Beyond Pro-Choice: What about consent?

I have long held that no one — even those defined as “persons” by science and the law — has the right to use my body without my consent. Therefore, even if I did believe that personhood begins at conception (which science doesn’t support and neither do I) it still wouldn’t change my pro-choice stance. I do not believe it’s anyone’s decision but my own whether or not to put my health at risk for another being or potential being.

And I’m not alone. The Pro-Consent Coalition is a pro-choice organization that takes exactly this frame to the abortion debate. From their site:

Consent is very powerful. It is fundamental in deciding whether the rights to liberty and bodily integrity have been violated, and therefore need government protection. Even life-saving, beneficial surgeries cannot be performed without consent. By adding Consent to Choice, there would be public funding for termination of non-consensual pregnancies. Choice, based on the privacy promise in the Constitution, can never achieve that support.

Via feminist LJ.

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2 thoughts on “Beyond Pro-Choice: What about consent?

  1. The counter-argument from the conservative side is that, of course, if you have sex of any sort, you are consenting to pregnancy should contraception fail. I’m not sure if that has any legal basis or precedent whatsoever in contract law, though; in fact, a good part of contract law involves minutely examining the terms of a contract for loopholes, and not specifically mentioning what one is obligated to do after a transfer of property is one gaping loophole right there. It seems kind of silly anyway; if I agree to plant your apple seeds in my yard, that doesn’t mean I’ve also agreed to weed, feed and water them until they grow into a tree.

  2. Can you be held to have consented to anything from a hypothetical person who might someday exist? And is nine months of quasi-cannibalistic assault a valid contractual clause?

    The conservative argument might falter. Hopefully, anyway.

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