Abortion: Is It a Baby Or a Choice?
© 1996 by Mary Passantino
Abortion has become the most emotional political and religious issue of the century. Thearguments that are in support of abortion have been put forth by the media with such force thatmany Americans have never heard the arguments for life. The fact that every year more than 1.5 million children are murdered by means of abortion proves that it is a topic about which many arenot aware. Supporters of the pro-life position adamantly believe and fight for the fact thatabortion should be made illegal because it kills human babies.
Many advocates of abortion say that it should be legal because the baby is not really ahuman being deserving legal protection. The argument follows that even if the unborn baby isfully human he does not have the right to occupy the mother's body without prior consent. Theybelieve that because a woman has a right to control her own body, she therefore has the right tohave an abortion for any reason she desires.
On the surface, this argument sounds convincing. This is why so many people, especiallyyoung adults, argue for the pro-abortion position. In examining the statement more thoroughly itbecomes apparent as to why this stand is not correct. The first problem is that even in otherUnited States laws, individuals do not have an unlimited right to do what they want with theirbodies. For example, drug abuse and prostitution are against the law and those who are caughtdoing either have committed crimes. This example proves not only the inconsistency of theAmerican government but also helps to show why arguing in favor of abortion from thisstandpoint is wrong. If it is illegal for an individual to do certain acts with his body, then it iswrong to argue that a woman has complete control over her body in regard to abortion.
This is also a bad argument because although the baby is inside the mother's body, thebaby is not part of the mother's body. The unborn baby is a genetically distinct entity with uniquegender, blood type, bone structure, and genetic code. When pro-abortionists say that the unbornbaby is part of the mother they are actually implying that the mother has four hands, four eyes,and four legs.
Ironically, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the original leaders of the pro-abortionmovement and co-founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (nowknown as the National Abortion Rights Action League), admitted that he and other members ofthe pro-abortion position intentionally lied about facts concerning abortion. He has since becomepro-life and is now determined to win over the situation he initially helped to create. He has sincebeen quoted as saying,
Immunological studies have demonstrated beyond cavil that when a pregnancy implants itself into the wall of the uterus at the eighth day following conception the defense mechanisms of the body, principally the white blood cells, sense that this creature now settling down . . . is an intruder, an alien, and must be expelled. Therefore an intense immunological attack is mounted on the pregnancy . . . and through an ingenious and extraordinarily efficient defense system the unborn child succeeds in repelling the attack . . . Even in the most minute microscopic scale the body has trained itself, or somehow in some inchoate way, knows how to recognize self from nonself.
--Bernard Nathanson, The Abortion Papers: Inside the Abortion Mentality (New York: Frederick Fell, 1983), p.150.
On a scientific scale this argument weighs heavier than the counter argument. On the logical scalethis argument destroys the idea that the unborn baby is part of the mother's body. Therefore, oneof the most popular arguments for keeping abortion legal has been proven invalid through bothscience and logic.
The pro-abortionists argue that if abortions were declared illegal then many women woulddie from receiving "back-alley" abortions. This statement can be disproved factually and logically. where are no documented statistics supporting the popular claim that thousands of women diedfrom illegal abortion complications before the federal legalization of abortion. Dr. Nathansonadmits,
I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, . . . but in the'morality' of the revolution, it was a useful figure. . . .
-- Bernard Nathanson, Aborting America (New York: Doubleday, 1979), p. 3.
Additionally, there are abundant documented statistics that the number of maternal deaths did notchange significantly from before to after Roe v. Wade.
From a logical perspective, this argument fails in several ways. First, it assumes thataborted babies are not human fatalities, ignoring the fact that all abortions kill babies, whether theabortions are legal or illegal; or cause maternal death or not. Second, it assumes that the totalnumber of abortions will remain the same even if abortion is criminalized. It is far more likely thatthe number of maternal deaths would decrease because most women would not go against thelaw. By making abortion illegal it would also deter many women from using it as a means of birthcontrol. If abortion were made illegal the millions of babies, who would otherwise be murderedmercilessly under government law, would now have a chance at life.
Another argument used by those who are for keeping abortion legal, is that the prebornchild cannot feel pain anyway and so the mother should be allowed to do as she wishes. VincentJ. Collins, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology and the author of one of the leading medical textson the control of pain writes, "Certain neurological structures are necessary to pain sensation:pain receptive nerve cells, neutral pathways, and the thalamus." These neurological structures aresignificantly developed at eight weeks after conception and are in full use by thirteen weeks. Bythis time there is no question that the preborn baby has the ability to experience pain. Logicallythis argument would not justify abortion just because hypothetically the baby does not experiencepain. To be consistent with such an argument would mean that the murder of someone who is onmorphine and thus cannot experience pain should be acceptable. Since the evidence shows thatpain can be felt by the unborn baby the argument is proven invalid.
In fact, the pain is excruciating to the child. There are six main types of abortion, eachinvolving procedures against the living baby such as sucking the baby out pieces at a time, cuttingthe baby to pieces with a knife or an instrument that looks much like pliers, and even partiallydelivering the live baby and allowing it to die by neglect or being directly killed by the doctor ornurse. Therefore, these merciless, grotesque, and senseless acts of murder are undeniablyexperienced by the baby.
Another popular stance as to why abortion should remain legal is in cases of rape andincest. No one would deny that if a woman were the victim of either rape or incest that she hassuffered a terrible crime. If the woman gets pregnant as a result of that act does she have a rightto kill the baby? Does killing the baby make a positive solution to a horrific circumstance? First,pregnancy through rape or incest is very rare. Only 0.6 percent of the rape cases result inpregnancy. Second, even if the hideous violation were to result in pregnancy, logically it does notmake sense to murder the child for a crime that his father committed. Just because theperpetrator was evil in his actions does not make the result of his actions, the child, evil. In analready disgusting situation it makes absolutely no sense to kill an innocent child because themeans by which he was created were detestable.
One of the biggest reasons that the pro-abortion stance is favored is that those who arespeaking about it are lying and those who are listening are ignorant. Those who are of the pro-lifeposition are not against choice. They are against murder. Yes, a woman does have the right tomake her own decisions. No, the woman does not have the right to kill her child because it willruin her career or change her life in an unpleasing way. It is hard to understand why a society asadvanced and intelligent as America could even for a second fathom condoning the murder ofinnocent, defenseless children. Then again, Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany murdered millions ofinnocent people on the same grounds. The result is genocide.
For further arguments and information see Francis Beckwith's book, Politically Correct Death .
The Lord's Servant must not quarrel; instead,
he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not
resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently
instruct, in the hope that God will give them a change
of heart leading to a knowledge of the truth
II Timothy 2:24-26