In the abortion debate, the two sides are usually described as: “Pro-Life” and “Pro-Choice”. Those who are opposed to abortion are in favour of preserving the life of the unborn child. Those in favour of abortion wish to promote “a woman’s right to choose”.
This last phrase refers to the right to choose what one does with one’s own body. There lies the rub. Women have been blessed with the incredible gift, and responsibility, of being able to carry another body inside of their own. In other words,in the case of a pregnant woman, we’re dealing with not just one body, but two; not just the woman’s body, but hers and another one as well.
Ultra-sounds will show, even early in the pregnancy, the presence of new life that wasn’t there before the pregnancy began. A faint heartbeat in the child can be detected at seven weeks. Yet, we’re often led to believe that the child isn’t really alive until much later. We could argue all day about the development stages of the unborn child, and at what point the child is anything more than a cluster of cells. We’re not talking about a cluster of cancer cells, by the way. We’re talking about a baby.
Any observer of nature can plainly understand something about the cycle of life, which includes reproduction. At the beginning stages, an egg is fertilized, and life begins. Even if you don’t believe life begins that early, let us understand that a process begins at that point: a process which produces life. I don’t know of a single farmer who would plant seeds and then dig them up before the plants are visible. Even if he dug up the seeds the very next day, it would be foolish. Why? Because every farmer knows the entire process is necessary to yield a crop. The entire process, from fertilization to birth, is necessary to produce human life. Stop the process, stop the life.
Now, of course, somebody might say, “What about chicken eggs?”. That’s another issue entirely; one about animal rights. Let’s focus on the question of human rights. And yes, I would submit that unborn babies have, or ought to have, rights. There’s been a lot of attention given, in recent years, to rights of children. We campaign and lobby and raise funds to try to keep children out of poverty, slavery, abuse, and malnutrition. But we do virtually nothing to protect the child from being killed in the womb.
So let’s explore the question of rights. If ending the life of a newborn baby is murder, then why is deliberately ending the baby’s life a few months sooner considered any different? If a person who kills a pregnant woman is guilty of two murders, then should the killing of the child only not count as one murder? Haven’t we inadvertently acknowledged the unborn child as a second person? And does a “person” not have the right to live?
As with any issue, there are mitigating circumstances which occasionally arise to cloud the matter. What if the mother’s life is threatened by carrying the baby full term? That becomes an ethical question of whether one life is worth more than another. What if the woman is raped? That’s an atrocious thing, but then, there a lot of atrocious things done in our world. The old phrase “Two wrongs don’t make a right” comes to mind. No one asked you to raise the child. Try adoption. The rapist needs to be punished. How does killing a third person solve anything? Incidentally, rapes account for a much smaller percentage of abortions than we are led to believe.
All of that aside, let’s focus on ” a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body”. My contention is that it’s not her own body anymore. I don’t care if a woman wants to pierce or tattoo her body parts, use drugs or alcohol, eat too much or too little, or abuse her body in any number of ways. Those choices may not be wise, but to some extent, she’s only hurting herself. But the moment an unborn child is involved, even many of those choices now affect a second person(except tattoos and piercing). We go to great lengths to protect people from second-hand smoke, drunk drivers, and drug pushers. We even acknowledge the adverse affect of these substances on the unborn baby. Yet abortion is considered just another choice that affects only the mother? Unbelievable.
So far, I’ve left God out of this. But I do happen to believe that God created man, woman, babies, and everything involved in the process of reproduction. God also told us not to kill. Even if we take God out of the equation, we’re still left with the question of whether or not an unborn child is a person. If we decide that the baby is not a person until 12 weeks, 24 weeks, or even birth, then how long before that threshold is moved back to some point after birth? Come on folks, let’s stop making excuses and face the reality: abortion is murder.