A Yale student told the press that she intentionally impregnated herself and aborted the fetuses for an art project.
This of course sparked much outrage, until she revealed it was a hoax. She's a performance artist, and the point was to get a rise out of people. It also sparked much debate, because everyone tended to agree that the idea was sick and wrong, and yet, many of them also supported reproductive rights.
My reaction, before I learned it was a hoax, was not quite the same as some-- I was concerned that she was mentally ill and should be detained in much the same way that a person is detained for attempting suicide, because she was taking dangerous herbal abortifacients without a doctor's supervision. Also, I was appalled that any school would allow the display of an "art" exhibit involving dead human tissue, which is a blatant violation of health codes. So yeah, naturally, I thought she should have been stopped, evaluated by a psychiatrist, and the display destroyed.
But at the same time, most people were claiming that it was unethical, yet declaring they were pro-choice. This confused me, because they clearly thought she was killing something that should not be killed, and yet, they had no problem if it was done for other reasons. Doing it for art was atrocious; doing it for personal reasons acceptable.
It would be atrocious because it would be disgusting and a violation of health codes, and because she would have been purposely hurting herself in the name of her "art." That's obvious. But let's pretend that she was doing it for some other, more acceptable reason, like she was a scientist who wanted test subjects and couldn't get them from a abortion clinic, or something. And then pretend that she wasn't endangering herself, and ignore that aspect. Let's focus primarily on the other argument brought up: that it was immoral.
If you think a blastocyst is a human being, of course you would consider this immoral. You should then think all blastocysts are human beings, and regardless of circumstances think abortions are immoral (or by the same token, IVF clinics disposing of blastocysts that are not needed are also immoral). I do not agree with this, but I can respect this view because it is consistent (of course, if you're one of those who thinks it's only okay when YOU do it, all respect disappears).
And the reverse, if you think it is NOT a human being, you should then consider this strange and disgusting, but not strictly immoral because she's simply expelling tissue she does not need, even if she then has a strange purpose for it. That was my general impression. Now, I don't think it would be the same if she had pretended to abort a 6-month-old fetus, but she was talking about blastocysts, which are basically a bunch of stem cells. I know when I personally think life begins, and I am a firm believer that barring a danger to the mother's life when there is a choice between saving the fetus or protecting the mother, after that point the mother should continue the pregnancy and chose adoption if she is unable to care for the child. For me, that point's somewhere when the fetus has brain activity and could theoretically survive a premature birth.
But many arguing it was immoral are pro-choice, or partially pro-choice (ie rape/incest abortions are okay). The truth is, I have trouble understanding that veiw. Either it's a person at the given stage of development and killing it is immoral, or it is not a person and killing it is not immoral. It's not more of a person because it was intentionally conceived for the purposes of aborting it. It's not less of a person because it's father was a rapist or also it's grandfather. Once a child is born, we don't make those distinctions; why do we make them regarding those in utero?
Of course, some people argue that it's a child, but it's okay to kill children before they are able to form attachments and shit. Like up until a few weeks after birth. I don't agree with that one either, but hey, if that's your moral belief, you are entitled to it. However, since it's fairly easy to adopt out newborns, I would find the idea strange and a bit disturbing that infanticide would be the first option barring serious deformities that cannot be repaired and would give the child a miserable, short life.
I just can't understand those who set standards based on situation. If a fetus is a human being, how is it immoral to kill them because you can't care for them but not immoral to kill them because you were raped? And at the same time, if it is NOT a human being, how is it immoral to create them with the intent of destroying them but not immoral to create them accidentally and then destroy them?
The mother's intent, some say. But by that token, if intentional creation and abortion is murder, accidental creation and abortion should be manslaughter. We punish people for that. You have to research and decide. Where do you, personally, beleive that life begins? At conception, when the genetic code is set? Implantation, when pregnancy begins? When the heart begins to beat? When they can survive outside the womb? But once we decide, we should stick to it, and consider all fetuses at the same age equal barring medical situations.
Also, to clarify, in terms of law, I think that the law should allow abortion until the fetus could survive a premature birth with reasonable interference levels (so no partial-birth or late term). After that, only for medical concerns, and always the mother's life and health should come first. Because of the variety of opinions on when life begins, before the fetus can be removed from the body and given away the law should butt out.