Whenever you’re discussing abortion, there’s only one question that matters: Are the unborn human? If the unborn are not human, then what’s all the fuss about? Swat it away like you would a mosquito, or take some medicine like you would to kill off the flu. There is no moral consequence if the unborn are not human.
But if the unborn are human, then there is no greater immoral act than to take an innocent human life. All the reasons to abort e.g. rape, incest, bodily choice are secondary to the primary question: Are the unborn human?
If you are not sure that the unborn are human then ask yourself these questions:
First, if it’s growing, isn’t it alive?
Second, if it has human parents, isn’t it human?
Third, human beings like you and me are valuable, aren’t we? (Steve Wagner)
As members of the human race, we have to make a binary decision on this question. We either think the unborn are human or they are not human. I believe an unborn human being is a human being. The only differences, to me, are their size, level of development, environment, and dependency. Any of these differences individually or collectively, to me, are irrelevant to whether they’re a human being.
Keeping in mind the basic premise on abortion as I stated above, I want to share with you part of a dialogue I had with a pro-abortion woman:
We believe no woman is going to ask a doctor to abort a healthy, almost-born baby (and no doctor would do it).
I don’t agree with this statement because:
- By the very large number of abortions (60,000,000) since Roe v Wade, the likelihood of a woman and a doctor aborting a healthy almost-born baby is high.
- Not all states have limits on late-term abortions.
- Even states with limits on late-term abortions have caveats that will allow for late-term abortions.
- The medical standard of fetal viability since Roe v. Wade has decreased from 24-28 weeks to 22 weeks.
- A baby born at 16 weeks has made a miraculous recovery.
- Fetal viability as a standard for abortions was a Roe v Wade error that failed to recognize legal protection for human life at its earliest developmental stages.
- The monetary benefit of performing an abortion for some doctors may outweigh their moral compass not to perform an abortion.
- New York and Virginia state senates passed bills authorizing abortion up to birth and beyond.
- A presidential plank in the 2016 Democratic platform supported late-term abortions and it looks like they will have the same plank in 2020.
Many Catholics believe abortion is acceptable under some circumstances — a 12-year-old impregnated by her father, a woman brutally beaten and gang-raped, a woman with cancer who has to choose between chemotherapy and her recently-discovered pregnancy, a woman who’s been in a coma for 10 years. (Did you read about that case recently?)
I’m not sure what many Catholics believe about abortion. I do know that the Catholic Church does not support abortion. It goes against the natural order of things. In the eyes of the Catholic Church abortion is intrinsically disordered because the natural order of the human being’s life cycle is to exist from a natural conception through natural old age to natural death. The right to life has always been a basic human right in the Catholic Church.
If We Value Human Life …
At what point in the life cycle of an unborn human being is it permissible to kill an unborn human being? What circumstances in the life cycle of an unborn human being would make it permissible to kill an unborn human being?
If we value human life and believe that human beings begin life at conception, then we would have to believe that there is no point in the life cycle to kill an unborn human being. If we believe that there is no point in the life cycle of an unborn human that justifies killing an unborn human being, then we would have to believe that there is no circumstance that would make it permissible.
Addressing the Hard Cases
In the example given by the pro-choice woman of a 12-year-old being impregnated by her father and permission given by the state to terminate the pregnancy on the grounds of incest, then incest becomes a factor in sanctioning abortion. If incest is the sanctioning criteria, what happens to a 2-year-old who was discovered to have been born as the result of an incestual incident? Should the 2-year-old be killed?
If a woman is brutally beaten and gang-raped and becomes pregnant, is that a reason to terminate the unborn? If we believe in a No Point in the life cycle and a No Circumstance (NPNC) ideology, then we would have to say that killing the unborn in this situation is not permissible. It is not the fault of the unborn as to how he/she became a living human being. The fact is this unborn is a living human being. If you believe that all living human beings have value, regardless of their place in their life cycle, then abortion is not an option.
As for the woman who has to decide between chemotherapy and carrying her recently discovered pregnancy: The medical community may want to force an either/or decision, but faith-based pro-lifers would have the medical community do everything they possibly could to save both. Once again, if we consider the unborn to be human beings and we value life as human beings then the option, in this case, is to save both human beings.
I did not read about the case of the woman who had been in a coma for 10 years and became pregnant. Once again, I would have to say that the unborn human being in the comatose woman is innocent in this situation and the NPNC ideology would also stand for this case. The medical community should make every effort to save both the comatose mother and the unborn human being.
Why then, in the cultural milieu that currently exists, is it deemed permissible to kill an unborn child? The difference is in the value we as a society place on the unborn and of the fact that in the developmental life cycle of a human being the unwanted unborn is considered by too many to be a liability.
As human beings, we need to be cautious about the erosion of human rights. The right to life is the most basic human right. Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot didn’t value life; and as a result, millions were killed. I do not believe it is permissible to kill an unborn human being at any point in its lifecycle. The natural order of a human being is to start very tiny as a zygote and live to old age. Just like the natural order of a tiny acorn is to live and become a giant oak tree. An unborn child is not a mistake, it is a gift from God!