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which the pregnant individual chooses to abort the fetus because the fetus is not the desired biological sex (usually because the fetus is a female)— must also be legal. Please note, we do not suggest that having no legal restrictions on abortion is necessarily a bad thing, nor are we suggesting that an average pro-choice proponent is both aware of this logical implication of the “sovereign zone” view and holds to it. We merely point out a possible intellectual inconsistency between the anger that many people have surrounding the prospect of sex-selection abortion and the “My Body, My Choice” argument. One cannot denounce the legality of deliberately killing female fetuses because they are viewed as less desirable or valuable while simultaneously claiming that a woman has the right to do anything she wants with anything inside her body. These two statements are logically inconsistent. There are further implications of the “My Body, My Choice” argument as well. One example can be found in the use of Thalidomide, which was a medicine released by a German pharmaceutical company in the late 1950s and was later found to be extremely effective in treating morning sickness in pregnant women. Thalidomide was distributed in 46 countries and became one of the best-selling medicines in the world. Physicians were even given sample packets of the medicine to freely distribute to pregnant patients. However, “what followed was the biggest man-made medical disaster ever, where over 10,000 children were born with a range of severe and debilitating malformations” known as Thalidomide Embryopathy.6 In November of 1961, the medicine was banned in the United States. Thalidomide is under Category X of the FDA’s pregnancy ratings which label medications by their effects on reproduction. This category “is for drugs that empirically contribute to fetal deformities, and for drugs whose risks or undesired effects outweigh possible benefits to the patient.”⁷ Suppose, however, that a pregnant woman in the United States today was experiencing severe morning sickness and went to her medical doctor requesting Thalidomide for treatment.⁸ If it is true that a woman’s body is her sovereign zone and that she has the right to do anything she 54

wants with anything inside her body, then the pregnant woman must legally have the right to take Thalidomide to treat her morning sickness even though the Thalidomide may cause “severe and debilitating malformations” in the fetus.⁹ This conclusion is not only extremely concerning but also inconsistent with the FDA policy which bans the use of Thalidomide by pregnant women.¹⁰ Furthermore, if a woman’s body is her sov-

Either a woman’s body is her sovereign zone, or it is not; it cannot sometimes be her sovereign zone and sometimes not be her sovereign zone depending on whether or not the effects of the sovereign zone view are desirable. ereign zone, then a woman must have the right to take Thalidomide regardless of whether or not she plans to carry the fetus to term. Both a fetus that she plans to carry to term and a fetus that she does not plan to carry to term must fall under her jurisdiction since they are both inside of her body. To argue that a woman’s body is her sovereign zone only when she does not plan to carry the fetus to term is essentially an ad hoc argument. Either a woman’s body is her sovereign zone, or it is not; it cannot sometimes be her sovereign zone and sometimes not be her sovereign zone depending on whether or not the effects of the sovereign zone view are desirable. However, this thought-experiment can be taken even further in order to make the point clearer. Suppose that a pregnant woman in the United States went to her medical doctor and requested Thalidomide but not to treat morning sickness. Suppose she wants to take Thalidomide to intentionally deform her fetus. Please note, we are in no way suggesting that anyone would ever do this. The twisted logic that this would require would take a very disturbed individual. However, for the sake of the thought experiment, if there was a woman who hypothetically wanted to take Thalidomide to intentionally deform her fetus, should she legally have the right to do so? If it is true that a woman can do anything she wants with anything inside her body, then a pregnant

Profile for Rebuttal

Spring 2019  

We proudly present our first issue! The topics include abortion, the Iran deal, voter ID laws, targeted killings by governments, Hamilton: A...

Spring 2019  

We proudly present our first issue! The topics include abortion, the Iran deal, voter ID laws, targeted killings by governments, Hamilton: A...

Profile for rebuttal
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