One line of rhetoric often mentioned by pro-choicers suggests that pro-lifers have a responsibility to adopt and take care of children who would have otherwise been aborted had they not been placed for adoption. This argument is completely illogical. I have provided an excerpt from Francis Beckwith explaining why.
"This argument can be summarized in the following way: unless the pro-life advocate is willing to help bring up the children she does not want aborted, she has no right to prevent a woman from having an abortion. As a principle of moral action, this seems a bizarre assertion. For one reason, it begs the question by assuming that the unborn is not fully human. For would we not consider the killing of a couple's children unjustified even if we were approached by the parents with the following offer, "Unless you adopt my three children by noon tomorrow, I will put them to death"? The fact that I may refuse to adopt these children does not mean that their parents are justified in killing them. Hence, it all depends on whether the unborn is fully human.
Second, think of all the unusual precepts that would result from the moral principle...:unless I am willing to marry my neighbor's wife, I cannot prevent her husband from beating her; unless I am willing to adopt my neighbor's daughter, I cannot prevent her mother from abusing her, unless I am willing to hire ex-slaves for my business, I cannot say that the slave-owner should not own slaves. Although pro-life groups are active in helping women in crisis pregnancies, the point I am making is that it does not logically follow that abortion ipso facto becomes a moral good simply because individual pro-life advocates are not currently involved in such works of mercy.
And finally, this argument cuts both ways. The pro-lifer can ask the abortion-choice advocate why he does not help with the upbringing of poor children whose mothers have chosen not to kill them, since the postnatal existence of these children is a result of the abortion-choice advocate's public policy of choice. It is odd, to say the least, that the groups that speak the most passionately about "choice" - Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League, or the National Organization for Women - are not the ones who create and manage crisis pregnancy centers and other institutions that meet the physical and spiritual needs of women who choose not to have an abortion and help counsel women who suffer from post-abortion depression. Pro-lifers are the ones who fund and dedicate their time to such institutions."
This is an article from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform:
Choice. It is a great slogan to use for marketing or for politics because everyone supports having one. No one wants to be accused of being anti-choice.
It’s no surprise, then, that to justify legal abortion, abortion advocates have used the word as their mantra. They argue that abortion is a personal decision that women make about their bodies, and that we should not take away that choice. Yet when examining these arguments, it’s clear that they’ve made important assumptions that need to be explained.
For example, it’s undeniable that everyone is pro-choice and anti-choice—depending on what is being chosen. We can generally be pro-choice about what beverage people drink, but anti-choice about drinking alcohol and then driving. Not only are we anti-choice about drinking and driving, we expect the law to force this anti-choice belief on everyone in society.
In the same way, we can all agree that abortion is a choice, but why assume that this justifies legal abortion? Don’t we need to know what kind of choice it is first before we support it?
Now abortion advocates may say abortion deals with a personal decision a woman makes about her body, and therefore it should be a private choice. But laws already limit what we can choose to do with our bodies, especially if what we do hurts someone else’s body. This is why you won’t be arrested for having an intoxicated body when you’re home alone, but you will be arrested if you use your intoxicated body to drive—because in doing so you could hurt someone else’s body.
And so, abortion advocates need to prove the unborn child is part of the woman’s body and not simply assume it. After all, if the unborn are separate human beings just like us— and biology says they are—then a pregnant woman may control her own body only to the extent that she doesn’t hurt that child’s body.
We just don’t have unlimited rights to do anything with our bodies that we want. Consider that even a woman (or man) can’t choose to have sex with whoever they want: In 2007, a Toronto man successfully sued his estranged wife because she had sex with him without telling him she was HIV positive. The woman was convicted of assault for making a choice that hurt someone else’s body.
Pro-lifers need to make abortion advocates provide good reasons for their arguments and not just make rash assumptions.
This is a recent post by Bryan Kemper, founder of Stand True Ministries and creator of the Silent Day of Solidarity event.
What if you knew the baby would be born with a horrible disease or handicap? Would it not be more compassionate to abort the baby? I will answer this question along with a couple more that really fall into the same category: quality of life. I am also often asked the “what if” scenario about babies who might be born into extreme poverty or abuse. These all really come under one answer.
The problem with these scenarios are that they force the person deciding whether or not to end a human life to judge some one else’s potential quality of life. These are what I call “rabbit trail” arguments made by abortion supporters to play off the emotions and look at what could be instead of what is. The truth is that these children, no matter what their circumstances are or could be, are still human persons.
Let me give you a scenario and you tell me whether you think this person should have been aborted:
It’s 1967 and a young woman finds herself pregnant out of wedlock; her family is devastated and wants her to have an abortion. She is unable to get an abortion and is sent off to another city to have the baby because of her family’s shame.
As an infant that child is diagnosed with Spinal Meningitis and is kept in barrels of ice to keep his temperature down. The infant is pronounced dead but brought back to life shortly afterwards. The parents are told this child is brain damaged and could be retarded.
The child’s parents marry and then divorce right away. The child is adopted by his new stepfather at age 2 and is raised for several years by his mother and new adopted father. This child has many problems and is put on medication as a young age for severe ADHD.
In the 6th grade this child is put into special education at a school with all the kids in his own neighborhood; he is picked on a lot. This child wins three blue ribbons in the special olympics in the 6th grade.
Soon after this child’s parents split again, he begins to get abused and is molested by his uncle. At age 11 he is stealing cigarettes and beer and in total rebellion.
At age 12 he is sent to live with his real father and his pattern of abuse and being picked on grows. In Jr High he is put into half special ed and half regular classes in the same school; he is beat up so badly on a daily basis that he is let out of school 5 minutes before anyone else so he can make it home safely. He is tortured in school and on one occasion made to eat human excrement.
By the age of 16 he has run away several times, lived on the streets, prostituted himself for food and shelter and spent 10 weeks locked in a mental hospital his father put him in.
At the age of 18 he is saved from a failed suicide attempt and ends up on the streets again.
By age 20 he overdoses on so many drugs in one day he ends up in an emergency room, having charcoal water poured down his throat as he is locked to a wheelchair. He has already been arrested many times and come close to death a few times. He has committed crimes that would make most of you squirm.
So here is my question: do you think that this person’s mother should have been able to abort this child so he did not have to go through this hellish life? Would this person be better off never having been born?
I am sure you have guessed that this is a real person: it is a real story about someone’s life and you’re right.
His name is Bryan Kemper. He is me.
This is a nutshell version of the life I lived growing up, with some of the more horrific things left out.
The fact is that no one had a right to decide that I should die because of what I might go through. No one had the right to decide my quality of life was not worth allowing me to live.
I am now married to the most amazing woman on the face of the earth and have been blessed with 6 beautiful children. I have traveled the world lecturing at universities like Harvard, Princeton, Queens University in Belfast, Cardiff University in Whales, Notre Dame and many more. I have been in three documentary movies and appeared as a regular guest on a television show.
I also now have a wonderful relationship with my father and have been able to forgive all of my family and others who ever did anything to wrong or abuse me.
I can actually give you dozens of stories like this of amazing people who have overcome great diversity and hellish upbringings – people who have changed the world. Oprah Winfrey, Harriet Tubman and so many more had horrific childhoods also and look what they have accomplished.
The one thing we all have in common that really is the answer to this question is that we are all human persons and have been human persons from the moment of fertilization. You can add in any factor and change any part of the story, but you cannot change the fact that we are all human persons from the beginning.
While the emotional strings may be tugged by these kinds of arguments, we must keep our emotions in check with truth. The truth being that it is wrong to take the life of an innocent human person, no matter what age or stage of life; to do so is an act of homicide.
For Christ I stand,
You can read more from Bryan Kemper in his new book, “Social Justice Begins in the Womb” available at http://store.prolifeworld.com
: What about rape? What if it was your daughter who was raped?Pro-life Answer
: I would love her and my grandchild unconditionally, and I would do everything in my power to prosecute the perpetrator to the fullest extent of the law. Out of our desire to save someone from suffering, it is normal to wish we could erase a painful memory such as rape. Unfortunately, the hard truth is that as much as we want to, we can't. Abortion doesn't erase a memory. Think about it. Could anything ever erase your memory of September 11, 2001? At my lecture at Vanderbilt University, a medical student told other students that abortion is a second act of violence against a woman who is raped, and said her “abortion was worse than the rape.” Both victims—the woman and her child—deserve our unconditional support. Pregnancy can be punishing, but a child is not a punishment. When Julie Makimaa was reunited with her birthmother, Lee Ezell ("Victory Over Violence," The American Feminist, vol. 5, no. 3), Julie asked her if it would have been better for Lee if Julie was never born at all. Lee told Julie that she was the “only good thing to come out of the rape.” When someone asks about exceptions for rape and incest, we must also consider how that makes those feel who were conceived through sexual assault. Well-meaning statements can hurt. As one UC-Berkeley grad student said to her pro-choice peers, “I have a right to be here.” They responded, “We didn't mean you!” She asked, “Who did you think you meant?” My mother told this story to a coworker who agreed and said, "People never think they are talking to an exception—like me.” Could you look at someone conceived in violence and tell her that she never should have been born? What if it turned out to be your best friend—or a relative? Would that change the way you felt about her? Would you think less of her mother?
Rebecca Kiessling, a young attorney and mother who was conceived through sexual assault, asks “Did I deserve the death penalty?”
Can you imagine if we ranked the value of people based on the circumstances of their conception?
We don't discriminate based on parentage—that's not equality! You are valuable no matter who your parents are, no matter the circumstances of your conception. People used to value a woman based on who her father or husband was. It is similarly medieval to value a child by the actions of her father. That way of thinking is patriarchal and antifeminist and it should have gone out with the Dark Ages. Abortion after rape is misdirected anger. It doesn't punish the perpetrator of the crime, or prevent further assaults against other women. FFL's priority is keeping women safe. Incarcerated sexual offenders should not be allowed pornography, barbells, and early release. We need harsh sentences for sexual assault without possibility of parole. We need comprehensive support for rape victims who become pregnant. A convicted rapist should never have paternal rights or be able to demand visitation from “his” children while in prison. But if he has the means, he should contribute child support. If a woman is poor and cannot prove the paternity, she could have problems collecting welfare. Small employers could fire her. We need to listen to those who have had children conceived through sexual assault and work for short- and long-term solutions that benefit both. Feminists for Life is a proud supporter of the Violence Against Women Act. In fact, we were the only pro-life group active in the National Task Force on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. After a lecture at a midwestern university where I shared the story of Lee and Julie, a student pulled me aside. She told me that she was raped by her third cousin as a mere thirteen-year-old and had became pregnant. Her parents had helped her have the privacy she wanted during her pregnancy, and then she placed her son with two loving parents. I asked her, why did she make the decision to have the child—when she was just a girl who had lived through what was arguably the worst of circumstances? She said she would never pass on the violence that was perpetrated against her to her own unborn child. Now that is the strength of a woman! Because women deserve better,
Serrin M. Foster
Feminists for Life
"It’s the woman’s body. It’s her decision."
First, it is nonsense to suggest that the law never tells people what they can or cannot do with their bodies. In fact, there are many things which people are not legally allowed to do with their bodies. To name just a few, they cannot sell them for sex, or sell their organs to people who need transplants, or put certain drugs into their bodies.
Second, statements like this ignore the fact that, by any rational standard, the unborn child is a separate individual from its mother.
In fact, if an unborn child had the ability to commit a crime, it has everything necessary for a forensic expert to identify it in court. Long before the point at which most abortions are done, the unborn child has its own DNA code, its own fingerprints, and its own blood type – none of which match the mother.
The individuality of the unborn was evident in 1999 when a Tennessee surgeon had just completed an operation on an unborn baby and was about to close the incision in the mom’s abdomen. Before he could do so, the child punched his arm through the incision and grasped the doctor’s finger. A photo of this event ended up on magazine covers and television sets around the world. The question is, who grabbed the doctor’s finger?
"I’d rather pay $300 for a welfare mom’s abortion than thousands to raise her kid."
Few issues speak more clearly about the immorality of the pro-choice mentality than the argument that abortion should be used to save us tax money. To put this mentality into perspective imagine that the two-year-old daughter of a family on welfare fell into an abandoned well. Authorities calculate that since a funeral is cheaper than a rescue, and since this little girl might be on welfare for the rest of her life, the financially sound thing to do is just flood the well with water. Once the child floats to the top, the coroner can scoop up her body, have it buried, and the taxpayers will have saved a bundle. That is obviously a monstrous idea, but it is no more so than telling poor women that if they will kill their children to save us money, we’ll pay the killer.
Now if America is serious about having a social policy based on the philosophy that it’s cheaper to execute a child than support one, then we should start encouraging families on welfare to not only kill their unborn children, but their born children as well. Remember, the guiding principle here is not morality but saving money. If we are willing to ignore the biological fact that their unborn children are living human beings, why should we care that their born children are living human beings?
This is a recent post by Bryan Kemper, founder of Stand True Ministries and creator of the Silent Day of Solidarity event.
Tough Questions - I Am Pro-life But I Can't Force My Morality On Anyone Else?
This is an argument I get so often from people who don't want to take a stand against abortion or get involved with pro-life work. They always say that other people don't believe that abortion is killing a human so we can't force "our morality" on them. Just because we are pro-life does not mean we should tell someone who is not pro-life they should not have an abortion.
I will be honest; this to me is really just a cop-out, an excuse for people to not take a stand or get involved. The fact is, abortion is the taking of a human being's life and whether someone refuses to see the truth does not change a clear fact. Just because you say that you don't believe something that is true does not make it untrue.
Let's look at a few instances in law where people's disagreement with a truth does not make a difference in the law at all:
1. NAMBLA, an organization who believes that it is morally ok for grown men to sleep with young boys. Yes, this is a real organization who really believes the rest of the world is "pushing their morality" on them by enforcing child molestation laws on them. Should we change the law to allow these perverse men to have sexual relations with young boys just because they believe it is ok? Of course not.
2. Civil Rights Laws, there are still those who think minorities should be segregated and treated as less then human. The whole Civil Rights Movement was forcing a morality on America that needed to be forced. it was imperative that we, as a nation, stood against those who would treat any human person as less than human and establish personhood rights for every single human person.
3. Women's Suffrage, there are still those who believe that women should not have the right to vote... I think you get the point.
The fact is, we, as a nation, have a duty to pass laws and protect people from in-human treatment whether or not someone disagrees or not. We, as fellow humans, have a duty to stand up for any fellow human person when he or she is being oppressed, dehumanized or killed by the thousands every day.
Morality is forced on people every day and that is not a bad thing. We force our morality on criminals when they commit crimes, we force our morality on bar owners when we tell them they can't allow smoking in their establishments. The fact is that almost all laws are forcing some form of morality on someone.
I understand that some people think that life does not begin at fertilization, but that does not change the fact that it does. The moment the sperm and egg are united, a unique human person is formed and has the right to full protection as a human person. When that child is "terminated" or "aborted", that is an act of homicide.
1. the killing of one human being by another.
2. a person who kills another; murderer.
So back to the question at hand - I Am Pro-life But I Can't Force My Morality On Anyone Else?
Yes. In fact, you have a moral and biblical obligation to take a stand and love your neighbor as your self. ( Luke 10:27 ) If you know that your neighbor ( fellow human person) is being killed by the thousands every day, you must stand up and be a voice for them.
For Christ I stand,
Bryan Kemper - firstname.lastname@example.org
This entry is a blog I came across which was written as an English assignment by Gordon Ray. It is obvious he put a lot of research and time into this paper and I encourage all to read it in its entirety.
A society may rightly be judged by the value it places on human life. Much like the brutal African slave trade of the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries and the dehumanization of Jews during the Holocaust, abortion is a direct mockery of the sanctity of life. Abortion is an injustice which is more than just an abstract argument for radical “religious” conservatives and radical liberals to fight over; it is a real human rights issue that must be understood and dealt with objectively and intellectually by every person in America and around the world. It is also a highly sensitive issue which must be handled with the utmost care, lest those involved become so passionately involved in the argument as to never make any progress toward understanding the truth.
Key to every argument about abortion ever fought is the question of when life begins. The premise is quite simple: if a fetus or unborn baby is a human, its life is unique and sacred and should be treated with utmost care and respect. However, if a fetus is not a human, it is just a part of the woman’s body, a disposable organ, which the woman has the right to have removed at will. Because this is clearly the most fundamental question within the abortion argument, it is essential that it be the first one dealt with, as all other arguments spring directly from one’s presupposition on this matter. The argument against the humanity of a fetus can be divided into four categories: size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency. These categories are merely the difference between a fetus in the womb and a newborn baby, yet each of these arguments is used by nearly every pro-choice person or group to deny that a fetus is a person. Every one of these arguments is also logically false.
The first argument used to justify abortion is the size of the unborn child. A fetus, who is not currently protected under the law, is generally smaller than a newborn baby, who is protected under the law. According to this argument, a person’s size defines whether or not he or she is a human. If that is the case, is a man who is 4’3” any less human than an NBA star who is 7’3”? Of course he isn’t. An analogy used by abort73.com says this: “It is lawful to kill a fly and not lawful to kill a person, not because the person is bigger, but because the person is human….Trees are generally bigger than people, but it is lawful to cut the branches off trees, but unlawful to cut arms off people….” The size of an object or person is irrelevant to whether or not it is a person. In fact, prematurely born babies are often smaller than an older fetus still inside the womb. According to the current law, any fetus still in the womb may be legally aborted, regardless of size. Though many of these are bigger than premature newborns, it is still legal to exterminate them. The logic of this argument does not add up--size is irrelevant to personhood, even by the law’s standards (Size).
The level of development of a child is also used as a determining factor of the personhood of a fetus. However, this is also a void argument. Anyone would agree that a fetus or embryo is generally less developed than a newborn baby. Anyone would also agree that an average 17-year-old boy is more developed, physically and mentally, than he was at age 7. At age 27, he is even more developed, and at age 37, and so on. Is he becoming more human as he becomes more developed? The answer, of course, is no. He was just as human as a child as he is as an adult. Furthermore, a mentally handicapped person may be less developed intellectually than one of his peers, but does that define him as something less than human? Again, the answer is no. According to this logic, then, a less developed fetus or embryo is no less human than a newborn baby (which are less than nine months in age difference, as opposed to ten or twenty years). The level of development of a person does not determine his or her personhood (Level of Development).
The environment, or place of residence, of a child is the third “standard” of personhood. A fetus lives inside the womb, and a newborn lives outside the womb. However, this is also an insignificant assertion in the argument over personhood. A baby kangaroo lives inside its mother’s pouch for a good portion of its infancy. However, it is still a kangaroo, even though it cannot live long outside its mother’s pouch. Likewise, where a person lives in no way defines who a person is, and particularly if he or she is a person. Walking down the streets of ....Manhattan.... makes a person no more or less a person than if he or she were at a rock concert in ....San Diego.... or driving to work or lying in bed at home. To say that a fetus is not a person simply because he lives inside his mother’s body rather than in his mother’s arms is “dishonest and unjust” (Environment).
The final and perhaps most widely used argument against the personhood of a fetus is the issue of dependency. The argument asserts that because a fetus cannot survive on its own, it has no inherent right to live. However, this argument in itself is conditional. If it were, as it easily could be, broadened to include all people, it would suggest that every person on earth is not really a person, because every person is dependent to some extent, on someone or something other than themselves. The only difference in dependence between a “human” by these standards and a fetus is the degree of dependency, not the kind of dependency. A fetus inside the womb is indeed entirely dependent on the mother’s body for sustenance and survival. Yet is not a newborn baby entirely dependent on his parents for his survival? According to the law, a newborn is a person, but a fetus in the womb is not. Again, this is erroneous reasoning. For instance, the law does not regard a person outside the womb who is dependent on dialysis or insulin shots or a pace-maker to survive as anything less than human. Nor should an unborn child be treated as such based on his dependency upon the umbilical cord. Indeed, a person’s dependency should deducibly warrant more protection under the law instead of less! The basic human instinct is to treat a younger child with more care and compassion. Any time an act of violence is committed against a child rather than against an adult, the public is appalled. Children are much more defenseless and helpless than adults, so adults naturally regard them with more care and protection, and the younger the child is, the more protection is granted them. To say that a child’s dependency denies them the right to protection instead of assuring it is terribly tragic and goes against human beings’ very nature (Degree of Dependency).
Having established that the fact that an embryo or fetus is no different from any other human being other than its stage of development, it is necessary now to discuss the process of development of a fetus. The fertilization of the zygote is the beginning of a new human life. At this point, all forty-six human chromosomes which contain all the genetic information to control its development throughout its life are present. Unlike other organs in the woman’s body such as the heart, kidneys, or liver, this zygote has a completely unique genetic makeup from the woman. Eight days after fertilization the embryo implants itself in the lining of the uterus. It releases chemicals to alter and weaken the mother’s immune system to prevent the “foreign” body from being rejected by the mother’s body. After three weeks, the heart begins to beat, and the brain divides into its three main sections. At four weeks arms and legs begin to develop, as does the protective amniotic sac. By five weeks kidneys, external ear structures, hands, and wrists are all identifiable. At six weeks the brain produces waves that register on an EEG (electroencephalogram), which is what legally determines whether someone is alive any time after birth. Seven weeks after fertilization female ovaries appear, fingers and toes are distinctly identifiable, and knee joints have formed. The fetus has every organ it will ever have by eight weeks. Though only an inch-and-a-half long, the embryo has ninety percent of the structures that an adult has. The brain accounts for nearly half of the total body weight. Seventy-five percent of embryos at this age display right-hand dominance. Kidneys produce urine, male testicles produce testosterone, and even breathing motions begin to take place. By nine weeks, the fetus can suck its thumb, close its eyes, swallow amniotic fluid, and respond to touch. At ten weeks fingernails, toenails, and fingerprints are visible. At twenty-one weeks, just under halfway through the term of pregnancy, a prematurely born baby has a fifteen percent chance of survival outside its mother’s body. Immediately before birth (nine months after fertilization), the fetus stimulates the release of a hormone which causes the mother’s uterus to contract. The fetus is who decides when it is time to be born (Prenatal Development).
The next question that must be answered is what an abortion actually is. Merriam-Webster defines an abortion as “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus as…b: induced expulsion of a human fetus” (Merriam-Webster: Abortion). The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) gives some information on abortion statistics. Abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the ....U.S..... with 1.21 million performed in 2005, and from 1973-2005, over 45 million legal abortions occurred. An estimated four in ten unplanned pregnancies end in abortion, and twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) are ended by abortion. Though the majority of anti-abortionists identify their position with religious reasons, 43% of women having abortions are Protestant, and 27% are Catholic. The majority of abortion providers in ....America.... provide abortion at up to twenty weeks after fertilization (recall that after another week in the womb the baby has a 15% chance of survival outside the womb). And while it is legal to provide abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy (Legality, 1), only about 8% of abortion providers will give an abortion after 24 weeks. Abortion on demand is available for practically any woman in the ....United States.... desiring to terminate her pregnancy (AGI, 1-2).
There are many reasons that abortion proponents use to defend abortion. Many women claim that they are unable or unwilling to take care of their child due to relationships, financial trouble, or work or school (AGI, 1). Other arguments cite instances of rape and/or incest, and still others claim that it helps control overpopulation.
The first and most common reason women demand abortion is their inability to care for the child, or that they simply do not want a child yet. The National Organization for Women (NOW) has created a very appealing solution to this problem. They have coined the slogan, “Every Child a Wanted Child.” This is certainly a noble endeavor on their part. Undoubtedly everyone would prefer to live in a world where every child is wanted. But the grim reality the meaning behind this slogan is is, “Every child a wanted child, and if not wanted, kill” (Willke, et al, ch.31). This, of course is a terribly unjust way of solving the problem. For instance, no one would say that they “want” a homeless person on the street. Does that give someone the right to murder him because he is unwanted? Absolutely not. If a single mother is having trouble raising her two-year-old daughter and does not feel like she can continue to do so, does she have the moral right to kill her? Of course she doesn’t. Why, then, does a woman have the right to kill her two-month-old daughter in her womb who she feels unable to raise? Furthermore, there is a problem in the very claim that a child is unwanted. Even if the biological parents do not want their child, there are literally millions of couples waiting to adopt a child but are unable because the majority of unwanted pregnancies end in abortion. To say that a child is unwanted is wrong, but to kill him or her for being unwanted is an absolute injustice.
The case of rape and incest is another commonly cited argument for the right to have abortions. The founder of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Gregg Cunningham in his essay, “Why Abortion is Genocide,” page 10, cites the following Time magazine article about an Arab man, Sirhan, who shot his 16-year-old sister Suzanne four times in the head after he discovered she had recently been raped. Sirhan says, “She committed a mistake, even if it was against her will. Anyway, it’s better to have one person die than to have the whole family die from shame.” Although this “logic,” which is common in Arab countries, seems brutal and unnecessary to Americans, Americans have adapted a variation on this logic. Is not a child of rape just as much a victim of rape as his mother? Assuming he is born and lives a normal life, he still must live knowing that his life is the result of a wicked act of violence. Though he did not experience firsthand the emotional trauma of the rape, he must live with the shame of being the product of it, an equally traumatic situation, making him a fellow victim with his mother. However, is it right to kill this child because he was produced by an act that brought trauma to himself and to his mother? Why should the victims of violence be subjected to further violence? The abortion will not “unrape” the mother, nor will it remove the guilt, pain, and injury of the rape, but actually compound it by subjecting an equally innocent being, her own child, to additional violence. Cunningham says, “Shouldn’t we love them both? The prospective adoptive parents who are desperate to take this child into their family certainly would” (Cunningham, 10).
A third reason abortion advocates utilize, though not as commonly, but just as chillingly cruel, is the control of overpopulation. They ask, “Without abortion, what would we do with all these extra kids?” As to whether or not there is indeed a population crisis in America is an entirely different matter, so one may assume for these purposes that there is. If the American population really is totally out of hand, is the slaughter of innocent human beings an acceptable method to control it? Of course, if one is arguing this, he or she will be sure to emphasize that fetuses are not yet American citizens, as they are not human beings yet. This, however, they cannot prove, so they must assume that it is true and ignore the issue altogether. In addition to the fact that abortion is an illegitimate means of controlling population, there is significant evidence by the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Census Bureau, and Negative Population Growth, that population increase is coming almost exclusively from immigration, not from birth rates. Add to this the fact that people now are growing older than ever, and that over 40 million children have been eliminated over the past thirty-five years, and there arises a frightening outlook on the future of the American population. With a projected one-and-a-half working-age adults per each retired Social Security recipient by 2040, as opposed to around three today, one can see an old America is not necessarily a good America (Overpopulation, 1-2).
There are some pro-life advocates who have made the relation that abortion is a form of genocide. Genocide is defined as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group” (Merriam-Webster: Genocide). Note that this does not say the total destruction of a group; European Jews in the Holocaust were not completely annihilated, but over six million of them lost their lives (also note that Webster cites the year the term was first coined as 1944, clearly it was created in reference to the Holocaust). However, whereas six million Jews died over a period of approximately ten to fifteen years (JVL), in the span of thirty-five years, just over twice the time Hitler reigned, over forty-five million innocent children have lost their lives to the “genocide” of abortion. Whether the entire population was wiped out or not (which obviously in both cases it was not), these numbers cannot be ignored.
The primary emphasis in the definition of genocide is the phrase systematic destruction. Anyone with knowledge of the mass extermination of Jews in the Holocaust would agree that it was very systematic. While there is no exact number as to how many “concentration camps” were involved in the Holocaust, MTSU puts the number in the hundreds (MTSU). However, the Guttmacher Institute says that in 2005 there were 1,787 abortion providers in the ....U.S....., and that is a 2% decrease from five years before (AGI, 1-2). One report says that in 1992 there were up to 2,400 facilities. Abortion is Constitutionally legal in the ....U.S..... if the woman’s health is at risk. The Court’s definition of “health” included “emotional, psychological, familial, and…age…” related factors, thus making it virtually impossible for the government to prohibit abortion “in good conscience.” Additionally, not only does the “Supremacy Clause” of the Constitution nullify contradicting state laws, but sixteen states currently fund Medicaid abortions without restriction. As Gregg Cunningham bluntly states, “The apparatus which exterminates unborn children can’t get much more ‘systematic’ than that” (Cunningham, 1).
The humanity of an unborn child has already been discussed. Human life begins at fertilization. However, there is quite a disparity between “humanity” and “personhood.” Personhood is a subjective term used by society to determine what rights, if any, to bestow upon or withhold from a fellow human being. The Supreme Court of the ....United States.... asserted in 1973 that “fetuses are not persons within the meaning of the fourteenth amendment….” Thus, the question of when life begins has been answered, but the question of at what point in the development of life America will grant the rights of personhood, the most fundamental of which being the right not to be slaughtered. The most common developmental points that people will argue for being when to confer these rights are fertilization, viability (the ability to survive outside the womb, usually sometime between the second and third trimester), or as some extreme liberals such as Professor Peter Singer, Princeton University, insist, as late as one month after the child’s birth. Terms like zygote, blastocyst, embryo, fetus, newborn, toddler, adolescent, and adult are arbitrarily assigned titles of different stages in the biological development of a human being. Why, then, does our society draw the line as to which stages are included in “personhood?” The elderly could just as easily be excluded, but anyone would rightly object to that. It seems unreasonable, then, to exclude a person his rights because of his age (Cunningham, 4).
“Choice” is the one of the most commonly used terms on the pro-abortion side. It is also used by many people who are not for abortion, yet nor are they against abortion. They believe that the woman should be allowed the “choice” of what to do with her body, and that no one, especially the government, should be able to deny her that right. However, while many people are opposed to legislating morality on abortion, those same people rightly support the “moral” legislation prohibiting the “choice” lynching of African Americans. For instance, if the government were to withdraw the legal protection of African Americans, would that mean that they are “staying out of race,” or would they be protecting the “personal choice” to lynch blacks? Gregg Cunningham asks this question: “Would a person be seizing the moral high ground by saying ‘I am personally opposed to lynching blacks, I just don’t think lynching blacks should be against the law?’” The answer to that question seems obvious, yet people still fight for a woman’s right to “choose” to murder her child.
This next discussion takes a different direction, and many people have presuppositions on the answer to this question, which is, “Who gets hurt?” Most pro-abortionists would quickly answer “nobody,” yet there is significant evidence that at least two people are hurt by abortion: the child and the woman. At this point it should be obvious that the child gets hurt, as his life is ended during an abortion. The woman, however, is often the overlooked victim of abortion.
A developing child inside his mother’s womb is seemingly in one of the most secure environments in the world; he has a constant supply of nutrients via the umbilical cord, a protective layer of amniotic fluid in which to float, and his mother’s ever-present, soothing voice to comfort him. However, with abortion taking the lives of at least two out of every ten unborn children (AGI, 1), the sanctuary of the womb is one of the most deadly places on earth to live. The method that children inside the womb are slaughtered is no less “systematic” than the institution that sanctions the procedure in its extermination of a large percentage of an entire group of people. The abortion process is a gruesome one, and one form, used for 7-15 week fetuses is called Suction Aspiration, and involves using suction to dismember the baby’s body inside the womb, and then suck out the remains into a collection canister. Then the placenta is scraped off the lining of the uterus, and then sucked out as well. A relatively new form of abortion is called a Medical Abortion, which uses a drug such as Mifepristone. This procedure is done in a two-step process, usually with three trips to the abortion facility. First the woman takes the pill, which blocks the hormone progesterone, which sustains the uterus’s nutrient lining throughout the pregnancy. Once this lining is destroyed, the embryo literally starves to death. One or two days later, the woman returns to the abortion facility to receive a dose of Misoprostol to instigate the “birth” process of the dead embryo, which happens within a couple of hours. The third visit to the facility ensures that the abortion has taken place. If it was in fact unsuccessful, which happens in up to 10% of women, a surgical abortion will be required. Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is another method of abortion used during the second trimester. This is done by inserting laminaria sticks (sterilized and compressed seaweed) into the cervix for two to three days, which then swell up due to moisture, which dilates the cervix. Then the doctor uses forceps to dismember the fetus by grasping an arm or leg and twisting it until it breaks off. This is done until only the head remains, which is then crushed and pulled out. Then perhaps most chillingly, the doctor must “reassemble” the body parts to ensure that nothing was left in the womb. Dilation and Extraction (D&X, also known as Partial Birth) abortions are usually performed on a second or third trimester baby which is usually of “viable” age. First the baby is positioned with forceps so as to be delivered in reverse to a normal birth: feet first and face down. The body is then removed until only the head, which is too large to fit through the cervix, remains hidden. The arms and legs are now exposed (and likely flailing), and the doctor proceeds to use blunt surgical scissors to puncture a hole in the base of the baby’s skull. A vacuum tube is then used to suck the brain out, resulting in the skull collapsing and being free to pass through the birth canal (Abortion Techniques). Abortion hurts children.
Some pro-abortionists may say that unborn children cannot feel pain. While it is true that there is no way to prove that they can, it is also impossible for anyone to prove that anyone but oneself can feel pain, as it is an entirely subjective sensation. Evidence exists, however, that unborn children as young as eight to ten weeks respond aggressively to stimuli which typical adults and children would find painful, suggesting that the fetus, too, finds it painful. To quote Sir Albert Lilley, author of The Tiniest Humans, “By the same token we lack any proof that animals feel pain. However, to judge from their responses, it seems charitable to assume they do. Were this not so there would be no point in having an organization like the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and I for one would be unhappy to think we would withhold from the human fetus a charitable consideration we were prepared to extend to animals.” The question of feeling pain before birth, however, completely misses the point of the argument of abortion. Killing a person instantly by shooting them in the head is no less a murder than bringing them to a slow and painful death by strangulation. The person is just as dead. Likewise, regardless of whether an unborn child feels pain, he is still just as dead at the end of the abortion (Fetal Pain).
The third and final discussion relates the effects of abortion not to individuals, but to American society as a whole. The answer to the abortion argument as it relates to ....America.... can be found quite clearly in three select documents: The Declaration of Independence, the Hippocratic Oath, and the Nuremberg Code. Each of these well-known and universally accepted ethical documents takes a clear stand, if not directly on abortion, then at least on the rights of an individual human being.
The Declaration of Independence is generally renowned in the developed world as one of the most compelling documents regarding the rights of a country and its citizens ever written. As such, its doctrines are entrenched in the mind of each and every American citizen, whether he or she knows it or not. These doctrines, however, our society does not always practice to their full intent. Abortion is one of many ways the “unalienable rights” granted to all by the Creator are denied by man. Thomas Jefferson penned these famous words in 1776: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created” (Note that men are “created” in the womb) “equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….” In light of an unborn child being a unique human being with a life of its own, it seems clear that an abortion, which ends that life, also denies the child liberty to choose what to do with his life as well as destroying any hope of pursuing happiness. Abortion coldly denies over a million people per year all three of their unalienable rights in order to “protect” one of the mothers’: liberty. Also note that Mr. Jefferson continued to assert, “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….” This is not to say that due to the injustice of abortion our government should be completely abolished and begun anew, but to insist that a radical change take place in the morals of American society.
The first part of the Declaration is dedicated to asserting the rights of individual human beings. The second section describes the extent to which the “King of Great Britain” had instituted “repeated injuries and usurpations” upon the colonial citizens. However, there are some striking parallels between the sympathies of the oppressed colonials and those of unborn children. The first “injury” listed is, “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.” This can justifiably be compared to pro-abortionists denying this very document in placing the woman’s one right above the child’s three. Another complaint is that “He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.” To explain this comparison, our government (“He”) has ignored large groups of people (i.e. unborn children), excepting only the condition that they relinquish their Representation in the Legislature (i.e. are denied personhood). This right of personhood is of course inestimable to the child, and is certainly formidable to the tyrants, who are attempting to extinguish that life with the rationalization that it is not in fact a life yet. A relatively self-explanatory comparison can be made by the complaint that “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States…” While ..Jefferson..’s argument pertained to the prevention of immigration into the ....United States...., as to allow the population to grow by reproduction, the opposite is true today, with the government providing for the destruction of children to slow reproduction while allowing immigration to be the main source of population growth. ..Jefferson.. further protests against the King “For protecting them [the armed troops among the colonists--compare abortion doctors], by mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States.” This is comparable to the Roe v. Wade case which legalized the murder of innocent children, Inhabitants of the Womb. Also compare this with “…depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.” The list of usurpations and injuries goes on and on, and a few more notable ones include, “…abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments…” and “…declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.” “He has…destroyed the lives of our people.” “He is at this time transporting large Armies…to compleat the works of death…already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation” (Declaration of Independence). Thomas Jefferson used his eloquent language to fight for the rights of the citizens of his country. If this same country still holds these words in such high regard, does it not seem only right for its citizens to abide by their mandates?
The Hippocratic Oath, sworn by medical doctors around the globe, is no less subject to the devaluation of its ancient authority. While it is true that though the original text by Hippocrates prohibited performing abortions on women, many modern versions delete those words; yet the essence of his demands for moral medical practice is still present and still reflects that view. The oath is designed to set the moral mandate for medical practice. Such provisions as complete devotion to the practice, avoiding at all cost harm to the patient, prohibiting any medicine which will knowingly cause death to the patient (including abortion), even at the patient’s request, and keeping complete confidentiality with the doctor’s patients are all commanded in the oath. Obviously, even without the abortion clause, the oath still requires that the doctor have utmost respect for all of his patients, and that must include the unborn. Any doctor who does otherwise, even if he did not swear not to perform an abortion in his version of the oath, becomes not Hippocratic but hypocritical (Hippocratic Oath).
Shortly following World War II, the world came to realize the true magnitude of the atrocities of the Holocaust. With this realization came a strong movement to bring to justice those guilty of such heinous acts. The resulting 1946 International Military Tribunal trials in ....Nuremberg.., ..Germany...., did just that. However, the trial’s judges realized in the process that the Hippocratic Oath alone was not sufficient to properly protect the rights of human research subjects. In 1947, the judges produced a code of ten points to protect those rights. The Nuremberg Code was formed, and thanks to a 1946 UN resolution is now official international law.
The Nuremberg Code’s statutes are taken for granted today, but prior to 1947 there was no official way to manage and protect the rights of human test subjects, and people had just realized how dangerous this lack of provisions could be. Today, however, a new “holocaust” is burdening our culture, though it is often covered up. Many of the points that were used to convict the Nazi “death angels” can be applied to protect the rights of the unborn and perhaps someday bring the modern-day “death angels” to justice (Nuremberg Code Paraphrase).
Point number one states that, “the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force…. Before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject there should be made known to him the nature…of the experiment…and [its] effects upon his health or person…” The unborn human inside the mother’s womb is repeatedly denied this right. He is not allowed the “legal capacity to give consent,” and he has no “free power of choice.”
Point four says, “The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.” Abortion doctors also ignore this crucial mandate. Obviously the child is injured, but so is the woman, as it has been discussed, both physically and mentally. This point, no doubt designed to prevent abuse to a single test subject, has a twofold application to women receiving abortions, and both subjects’ rights are utterly ignored in the abortion process.
Point five says, “No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.” How many abortion doctors would, if given the chance, place themselves alongside the baby and have an abortion performed upon them? The answer is almost certainly “none,” because the doctor knows that death and disabling injury will occur to the “subject.”
Point six reads: “The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.” Which is of more “humanitarian importance;” the slaughter of an innocent child or the convenience of the mother?
Point seven: “Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against eve remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.” It seems a bit strange, then, that our government allows and even supports facilities whose purpose is to bring death to individuals.
Point nine: “During the course of the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible” (Nuremberg Code). The child being murdered has no way of expressing his wishes regarding the process. However, in the same sense an Alzheimer’s patient often cannot communicate his or her wishes, but does that make it right to kill them? No doubt the child would choose for the abortion to be discontinued immediately if given the opportunity.
These points are invaluable to human rights as a whole. Dozens of Nazis were convicted using the points following the war, and hundreds or thousands more have been convicted since. The question is why does ....America.... choose to withhold the rights laid out in this code from unborn children? Why does this society continue to ignore the silent holocaust that continues every single day?
Abortion is a terrible injustice, which leaves in its path thousands of children dead every single day, and still America allows—indeed, encourages—it to continue. America is rightly considered the greatest nation in the world today. However, with that title comes great responsibility. The world is watching. How America treats her own citizens, her own children, will determine whether she is worthy of her title. As time goes on, one may only hope that abortion is seen for what it is: not a “choice,” but an anathema.
Pro-choice argument: "It's just a blob of tissue, like a clump of cells; you're not killing anything".
This is an argument that has picked up much support from pro-choice people and mislead many of others into believing that what grows inside the uterus is in fact not human.
We can all agree through scientific evidence that cells are the building blocks of all humans, plants, and living beings. A "clump" of specialized cells forms specialized tissue such as muscle, skin, or bone. In turn, groups of different tissue types arrange to form our organs.
Classifying a fetus, embryo, or zygote as just a "blob of tissue" or a "clump of cells" fails to completely explain the development of the child at these stages. At every stage of development in our life cells and tissue are present.
Let me explain the false reasoning in this argument.
1. We are all, in simple terms, a clump of cells and a blob of tissue. The only difference between our cells now and our cells as a fetus is the number of cells that make up our body. Our cells will constantly multiply, starting at our earliest stage as a single celled zygote.
2. It is impossible to abort a "clump of cells". Think about this logically. Does the abortionist use a microscope to find these cells, and if found what does this clump look like? For the abortion to occur, the abortionist must first be able to find the embryo or fetus on the ultrasound. To abort a "clump of cells" or "blob of tissue" would be to abort a living human being. We must remember that if a "clump of cells" or "blob of tissue" is not living, than neither are we.
Pro Choice argument: "I know several women who have had abortions and they don't regret it at all".
Adolf Eichmann went to his execution saying he did not regret his participation in the Nazi holocaust. That does not make what he did defensible. Lack of regret relates to the conscience of the person acting, not to the rightness of the act. Many people do not regret their actions, but whether they do or not is irrelevant.
Now if we really want to see what role regret plays in the abortion issue, let’s survey women who dealt with unplanned pregnancies in their past. Let’s ask those who aborted if they now wish that they had given birth, and ask those who gave birth if they now wish they had aborted. What we will find is that for every woman who says she regrets giving life to her child, thousands will say they regret killing theirs.This is evident in the thousands of support groups across America to help women overcome the emotional train wreck of abortion. Interestingly enough, no one has found it necessary to start even one support group to help women deal with the emotional toll of letting their children live.
If regret was needed to establish wrong doing, our legal system would be ineffective.