A Moral Choice? By Vostra Guida
I'd like to get your opinion on something.
I own a building. Most of the building is made up of non-living areas, but there is one apartment in the building that is a suitable residence. That apartment, however, is not usually occupied by any people. From time to time, I might let a friend use other parts of my building, but I am usually very careful to lock the door to the hallway leading to the apartment because I don't want anyone in there. In addition, my building has an internal alarm system that will let me know if something moves in that apartment. By accident, one day I forgot to lock those hallway doors when one of my friends came by.
A few days later, my building's internal alarms went off -- alerting me to the fact that something had entered the apartment. I sent someone to inspect and they reported back to me that there was some food remnants found in the apartment that were not in there before. There were other signs that something had been or was in the apartment as it did not look the way it normally did. He could not say for sure whether it was a person, an animal, insects, or something else, but that there was a good chance that it could be a person. I spoke to a friend of mine who has a similar building and she said that, from time to time she had found a homeless person in the usually unoccupied apartment at her building.
I really was not interested in having someone in the only residential apartment I had in my building, so I hired someone to fumigate the apartment. When he arrived at the door to the apartment, the fumigator called me on his cell phone to say that he could hear something in the apartment but he could not tell for sure if it was an animal or a person.
I told him I didn't want to know what it was and that I just wanted whatever it was out of my apartment. So I told him to open the door and place the fumigating bomb in the apartment so that whatever was in there would not cause me any more problems. So he did just that and left.
When I told some people about what happened, they were extremely upset with me. They claimed that I had no right to do that and that if there was a person in the apartment -- and the person died from the poison -- I and the fumigator had committed murder!
Who the heck do these people think they are? Are they insane? It is my building and my apartment. What right do they have to say anything about what I do with my building? Besides, the fumigator and I did not know for sure that it was a person -- it could have been a rat or something else as far as we knew. Even if it was a homeless person, why should I be held responsible for whatever happens to him/her when he/she was the one trespassing in my building? Just because I forgot to lock the door to the hallway one day does not mean that some homeless person had the right to start living in my apartment when I didn't want them to live there.
So what do you think? Did I do something morally wrong?
What if I told you the "building" is my body, the "apartment" is my womb, and the "fumigator" is an abortionist?
Are you still pro-choice?
To me, it is simple. If you don't know for sure that what is in the womb is not a human life, then how can you justify taking actions that will kill it?
Now, can there be exceptions? Of course there can. For example, if another person's existence is threatening to end your life, you have every right to defend yourself, including by killing that other person if necessary. There may be other limited exceptions that reasonable people can discuss (e.g., rape or incest). But the point of the above story is to stop all of this "It is my body and I can do whatever I want with it" nonsense in circumstances where your actions may cause the termination of another human life. The starting point should always be that innocent human life should be protected whenever possible. Mere inconvenience is not a justification for ending an innocent human life.
Bottom line, if we are not sure whether something is or is not a human life, shouldn't we error on the side of protecting that life?