The answer to this question is linked to the way the question is asked. Women have the right to choose many things. In fact, humans are creatures of free will (God created us in His image, complete with free will) and have the choice to do everything outside of the basic needs; breathe, eat, hydrate, eliminate, sleep and find shelter. Everything else, from deciding to dye one’s hair to committing murder, is a choice.
Abortion rights’ questions have been phrased, para-phrased and rewritten so many times that the answer to the question asked depends solely on how the question is asked. “Should a woman have the right to choose abortion?” Yes to this question. We were created with free will, and with that, the right to make informed decisions, as well as, the right to make foolish ones. I’m not speaking to the morality or the legality of the question, only to the right to make a decision, and not to the consequences of the decision. From a Biblical standpoint, God is not in favor of death and His choice is clear:
“I place before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life, so that you and your children may live” —Deuteronomy 30:19 (MSG)
“Behold, children are a heritage (gift) from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” – Psalms 127:3
“Thou shalt not kill”- Exodus 20:13
The larger issues, the legality and morality of abortion, are linked, but separate issues from the actual right to choose. Choice is free will, the legal and moral issues deal with consequences of choice and are another discussion.
A woman has a right to choose anything at all. Women have free will. Women make decisions everyday that are both legal or illegal. Women choose to stop at the traffic light or run through it, talk on the cell phone while driving or obey the law that states not to, kill an abusive husband or let the law handle the punishment.. and on and on. So to the above question, yes. Free will affords women the right to make decisions, to choose.
Roe v Wade, the case largely responsible for the discussion of abortion in the first place, made the act of consciously ending the life cycle of the cells that would eventually result in the creation of a human being, legal.
If the question is re-phrased to “Does a woman have the right to consciously kill her baby?” No. Killing humans outside of the womb is not legal, and since the question doesn’t state or imply “in the womb”, then the answer would be no. Many pro choice proponents will disagree with this and yet, exhaust themselves with the particulars of the wording. Many will instantly take offense to the word “kill”.
Kill simply means to cause the death of an organism (note: no specific reference to human or otherwise), or in computer terms, to terminate the program. Abortion advocates are careful to use terminology that doesn’t infer human death, like “terminate the pregnancy” or “termination of the embryo, tissue or fetus” or “product of conception”.
People casually throw the word “kill” around until it lands in an abortion discussion. You can “kill it” in a performance . “You’re killing me” , a common saying, implies having to work harder at something, based on another’s words or actions. Everyday use of the word “kill” only takes on a sullen and somber meaning, followed by offense, when it’s introduced into a conversation involving abortion. People suddenly argue the meaning and find themselves engaged in word gymnastics, deciphering whether the tissue is a fetus, a zygote, a human or a child and whether “killing” this tissue is akin to murder.
Here are the facts. Human DNA and cells produce a human. Not a peach tree. Not a donkey. Not a dog. Human cells become a human being. Technically, life begins at conception, because without life, these cells would not continue to survive and grow. True, the cells are dependent on the mother’s body to continue to live but they are living. Dead cells cannot live from the mother’s body and continue to grow.
As for the argument of when these cells become a human being, when and if there is a soul, etc.. it doesn’t matter. Again, human DNA does not grow into anything other than a human.
When a woman chooses to go to a doctor and consciously end the life cycle of human DNA and cells, she and the doctor, are killing human life. If people need to re-phrase this to make the decision less offensive, then the real question is “Why do you need to feel less offended?”