Monday, September 01, 2008

Abortion – One Person’s Brilliant Position

I happen to be reading an interesting article on the politics of the abortion issue by Catholic Priest Jonathan Morris entitled Letter to Democrats on Abortion. The article itself has many merits, but what's very revealing is the hundreds of comments by other readers…the breadth of which as you can imagine ranged from one end of the spectrum to the other. However, I was most struck by a comment written by someone calling themselves “Soul Doc”. His response is one of the most common sense and salient positions on the issue of abortion that I have read, and I felt compelled to post his comments in virtually its entirety on my blog.

Soul Doc - I don’t know who you are and I wish I could give you even more credit for your thoughts posted below, but my hats off to you for your very important words:

I’d like to comment on the (fetus) viability issue. Some have said that a fetus is not a human until it is viable: that is, until it can sustain itself outside of the womb. I understand that this is part of the legal threshhold. However, it is one of the least logical or rational arguments possible.

If any of you have had an infant, do you believe for one moment that a newborn could sustain itself without the mother? If left to sustain itself, it would die in a few days, at most. The infant continues to REQUIRE sustenance for many months. Is it less human because of this? I hope no one would argue this foolishly. The viability argument is without legal or scientific foundation.

The worst argument of all for the pro-choicers is that a woman should a right to do with her body whatever she chooses. Well, no pro-lifers want to infringe on a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. None. All things being equal,
Republican/Conservative/Christian folks would love to leave women’s bodies and their choices alone.

But the catch is that all things aren’t equal here. The woman’s privacy and right to choose–which otherwise would be the primary concern–is trumped by another moral/ethical reality: the reality of another, distinct, valuable LIFE. If this were a dead or otherwise valueless thing, no one would ever question the woman’s right to abort it. Her decision completely. But because this thing–this fetus, fertilized egg, human life in its earliest stages–is alive, then maintaining life trumps maintaining privacy. The argument is THAT simple.

The question remains whether that thing–the fetus–is a human life. No one in their right mind could suggest that it is NOT human. It is not oak; it is not rhesus monkey. It has all of the characteristics (DNA, etc.) of HUMAN. Therefore, it is human. And it is not dead. It is alive. It requires the mother to remain alive, yes, but this does not change the fact that it is alive. How can anyone possibly argue that the fetus is not a human life? It is not, as some would argue, only the potential for human life. That is manifestly baloney. As others have argued, the infant would only be a potential toddler, the toddler only a potential child, and so on. This is the most ridiculous argument on the market. No, the fetus can be nothing BUT a human life in its earliest stages. If it is anything less, then I would have to concede that it does not require protection. Abort all you like if the fetus is not a human life. In this case, the desire to reduce abortions would be stupid. Why would anyone want to reduce abortions if the fetus isn’t a human life?

As for the acorn-oak tree argument, that was another foolish one, since the metaphor does not extend properly. The question is not whether an acorn is an oak tree; of course it isn’t. Nor is an unfertilized egg an adult human. Acorns are not oak trees. But they are “oak”; they contain the essence of oak-ness. Similarly, unfertilized human eggs are human-ish; they contain PART of the essence of human-ness. When the human ovum is fertilized, it IMMEDIATELY contains all of the human-ness. It is certainly not fully developed. But it is developing into a fully-formed human. It contains all of the DNA and many other structures that will, unless stopped, develop into a fully developed human. So the acorn-oak/fetus-human analogy is a poor one indeed. Another poor argument I hear is the “Well, that’s your religion’s view; you can’t force it on me”. On the surface, that makes some sense. I agree that the principle of forcing one’s religion on another is wrong; it is at least against our Constitution. But let’s take the issue of slavery. The fact that most abolitionists loathing of slavery came from their religious beliefs is well-known. Would anyone say that their wanting to end slavery legally was unconstitutional because it came from their religion? Of course not! One recognizes that owning another human being is wrong, whether that sense of wrong comes from religious beliefs or not.

My religious beliefs inform my view that child abuse is wrong, that murder is wrong, that theft is wrong. Should I not impose my beliefs on others simply because they are informed by my religious principles? No, of course not. Those what argue that one cannot impose a ban on abortion because of religious beliefs is confusing the issue. Banning abortion would not be imposing a religious belief; it would be imposing an act that is deemed immoral that is INFORMED by religious belief. Very different.Yet another fallacious (and ridiculous) argument is “I’ll listen to your view on abortion only if you start loving people who are already alive”. This is basically a Kindergarten whine–not even an argument. That person is essentially saying that a person who imperfectly holds to one moral belief (taking care of adults and children) has NO credibility in asserting another moral belief (taking care of the unborn). That makes no sense at all.

1 comment:

Lisa asks please leave your comment said...

For lack of a better word, good article. The person who wrote the comment is on point but I would also add as a Christian that I don't believe the far left liberal views will ever be convinced that abortion is the murder of our babies. There are some central liberals that do not agree with abortion but don't believe it's "their fight" to have. In other words, "I mind my business, you mind yours" and all while babies are being killed.

This subject matter is very personal for me and has been since my twenties and so I know ALSO that people who say they are Christians but also say they are pro choice really are lacking in knowledge, revelation and understanding of this very serious topic of LIFE! I also believe that the fight against abortion can not SOLELY take place with the pro-life people it's got to be addressed in the Christian church as well. No one talks about the very subjects that are painful and very real. Many who lift their hands at church in prayer and worship are crying inside because they have aborted children and no one is talking about it or they are in the process of making the decision as to whether or not to keep their child or abort their child due to other situations. BOTTOM LINE: The church needs to start addressing the issue of LIFE and why abortion in God's eyes is a sin. We don't need another conference to shout and praise and get the blessing as they say; we need a conference to talk about REAL ISSUES that affect hurting people every day!

As the body of Christ we've got to stand for His principles not our personal opinions and personal needs.

A God who sends people to Hell?