A lot of people seem to think that I don’t have the right to say anything about this topic since I’m a conservative Christian teenage gent. Evidently I’m not supposed to say anything about this because I can’t understand the emotions that are attached to it. I always find that sort of censorship irritating. That said, I think I’ll ignore the suposes and go ahead and blog about abortion.
Sure it’s a very common topic, but it’s been rattling around my cranium these days, so I thought I’d let it out. Not to mention, I think there cannot be too much discussion about it, not until something is done. I think it’s a topic that has become excessively politicized to the point where it has become a purely political issue instead of the life and death issue that it is. I’m sure I’ll draw a good deal of criticism for this post, but I’m not afraid of it, I’d be open to a discussion.
I suppose I should begin by discussing whether the issue truly is about women’s rights, or if it is an issue about the life of a child. This is the pivotal point that directs the course of the discussion. If indeed the issue is only about women’s rights and is merely a minor surgery to remove some unwanted tissue, as some claim, then the debate is obviously being blown strangely out of proportion. Conversely, if the issue is more than that, if it is truly about the life of a human being, then it is definitely a battle worth fighting and a cause that must not be forgotten.
Apologist Gregory Koukl sums it up nicely: “Is the unborn a member of the human family? If so, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong. It treats the distinct human being, with his or her own inherent moral worth, as nothing more than a disposable instrument. Conversely, if the unborn are not human, killing them for any reason requires no more justification than having a tooth pulled.”
On the one hand, the baby (or fetus, as some would prefer to call it), is indeed inside of the woman’s body. Since the fetus is in the woman’s body she makes decisions which effect it. She has the power to destroy it if it is inconvenient, or to allow it to develop and be born. So do law-makers have the right to tell her what to do with something that is inside of her body?
If indeed a fetus is nothing but a meaningless blob of tissue then there is no issue here, it is practically the same as trimming a fingernail. Yet, strangely it is obviously more than that. I constantly hear Pro-Choice advocates declare that it is a very important decision. Why would it be an important decision if the fetus was simply a compilation of cells?
A fetus is more important than other blobs of tissue because it has potential to become a human being. So then, three questions arise in my mind: Is it wrong to destroy something that will one day become human? And when does it become human? And most imporantly, what constitutes a person?
I have no idea how to approach the first question. Though, I suppose the first thought that comes to my mind is a rather poor analogy. Let us say for a moment that there is an author who is working on a story, we will call him Mr. Dominic. At this point he has a beautifully outlined plot and well-developed characters, and if he completes his book it will one day be the next great American novel.
Now, let us say that Mr. Dominic has a rival, Mr. Stephens. Now, Mr. Stephens has heard all about Dominic’s novel and understands that it will be successful, and won’t to stop at anything to stop it. Let us say that he has two options. He can allow Mr. Dominic to write the novel, and then to crush it when it is already written through excessive criticism, and perhaps paying off book-sellers and publishers. His other option is that he can bribe, blackmail, or kill Mr. Dominic, or steal and destroy the manuscripts, or other such things, in order to prevent him from publishing the book that will one day become the next great work of literature.
The analogy is terrible, perhaps, though the thing I want to be noticed is that the outcome is the same: a book that has the potential to be something wonderful is destroyed. Either it is squashed when it is completed, or it is prevented from ever being written and reaching its potential, in either case the novel is not what it should be, and either way Mr. Stephens did a terrible thing. I don’t ask you to agree with me, but that is how I see destruction of something that has potential to be human. The outcome is the same: a person does not get to live. Either because they were murdered after they were already born, or they were prevented from being born, they were denied life.
But perhaps you don’t agree with me about destroying something that has potential to be human as still being wrong. That may be the case, but I am certain that very few people would disagree with me when I say that murdering a person is wrong. So then, when does a fetus become a baby? Some say at conception, some say at 3 months, some say at 6 months, some say when the baby leaves the womb.
I find it very strange that people assign a specific amount of months to when a fetus suddenly becomes a person. Especially since, as Rep. James Lankford pointed out, some of these same people will say things like: “I’m a father” when they find out that their wife has just conceived, or “How is the baby?” when a friend is pregnant, or “I felt the baby kick.” None of those phrases work with “fetus.” Do we start saying: “I felt the fetus kick today” until it reaches six months?
I also wonder about pre-mature births. I have personally met a girl that was born at 3 months. I would defy anyone to claim that she is not a person because she was born at an under-developed age. Did she suddenly become a person several months after being out of the womb? I do believe her mother would find that ridiculous. Just the fact that people like her are alive today shows that it is possible for a fetus to become a person even at 3 months. I would like to see scientific evidence for the existence of a date at which the living fetus suddenly becomes a person instead of just a blob of tissue.
What is it that seperates a person from a fetus? Is it its level of development, or whether or not it is outside of the womb, or its size, or its level of dependency? These are generally the topics I hear used to claim that fetuses are not part of the human family. Certainly, some may object that I am over-simplifying their stand-point, but my goal is simply to take the spin off the arguments and show them for what they are actually saying.
It is commonly argued that embryos and fetuses are not human because they are not developed, like people outside of the womb are. This line of thinking fails to match up because it places the value of a person on how physically and mentally developed they are. If taken to its logical conclusion, that viewpoint becomes absurd in that 30 year-old men would be more human than 10 year-old boys, or a person that has no mental disabilities is more valuable than a person with down-syndrome. The level of development, whether physical or mental, has no bearing on what constitutes a person.
Sometimes it is even argued that fetuses are not human because they are small. This is just crazy. Without a doubt, people that are tall do not deserve more rights than those that are stunted in their growth. To quote the brilliant Dr. Seuss: “A person is a person, no matter how small.”
It is interesting that some claim that the environment of the fetus is what defines whether or not it is human. Saying, if it is in the womb it is not human, if it is out of it then it is a human. Does the fetus suddenly become a baby because it travels a few inches from inside the womb to outside of it? If a 5 year-old goes to school it is just as much a person in school as it is at home. Physical surroundings simply do not effect what makes a person.
Similarly, just because the baby depends entirely on his or her mother does not mean that it is any less human. Again that would assume that value is tied to something external, in this case, independence. Am I more valuable then one of my 10 year-old students because I have a driver’s liscence and know how to cook my own meals instead of requiring parental assistance? Such a thought is nothing short of absurd. Is someone that depends on medicine or medical machinery less human than a person that does not?
All of this to say, if the unborn are indeed children, then killing them for the sake of convenience, women’s rights, or privacy simply can never be right. If they are not human, then the discussion itself is pointless and I just wasted a good portion of your time. It is my conviction that abortion is one of the great moral tests facing America today. Will we speak for those who cannot and save the lives of the unborn? Or will we stand by in our tolerance and allow evil to destroy the potential of millions of lives? Thanks for reading my cliche blog that I wasn’t supposed to write, hopefully it accomplished something. And remember: I am thankful that you are here because your mom didn’t abort you.