NRL News

The “Autonomy” Argument for Abortion: Unmasked and Undone

by | Sep 14, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Erika Bachioch

What’s scary about pro-abortion arguments is not their strength. They are as intellectually whispy as spider webs. It’s rather how they are re-issued, like coins from a mint, and creep back into circulation, in some cases adopting a “friendlier” face.

In that vein consider Erika Bachiochi’s “40 Years Later: How to Undo the Autonomy Argument for Abortion Rights.” It is a very interesting read which I encourage you to read in its entirety (

Bachiochi begins with a fine summary of how pro-lifers have “worked to defeat the central pro-choice claim that abortion is necessary to women’s health and well-being.” And, in fact, we have shown abortion’s many and varied detrimental effects on women, something we’ve discussed over and over and over again in this space.

And while pro-abortionists would never concede this, in some ways our breakthrough efforts have made them cling all the more to bodily “autonomy”/“get your hands off my body.” What Bachiochi does in a fascinating manner is to explore how this bedrock autonomy argument has morphed into seems like a kinder and gentler version.

In fact, the softer tone hides a harsh reality: the way autonomy is now fleshed out makes killing the child out to be a kind of “prenatal parenting decision” that “dutiful mothers elect when they find themselves unable to care for another (or disabled) child.”

As I say a fascinating piece. Take out 20 minutes and go to

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Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion