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Reproductive Freedom

Throughout the examination of this intractable problem, I assume that humans prefer freedom to constraint. I also assume that humans, like other primates, experience a drive to procreate and pass their DNA to a new generation of humans.


The Problem

Humans assert reproductive controls over other humans. Some of these controls, humans deem appropriate and necessary to preserve values asserted by human culture: parents exercise this authority over minor children and legal jurisdictions exercise this authority over wards of the state and incompetent adults. Human governments also enact broad incentives or disincentives to procreate, based upon goals set by political demographers or economists. Religious leaders exercise moral authority over religious subscribers and promise benefits for following strictures concerning procreation and penalties for ignoring those strictures.


The Goal

Offer all human people autonomy over reproductive behavior and choices, while protecting vulnerable human people from harm.


Questions

When do humans become people, recognized distinctly as members of the human community? In my view, humans become people when they are born alive, via the natural process of labor or via medical intervention. Humans born dead, via the natural process of labor or via medical intervention, never emerged into the world as people. Humans not yet born will not become people until they are born.


When do humans gain rights? Humans gain rights in the human community when they become people by being born alive, via the natural process of labor or via medical intervention. Humans have no rights until they become people.


When may human people fully exercise their rights? Human people may exercise their rights fully when they become adults. In certain cases of incompetence or incapacity, the state may govern the rights of a human person in the best interest of that person’s survival.


When do human people become adults? The answer to this question is governed by human culture. In some cultures, human people become adults with sexual maturity: they can become impregnated or can impregnate another. In other cultures, human people must be initiated to adulthood via a ritual ceremony or merely survive to an age set by statute.


Should human people share the same adult rights? This question is subject to debate in the human community. In my view, human people should share the same adult rights, irrespective of:

  • chromosomal assignment at birth

  • characterization of gametes, genitalia, and reproductive organs

  • gender and any associated expression of gender

  • characterization of epithelial pigmentation

  • expression of sexuality and sexual desire

  • physiological or psychological distinctiveness

  • age attained past the granting of adult rights

  • geographical location at birth

  • affiliation or non-affiliation with a philosophy or religion

  • affiliation or non-affiliation with a human nation

  • citizenship conferred by a human government.

When may human governments abridge the adult rights of human people? This question is subject to debate in the human community. In my view, human governments may abridge the adult rights of human people in the following circumstances:

  • an adult human person threatens or engages in behavior, which physically or psychologically injures another human person

  • an adult human person engages in behavior, which recklessly endangers the physical or psychological well-being of another human person

  • an adult human person engages in behavior, which prevents or restricts another human person from exercising adult rights.

Should reproductive freedom be included as an adult right of human people? This question is subject to debate in the human community. In my view, reproductive freedom should be an adult right of human people. I include the following in a definition of this right:

  • engage in or abstain from sexual reproductive behavior

  • permit or deny medical intervention in the exercise of personal reproductive freedom

  • engage in or abstain from practices or use of tools, which influence the probability of sexual fertilization

  • engage in or abstain from practices or use of tools, which influence the probability of live birth.

The Solution

The human community recognizes reproductive freedom as an adult right granted to human people.

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