I read an article today posted by a friend of mine. The article was written by an abortion doctor and outlines the reasons he chooses to provide them, and his experience dealing with the criminal violence of a couple of anti-abortion activists. It was published in the National Post (a Canadian paper), and is located here: http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=283931&p=1
Below this posting, my friend pointed out that even if abortions were illegal, they’d still happen. Here’s my take:
It is true that abortions would still occur were it to be made illegal. Violations of individuals rights to life and property, such as theft, rape and murder happen all the time too. Should they be made legal?
While the article points out some chilling facts about amateur abortions, it ignores the fundamental issue in the abortion debate. What happens to the mother is completely irrelevant if the fetus is a human being, and not just some meaningless attached tissue as abortion proponents argue. This article then becomes an example of the consequences of an illegal activity, the gory details of which should, if anything, encourage pregnant girls to give their children up for adoption rather than go through such a thing. The fact that legalizing the practice would have fewer consequences for the person who decides to have it has nothing to do with whether it should be legal or not. Either type of abortion (professional or amateur) still has the same, far greater, consequence for the other person in the situation: death.
Legalizing and encouraging social acceptance of rape would save a rapist from a life of incarceration and social stigma, but would obviously be disastrous for society and would deny the victim her personal rights. I’m not saying a girl who gets an abortion is like a rapist, but both are examples of one person stripping away the rights of another in order to satisfy their own desires.
I sympathize with girls who mistakenly become pregnant, but that’s simply the natural consequence that comes with their choice to be sexually active and not use protection (or realize that protection isn’t 100% reliable). Our culture hates to suggest that our actions have consequences, but it is fundamental in keeping social order and, in this case, protecting the constitutional right to life of all Americans, even those not currently capable of living independently. Many mentally challenged and elderly people must depend on others for their survival, should we “terminate” them as well? I seem to remember a certain mustachioed German who thought so.
A criminal who murders a pregnant women and her unborn child is held responsible for two murders. Why the double standard? Apparently a fetus is only a human being if the mother actually wants it. Either way, it still has unique human DNA. If that’s not the definition of a human being, I’m not sure what is. Emotional arguments for why abortions should be legal only work because they sugar coat the issue with words like “fetus” which don’t sound as human as “unborn child” or “infant.”
A couple of final comments:
While I am truly sorry that this abortionist’s life has been threatened on the basis of his profession, his justifiable frustration really proves my point. He’s (rightfully) indignant that another human being would try to deny him his right to life and safety. Yet he sees no problem in denying that same right to his clients’ children in the interest of making his clients’ lives easier.
Finally, the issue obviously becomes a bit ambiguous when an abortion would save the mother’s life, or is a consequence of the woman having been raped. In the case of rape, I’d still have to say that abortion is unjustifiable because even though the pregnancy isn’t the result of a choice the woman made, an abortion would nevertheless result in the death of one person for the convenience of another. In the case of a woman’s life being contingent upon an abortion, if that is really the case, I’m not sure which is the morally right decision. A life will be lost either way, it’s just a choice of which one. Ideally, the child would be the one saved since he/she doesn’t have a say in the matter and has their whole life ahead of them. Still, the death of the mother would, at least immediately, hurt more people. I’m not going to pretend to know the answer in that case. That said, many doctors, including staunchly pro-life Congressman Ron Paul who has delivered over 4,000 babies, have said from experience that abortions very rarely, if ever, are necessary in saving the mother.