My personal beliefs aside, I take issue with most of the author's rationale.
By labeling an entity a "coercive parasite", the author risks overstating her point. Organisms aren't inherently "parasites"; we describe an organism as "parasitic" as a way to classify behavior.Another argument of the anti-abortionists is that the fetus is a living human being, and is therefore entitled to all of the rights of human beings. Very good; let us concede, for purposes of the discussion, that fetuses are human beings—or, more broadly, potential human beings—and are therefore entitled to full human rights. But what humans, we may ask, have the right to be coercive parasites within the body of an unwilling human host? Clearly no born humans have such a right, and therefore, a fortiori, the fetus can have no such right either.
In this framework, the act of labeling a fetus as "parasitic" is to achieve a reductionist approach, wherein oversimplification of observed behavior replaces empirical evaluation. While certain organisms are observed as "parasites", the application of this label does nothing to ascertain value.
The author again injects a statement of personal perspective to the biological data when she describes it as "coercive". To add ethical structure to information is irrational.
Thus, the algorithim fundamental to her logical premise (If a fetus, then a "coercive parasite") is demonstrated as inherently skewed.
This is yet another statement that suffers from oversimplification. Even if we opt to skate around the biological quandary of when life begins, it is certainly a legal/ethical obligation (especially in a clinical setting) to reasonably ensure continuity of life, irrespective of secondary expense.In short, it is impermissible to interpret the term “right to life,” to give one an enforceable claim to the action of someone else to sustain that life.
It's why we have medical malpractice.
Self-ownership is a murky phrase. From a philosophical standpoint, it is probably justifiable to assert that each individual ought to retain absolute agency over his body and what he chooses to do with it.In our terminology, such a claim would be an impermissible viola*tion of the other person’s right of self-ownership. Or, as Professor Thom*son cogently puts it, “having a right to life does not guarantee having either a right to be given the use of or a right to be allowed continued use of another person’s body—even if one needs it for life itself.”
Yet, when you factor this endemic right against enforcement of narcotics prohibition and/or the illegality of suicide, it becomes apparent that self-ownership is an impractical basis for legal consideration.
Again, the terminology seems geared towards capitalizing from opaque biological discourse that does not expressly determine when biological "life" begins.
If my suspicion is correct -- that the author is working to gain elbow-room because the precise moment when life begins has not been legally defined -- then the argument collapses of its own weight. Logically, if we haven't established when life begins, we cannot gerrymander a legal routine against an unavailable standard. The author's point is therefore without conceivable merit.
Again, an instance where impractical theory seeks to supersede its inherent barriers.Applying our theory to parents and children, this means that a parent does not have the right to aggress against his children, but also that the parent should not have a legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate his children, since such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights. The parent therefore may not murder or mutilate his child, and the law properly outlaws a parent from doing so. But the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die. The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive.
It isn't reasonable to reduce the parent/child relationship into a series of symbiotic behaviors. Doing so merely describes observed pattern and does not entirely address the firmament of their connection, or the social necessity in ensuring proper parental responsibilities remain constant and fulfilled.
We have an ecosystem of social welfare laws enacted to enforce precisely what the author is offering as unenforceable.