Abortion is one of the toughest subjects to talk about within society, but it needs to be discussed. Either those who are pro-life are wrong, or those who are pro-choice are in error; not discussing the subject doesn’t mean that one side isn’t right and the other wrong.
Disclaimer: I’m a biological male. There’s a reason I’ve disclosed this, you’ll see why in the ‘common responses’ section.
What is abortion?
Abortion is the intentional ending of the life of an unborn child. It is not a miscarriage, and it is not masturbation. That may seem like a silly thing to say, but I’m going to discuss common things people have said to me to support their pro-choice views.
Am I pro-choice?
This seems like a stupid question, considering that I’m writing against abortion. Actually, the answer is ‘yes’ I am pro-choice. I’m pro-abstinence, pro-adoption, pro support the life you created. When someone claims to be ‘pro-choice’, they’re usually stating that they’re for the woman’s right to terminate the life of an unborn child. In this case, abortion seems to be the only ‘choice’ that pro-choicers are advocating, and it’s disingenuous. So yes I am pro-choice as I’m all for abstinence, adoption etc. I’m just anti-abortion.
Why am I anti-abortion?
Abortion is the deliberate ending of a human life:
When a woman procures an abortion, she has purposefully ended a life, there’s no way around that. Some liberals try to argue that the baby being killed isn’t alive, but then what is being aborted? A non-living thing cannot be aborted: you can’t abort a rock. One of the requirements of abortion is that the baby being aborted be alive in the first place.
I often hear that the unborn child isn’t human, he/she is a fetus. That’s a stupid argument; ‘fetus’ is Latin for ‘small child’, it isn’t a species in of itself, or a sub-species of homo-sapiens. When a bear becomes pregnant, she will carry and give birth to a bear. The same can be said of dogs, cats, lions and every species that has offspring. When a woman gets pregnant, we inquire of the gender of the unborn, not the species. We know full well that the woman is carrying an unborn human being, regardless of the unborn’s size.
That unborn child has a unique genetic code that identifies them as human at the moment of conception. Regardless of size or location, it is a moral evil to end a human life purposefully.
It’s the destruction of life based on location:
I’ll talk about ‘my body, my choice’ later, but the basic argument can be boiled down to ‘if the baby is inside my womb, I get the right to end that life.’ Why? Well, most pro-choicers would say that the unborn would not be able to survive without the womb that the mother supplies, so it’s wrong to say that she can’t abort a child that wouldn’t even exist without her body. The response is really obvious: dependency doesn’t give us the right to kill someone. That child will still be dependent on another human being for years after they’re born, but we cannot kill them after birth, right?
Also, why does dependency on the mothers womb/care give us the right to abort a child? Why is dependency on the womb so elite above all other types of dependency? We’re all dependent on outside factors to survive- food, water, clothing, shelter, healthcare etc. Being dependent doesn’t subtract from my humanity; in fact, dependency is a natural part of the human condition. Can we kill other people if they are dependent on something/someone? To argue that dependency on the mother’s womb/care is different is an opinion that has to be backed up. Why is this different?
You cannot murder an unborn child:
People are going to say I’m crazy for this, hear me out.
Hypothetical scenario: A pregnant woman is attacked in the street, and she is stabbed by the assailant which results in the loss of the unborn child. That assailant is charged with murder. Another words, the law states that the unborn was a human, had the right to life, and by taking that life you have committed the act of murder.
My issue is that this makes human life subjective, based entirely on ‘want’. If the mother doesn’t ‘want’ the baby, then we can argue that he/she isn’t even human. If the mother does in fact ‘want’ to keep the child, then the deliberate termination of that life by an outside party is an act of murder. Life cannot be subjective, and when we start designating a person as human based on desire or ‘want’, we can get ourselves into dangerous territory.
“My body, my choice”
Great, I’m all for body autonomy. The problem is that the baby isn’t ‘your body’, he/she is residing in your body. When a woman becomes pregnant, a unique genetic code is formed immediately, a genetic code that is comprised of both the father’s and the mother’s DNA. As the unborn develops, we see this fetus develop arms, legs, a head, genitalia etc. Now, if we asked a pregnant woman how many heads she had, she would be a bit confused, right? Likewise if we said that a woman carrying a little boy had a penis, she’d dismiss us as crazy. And no medical professional would say that a pregnant woman had two unique DNA codes. So we obviously recognize that the ‘body’ developing in the womb of the woman is distinct from her own, and if that’s the case then the mother has no right to kill him/her.
If your choice is harmful to the life of another human being, then you no longer have the right to that choice. I can’t chose to steal from someone using my autonomy, nor can I rape a woman to ensure the survival of my genetic code. It is immoral to take away the rights of life and freedom from another human, born or unborn.
The argument based on location/’my body, my choice’ is a disturbing one. See, the difference between an unborn child and a born child is a few inches of the vaginal canal. Once that baby passes the vaginal canal, everybody would agree that it’s wrong to murder him/her. I’d have to ask, medically how does the vaginal canal convey personhood? Why does taking your first breath make you a person? These are philosophical discussions, not scientific ones.
“Are you willing to pay for the child?”
Yeah, we get asked this a lot! The answer is yes, I’m all for charity, it’s a requirement of the Christian faith. But what if I’m not? I don’t think it’s monstrous to say to a woman ‘you got pregnant, you must provide for your child.’ If a woman cannot afford a baby, then we should prosecute men who abandon those unborn children, thereby forcing these women to procure an abortion. Women cannot kill their children, men cannot abandon them. If you’re suggesting that it’s immoral to abandon an unborn child, you can’t really be suggesting that it’s then ok to kill that child, right? And if you admit that it’s wrong to kill an unborn baby, I’d have to ask who is performing the greater evil? The one abandoning, or the one murdering?
When we say that a woman ‘can’t afford a child’, we’re no longer arguing that the unborn isn’t human, but rather that we cannot afford to allow that human to live. There are ways around this, like adoption, but when we say that aborting a life is ‘better’ than struggling, well that’s some tricky stuff right there.
“Do you masturbate? Isn’t that the destruction of life?”
I’ve been asked this. I’m not joking, I really have. Masturbation is not the destruction of life. When a man ejaculates, he isn’t ejaculating a fertilized egg, he is ejaculating sperm. When a woman ovulates, she isn’t having a miscarriage, she is shedding the lining of her womb. An egg and a sperm only carries twenty-three chromosomes each, half of what is required to form a human being. A sperm and an egg carry the potential of life, they are not human lives in of themselves. Once a sperm fertilizes an egg, creating a new genetic code, this is the point that we say the life cannot be destroyed.
“You’re a man, you can’t decide what a woman does with her body.”
I’m a biological male. I’ve heard many times that I should not discuss abortion because it doesn’t effect me, or I have never experienced it therefore I have no reference to discuss it. When we think logically, that’s absurd. There are lots of things that men never experience that they are taught about and expected to understand: mensuration for example.
We wouldn’t apply the idea of ‘if never experienced, never discuss’ to any other aspect of society or life. I’ve never been raped, I’ve never faced racial discrimination, I’ve never been physically assaulted- do I have to experience them things to know that they are objectively evil? No, and the same can be said of abortion. If this was how society operated, no laws could be passed until all legislators had experienced the thing that they were passing the law on- not a very good idea, I think we’d agree.
We decide what a person can do with there body all the time. We tell drunk people that they cannot drive, we tell people that it’s immoral to kill, steal, rape etc. Another words, when your autonomous actions harm another person, we don’t just take away your right to perform that action, we go further and say that if you do partake in the action, we have the right to punish you.
Abortion does effect males. If we’re being lazy when it comes to statistics, we could say that 50% of all aborted babies are male.
“The fetus isn’t alive because it doesn’t have autonomy”
First things first, autonomy isn’t how we measure ‘life.’ We understand human life as:
Distinct. The unborn has a DNA and body distinct from her mother and father. She develops her own arms, legs, brain, nervous system, heart, and so forth.
Living. The unborn meets the biological criteria for life. She grows by reproducing cells. She turns nutrients into energy through metabolism. And she can respond to stimuli.
Human. The unborn has a human genetic signature. She is also the offspring of human parents, and humans can only beget other humans.
Organism. The unborn is an organism (rather than a mere organ or tissue)—an individual whose parts work together for the good of the whole. Guided by a complete genetic code (46 chromosomes), she needs only the proper environment and nutrition to develop herself through the different stages of life as a member of the species.
We see that the standard of human life has nothing to do with autonomy, and that’s because autonomy can be lost even after birth. Autonomy is the condition of self government, or basically self care. If a person becomes severely brain damaged later on in life, can we kill them? They have lost autonomy, right? A person in a coma has no bodily autonomy, but we cannot murder them. I guess you could state that there’s a chance that a person in a coma may come around. But my response would be that if you don’t abort an unborn child, they will be born and have autonomy.
This logic is a slippery slope towards the liquidation of all those who require care, especially if you couple this argument with the ‘the baby can’t exist without my body’ argument. I hope nobody is advocating for the murder of the severely disabled, those who may require others to survive and also lack autonomy.
“What about rape?”
This is a common question that’s meant to stump pro-lifers. It doesn’t. Firstly, let’s talk statistics. In 2004, the Guttmacher Institute anonymously surveyed 1,209 post-abortive women from nine different abortion clinics across the United States. Less than 0.5% claimed it was due to rape or incest, where as the highest reason (25%) was that these women weren’t ready for a child.
Now, let’s say that abortion in regards to rape is acceptable. I’d have to ask if those other 99.5% of abortions were immoral? If you were to say ‘no, abortion is a woman’s choice’, then why bring up the extreme, in this case rape, to justify the norm?
Abortion due to rape is also a disturbing argument. When a woman is raped, her human dignity is torn away, it’s a terrible thing. It’s an act that will stay with her for life, effecting her self esteem, confidence and relationships. But what if she has gotten pregnant via the act of rape? Is that more traumatic? Before you say ‘yes’, I’d remind you that if that’s the case, then the opposite must be true: a woman who doesn’t get pregnant via the act of rape has suffered less trauma then the woman who does. Disturbing logic, right?
When a woman procures an abortion for the reasons of rape, all that happens is an unborn baby is killed. The rapist isn’t brought to justice, and the victim will sadly never forget what happened to her. The unborn child loses, nobody else wins.
“Illegalizing abortion doesn’t stop it, it just makes abortions less safe.”
Abortions aren’t safe. There key purpose is to end a human life, so safety isn’t really regarded in abortion. What people mean is that the safety of the mother is jeopardized, and I agree that’s a terrible fact. But saying that something that destroys life should be legal so it can be practiced safely is ridiculous. For example, most drugs are illegal, but I don’t think we should legalize heroin in order to allow drug users to get a fix ‘safely.’ You may say ‘but that’s a terrible comparison’, but it’s not. Both drugs and abortions are two things willingly procured that destroy lives.
Every person is deliberate, we are not a mistake. We are each created in God’s likeness, and so to attack that person is to attack God (Gen 1:26.) No pregnancy is an accident, but an intentional creation of God, made with purpose (Psalm 139). Every human being, whether in the womb or walking around in society, in hospitals or prisons, is worthy of respect because of our shared human condition.
“Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, 6th ed”
“Abortion Stats in the U.S”