What is this thing called ‘reproductive rights’? Sure, if you’re a liberal everything you want but can’t have for whatever reason is a violation of your rights. However, setting aside the other human being involved, I can’t think of an analogue to this oft-repeated claim, which is that denying someone the right to destroy the child in utero is a denial of one’s reproductive rights.
Ostensibly, a reproductive right is nothing more or less than the capacity to start a family with a spouse. In other words, it’s something you share with the other sex, and it’s something that can only be enjoyed with another person of the opposite sex. So, it’s not something unique to women. Further, if it is such a right then the corollary is that no other person is, prima facie, justified in frustrating your power to start a family with another person of the opposite sex. In other words, anything that interferes with procreation would count as a violation. From this stand point, forced contraception to sterilization, or forced separation, would count as interference with your ‘reproductive right’.
Now, lets look at the potential analogue to this, say, by reference to health. Health of the body is a good not a right, but we have rights to undertake measures to maintain or improve our health. These rights would include things like visiting a doctor, to engage in regular exercise, to obtaining food and drink, and the like. The idea is that nothing, prima facie, should frustrate our endeavour to maintain good health.
So what could possibly be the analogue in the example of health to the right to destroy the child in utero, which seems like a right to reverse the actual good that the rights associated with reproduction are aimed at, which is actually producing (and caring) for children. It would appear to be a right to sabotage our own good health. Now, we may certainly be free to do so, but do we really have a right to such a thing? Can we demand a doctor give us poor medical advice, poison us, and the like? I don’t think so.
It’s clear, then, that the claim that abortion constitutes a ‘reproductive right’ is absurd. Whatever is being asserted by its use is neither a right, nor is it ‘reproductive’.