completely and therefore is part of her body. A counter argument may be made of an analogous situation involving astronauts in space. They too total depend upon their spaceship for everything —air, food watered. It they exit the vehicle unprotected they would die quickly. The same holds true for a nonviable unborn baby.
Yet we don’t think of the astronauts as only a component of their space vehicle and therefore disposable.
Third, the unborn child is a parasite. This argument is used to dehumanize the unborn child, describing it as a harmful intruder sucking blood and life force from its host, the mother. Thus any guilt the mother may feel for killing her baby is mitigated.
However, to call the unborn child a parasite is to acknowledge its separate nature because a parasite is never part of the host’s body but is biologically a separate and distinct organism.
Here are some facts that further show that the unborn baby is not part of the mother’s body. A mother is always female but she can conceive a male child so she cannot be both male and female. The mother and child may have different blood types. The baby can be in part a different race from the mother. The chromosomal characteristic of the cells in the baby’s body are different from the cells in the mother’s body.
The baby can die without the mother dying. And the mother can die without the baby dying if he is viable. In birthing the baby leaves the mother’s body. What other bodily organ of the mother does that?
A woman does have the right to control her own body. However once she conceives and has procreated she does not have the right to destroy another person’s body.