Abortion, the 'terminating of a pregnancy', is a controversial topic
for many. However, just because something is controversial does not mean
that some aspects of the issue are not clear - it only means that
people are divided over it. The division does not necessarily mean
that the issue is complicated or difficult to understand, but rather
that there is something about the issue that rises above or beyond the
mere physical plane of existence, which many people will refuse to see
or accede due to self-pride or fear or selfishness. Just like the
young man blinded by self-pride will fight a much larger and more
capable fighter, so many will defend their point of view even they need
to put reason aside to do so.
So, let's look at some facts about abortion and use some simple
reason to arrive at some sound conclusions.
When a man and a woman come together sexually and the woman's egg is
successfully fertilized, a new life begins. Many different terms
are used to describe this new life other than the most reasonable terms
like "immature baby" "developing human" or "young infant", but there are some things that
cannot reasonably be denied about this new life.
- That for pregnancies where there are no problems, if left alone in the natural life
support system of the mother's womb, that new life will
develop and mature into an adult human being. Or said another
way, there would be no adult human beings if the new life was
consistently terminated and not allowed to mature.
- Since a more mature human results from conception 100 percent of
the time, it is unreasonable to say that the immature human is not a
developing human being.
- That the new life is independent of the woman's body which
'houses', feeds and provides oxygen to the new life...the developing human
being just needs to temporarily use the woman's body for life support
for about nine months.
- Many "premature" infants are born or removed from the mother's
body and survive and continue developing. With medical science
advancements, the immature person is able to survive earlier outside
of the mother's life support system with each passing year. In
other words, medical technology is able to better imitate the life
support systems of the mother's womb as the years pass, thus making
it easier to transfer the baby from a natural/organic life support
system to an artificial life support system. This proves that
the new life is independent of the mother's body and is in fact a
separate, distinct new human being.
- That whatever the circumstances were in which the new life was
the new life is innocent of those things and is not in any way at
merely a consequence of adult-chosen behavior that, if he or she could express themselves, would
ask that he/she not have his/her life taken away just because their
creation was viewed as a 'mistake' or 'inconvenient' by an adult.
- The same could be said of a deaf and mute adult...they could not
necessarily communicate that they would like to continue to live
and not be killed, but that does not mean that they are not human
nor does it mean they agree to having their existence terminated
because someone thinks they are useless or a burden.
- The same could be said of an unconscious person, a person in a
comma or a sleeping
person...just because they cannot in those states communicate that
they want to continue to live does not mean they would agree to
someone killing them.
A primary thrust of the pro-abortion argument is that a 'fetus' is
not a human being until it is born...until he/she leaves his/her mom's
life support system. This argument is clearly false, since the age of survival of
a new person has been pushed back all the way to 21 weeks with the birth
of Amellia Taylor, born at 21 weeks, six days after conception.
Clearly 'the fetus' is a human being at 21 weeks according to that way
of defining a person, and as has been noted, the age will continue to drop as medical
technology advances. However, that test of humanness -
survivability outside the womb - is fallacious. The thrust of the
argument is that if a 'fetus' cannot live outside the womb, then it is
not human. However, the issue is simply one of life support.
The baby is provided life support by his/her mom while in the womb, but being dependent on life support is not what makes one human.
As we have observed, the people who want to justify killing the
new person developing in the womb say is that "it" (the 'fetus') is not
human until some later stage of development. Among those who hold
that view, there is disagreement regarding exactly when 'the fetus' becomes a human being. The simple fact is that a newly
conceived human being is just as much a human being as a 90 year old
human being who is just about to die. Let's take a closer look at
the notion that a level of maturity - or a point in development - is
what determines whether he/she is human or not.
For example, let's say a child was born with a lung disease
that required that they receive pure oxygen treatments in order to
continue to live. The child needed the treatments once a day, or
without them, the child would die. Therefore, the child was
dependent upon an important form of life support in order to continue
living and maturing. According to the 'if it needs live support,
it is not human' argument, this child is not human until he/she can
survive without that life support. For that matter, any person who
needs some type of life-support in order to continue living is not a
human being and that would include millions of adult people all over the
Let's use an astronaut analogy. An astronaut is completely
dependent upon the ship for shelter, the food stored in it
as well as the oxygen and temperature control it provides. If the astronaut loses any of
those things, he will die. He is dependent on those things to
live, and yet he is still a human being even though he is dependent on
the shelter, food and oxygen the ship provides. Therefore, an
argument that he is not human due to his dependence upon the ship's life
be recognized as false.
Obviously, the 'because a person needs life support to live makes
them non-human', is an erroneous argument and a wrong belief.
The new life in the mother's womb is no less a human
being due to his/her dependence upon the mother's body's life support
systems than a person who has left the mother's natural life support
A slightly different version of the argument is this - 'the fetus is not like an adult human being
therefore it is not human'. It is equally erroneous as is illustrated with the
If you saw an infant, say a one year old baby, do you think if you
never saw them again until they were ninety years old, you would recognize
them or say they were the same person? No, you would not.
The young human being is very different and unrecognizable from the
subsequent older human being. In fact, the same could be said for
a 20 year old to a 90 year old. Thus, according to the 'the fetus
is not like an adult human being therefore it is not human' view, no one
is a human being until an arbitrary and subjective age that someone
seems to me to be a very dangerous belief since there is no objective
natural standard on which to make that determination, but rather only
the whims of an individual or those in power.
The simple truth is that human maturity and development is a life long process, and it starts the
moment the new life is created. Just because the new life has a
different form early in his/her development does not mean he/she is not
human, just as the new life as a one year old is radically different than
his/her form as a ninety year old, does not mean that they are not human or
not a person. Furthermore, and as we have seen, just because a
person needs some form of life support to continue to live and develop
does not mean they are not human beings.
If you Google "best arguments for abortion" you might come up with an
article by Seth Millstein entitled, "How To Argue Pro Choice: 11
Arguments Against Abortion Access, Debunked". Here is part of the
article by Seth, and my response. I will examine his first
argument because it is key to the entire issue of abortion...the
that the person in the mother's womb is not a person.
"Common Argument #1: A fetus is a human being, and human beings have
the right to life, so abortion is murder.
Seth's Comment: I’m probably
not going to convince you that a fetus isn’t a life, as that’s basically
the most intractable part of this whole debate, so I’ll be brief:
Seth's Rebuttal A: A fetus can’t survive on its own. It is fully
dependent on its mother’s body, unlike born human beings.
- The survival rate of premature infants is increasing as each year passes for younger and younger infants as medical technology improves.
was born only 21 weeks, six days after conception. In this case, U.S. law allows abortions up until 22 weeks, so
Amelia could have been legally killed. Is that morally right?
- While improving technology does not change the fact that the
infant is a human being, it does allow people to see that believing
that an unborn infant is not a human being when they are surviving
outside the womb life-support system at earlier and earlier stages of development, is unreasonable.
- Calling a developing person a “fetus” is an excellent way to de-humanize him/her.
- There are many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who are dependent on some kind of life support device in order to live. Does this make
them non-human beings? According to this argument, yes.
- An astronaut in a space capsule is totally dependent upon artificial life support systems…does that make them non-human?
Conclusion: The argument that a human being which cannot survive without life-support systems is non-human and therefore can be killed, is both a false argument
as well as immoral.
Seth's Rebuttal B: Even if a fetus was alive, the "right to life" doesn’t imply a right to use somebody else’s body. People have the right
to refuse to donate their organs, for example, even if doing so would save somebody else’s life.
- In non-rape cases, the woman made a conscious decision – a choice - to engage in behavior that she knew would likely result in the creation of another
human being - a baby. She is morally obligated to be responsible for the consequences of that decision, and therefore needs to allow the baby to
develop in her womb if her choice resulted in conception. Abortion is also not morally right in cases of rape, but the mother who
acts out of love will not kill
the innocent baby.
- Trying to equate an organ to a developing human being is a fallacious argument. A person’s organ is PART of THEIR body. A developing human being
in the womb is NOT PART of that woman’s body, rather, he/she is temporarily using the mother’s body for life support. The proof that the baby is not part
of the woman’s body is provided when - given normal and natural development - a new human being will be the result of a full term pregnancy 100% of the
- People are free to wrongly kill or murder when laws don’t exist or there are loop-holes in existing laws that don’t describe the action as illegal.
For example, for some time in American history, people of African descent were taken as slaves by people of European descent and treated legally as
non-human property including being able to kill them under certain
circumstances. Because existing law allowed that does not mean that the ‘slaves’ (‘fetus’)
were not human beings. In the same way, because current abortion law allows for the killing of immature human beings does it mean the pre-born infant is
not a human being.
Seth's Rebuttal C: The "right to life" also doesn’t imply a right to live by threatening somebody else's life. Bearing children is always a threat to the life of the
- The woman should not have willingly engaged in behavior that she believed would ultimately threaten her life. If a person believes, for example, that
sky diving is a threat to one’s life, they should not engage in it. If a woman is truly afraid that giving birth to a baby is a threat to her life, then she
has many alternatives to avoid getting pregnant. Once she is irresponsible and gets pregnant, she does not have a ‘right’ to kill the person who resulted
from her behavior.
- To imply that an infant in the womb is “threatening” the life of his/her mom is a very convoluted view of human reproduction,
pregnancy and carrying a baby. The
author purposely choose the term “threatening” instead of “risking”, which would have been the objective term of choice. The baby just exists and develops,
it does not “threaten” anyone. The only reasonable “threat” is of the mother killing the baby. Many behaviors and acts in life carry risk. According to this
person’s ethic, every person who ever died to save another person was a fool, and most people should not drive since
driving "threatens" the driver's life.
Seth's Rebuttal D: A “right to life” is, at the end of the day, a right to not have somebody else’s will imposed upon your body. Do women not have this right as
- Women have a right to control THEIR body, not someone else’s. The woman who had unprotected sexual intercourse had the opportunity to control her body
all the way up to the time she choose to engage in sexual intercourse. Once she choose to have unprotected sexual intercourse, she also became morally
obligated to be responsible for the likely outcome.
- Women are given a special privilege of getting to choose whether to be the bearer of a new human being or not. This is “the choice” that well
reasoning people should focus on. Not the choice to kill a new human being who is viewed as inconvenient.
- To state that an innocent new human is ‘imposing their will’ upon the woman who choose to engage in behavior that would likely result in the creation
of that new human, is erroneous from two perspectives. First, the baby in the womb cannot yet exercise their will, since they are in a sleep like state.
Please try and remember that sleeping or unconscious people are still human. Secondly, it is the adult woman’s will who was responsible for the creation of
- At the end of the day, people who make such arguments are hypocrites since they would defend to the death their mother’s choice to not have had them
- Women have a “right” to do with THEIR BODIES, what they want – they do not have a “right” to kill other innocent lives who are dependent upon them for
a short time.
- No, a “right to life” is a right to life – to EXIST - not a right to some perceived quality of life. A human should have a right to not be killed
by another human for unjust reasons and we generally do due to murder laws. The mother of a developing baby has all the same rights and abilities as
the non-pregnant woman she was before she choose to have unprotected sexual intercourse. No one is threatening her life, and she is merely living
with a consequence of her choices, and a temporary consequence at
that since many people would be willing to adopt the baby.
- Some Siamese twins share body parts. Those two people have a choice to make. Either work together or not…either love one another, or be in
selfish conflict with one another. According to this argument, if one twin chooses to go right, and the other chooses to go left, then one of them
has the “right” to kill the other, since one is choosing to impose her will upon the other.
Seth continues with other common rebuttals to simple truths and
his further rebuttals are just a flawed as the one's above.
Ultimately, this discussion is one of love versus one of selfishness, but that simple truth is avoided by those who try and keep the discussion in a
legal framework of “rights”. Abortion advocates try very hard to keep their arguments in a legal context or frame work of “rights”, and stay away from
obvious moral truths. They do this because they don’t have a moral basis to justify their wrong belief and behavior. Simply put, a woman who has a baby
developing in her will either choose the way of love and life for both her and her baby, or the way of selfishness and death for both her
and her baby. Making the choice of having unprotected sexual
intercourse does not carry with it the "right" to kill an innocent human being
who resulted from that choice.
Perhaps you are a woman who has believed all the wrong arguments of the pro-abortion people in order to justify an abortion you had performed on your baby.
The good news is that it is never too late to be forgiven and get a new heart and life! And no, you don't have to join some religious organization or adopt
christian beliefs in order to have your life renewed. Please read this web site to find the love that you - and we all - need : )
Communicate about this commentary