Isn't a woman master of her own body?

Except in regions in which slavery still exists, no human being can become the property of another, the object of another's right. Now the unborn infant is not an organ of its mother; it is a unique, distinct being, with its own genetic individuality. This unique being will pursue its own original development without any interruption of continuity. A woman may not dispose of the existence of this being in the way the Roman paterfamilias could dispose of his children at any given moment.

Hence we must clarify a precondition: we must know what kind of society we are heading toward, what kind of society we want to promote. Do we want a society that welcomes every human being from the moment its presence is discernible, or a society that restores the privilege and even the prerogative of masters to dispose of the life of others? The latter kind of society would be built on foundations very different from those that inspire democratic societies; in it one would have to admit that all human beings are not to be respected equally.

blint.gif (141 octets) Next page.

blint.gif (141 octets) Back to "Woman, Spouse and Mother".

blint.gif (141 octets) Back to "Summary".