"I Pray Not"
Owing to my Christian heritage, I have always been opposed to the notion of abortion - the premeditated taking of anothers life. My early position was not well thought out, nor did I take into account the arguments offered in defense of or against this practice. I was simply agin it.
While in college I actually read the introduction to my logic book. Therein I found the rhetorics of the 1857 pro-slavery and that of 1973 supporting abortion. (See the table the end of this discussion.) The arguments were identical in all areas contrasted. While this specific contrast will not be the express topic of our discussion, emotionally it was like ice water on my face. I was shocked into looking at and dealing with the realities of the pro-abortion stance. I found pro-abortions rhetoric to have no more content than did the argument for slavery, and abortions practice to be just as thoroughly dehumanizing for all parties concerned. After reading through arguments supporting legalizing abortion, my questions fell into one of the three following categories:
Does biological life imply or convey the legal rights of personhood?
Have the arguments surrounding abortions legalization proven valid?
May any private person, for whatever reason, have absolute, life and death rights over another?
These questions will act as an outline for our further discussion.
One hears the argument that the "fetus" is not human a life, its only a piece of meat.
Many top researchers have found a strong case in favor of a "fetus" being very much a human life and a full-fledged person. During the first International Conference on Abortion, in Washington, DC, in 1967, nineteen of twenty researchers reported finding no point between conception and birth, at which it could be said that human life ceased to be (or by logical extrapolation, when it began) .
Does a piece of meat have a heart and brain? A fetus does. By the eighteenth to twenty-fifth day following conception, heart rate may be measured. It can be heard by the mother by the seventh week. Brain waves are measurable at forty days and Dr. Gisell claims, the brain is fully formed at eight weeks. Biologic life? Certainly!
Does an unborn child possess any legal rights? Yes. In most states she may inherit property, bring suit and be sued in a court of law. It would seem, the only right denied her is the right, once conceived, to be born. Here, the caprice of the mother holds more legal water than the life of another person. This appears to be true solely on the basis of the childs age and place of residence, i.e. its socio-economic status.
How are the legal rights of personhood conferred? The thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution each affirm that the state confers neither personhood nor its attendant legal rights. These are both endowed by God. The states only prerogative is to recognize and protect life, rights & personhood. This understanding is the cornerstone upon which the whole of our form of civil law rests.
In 1973, it was claimed that legalizing abortions would protect the victims of rape, those with mental disorders and those forced into having back street butchery performed. Has abortion kept its campaign promises? What do studies reveal?
A poll was taken during a convention of Obstetricians and Gynecologist which disclosed that rape victims accounted for zero of the thirteen thousand performed by these doctors. Which rape victims were protected by abortion?
It was said that legalized abortion would protect those with mental disorders from further emotional upheaval. It would allow them to not have to suffer for choices they may have made, but, for which they could not know the consequences. Dr. Charles Ford, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, claims that: "... the more serious the psychiatric diagnosis, the less beneficial was the abortion." Whom do abortions protect?
I remember reading and hearing much about the dangers of illegal abortions, during the time when abortions legalization was a hot item. Apparently, the Mayo Clinic remembered too, (and decided to find out if the claims made by legalization proponents proved to be valid.) Did the number of Illegal abortions decrease?
The researchers studied the figures from ten countries, in an attempt to establish a truly broad-spectrum sampling. Many of these countries had practiced abortions decades longer than the United States. Given the breadth of such a study one would reasonably expect to realize reduction in the illegal abortion rate of at least a few, if not in most, countries. Sadly, this was not the case. Of ten countries: eight showed no reductions, while the remaining two reported the rates actually increased. This says that, in the countries studied, at least as many women are continuing to place their very lives in the hands of these vultures, who feed on the fear and misfortune of others. What risks have legalized abortions minimized?
Has legalized abortion actually helped the women, for whom it was intended? Has it provided them with brighter, more secure and productive future? In a Japanese study, conducted after two decades of legalized, state-supported abortions, it was found that: sterility was up nine percent, habitual spontaneous abortions increased fourteen percent and ectopic pregnancies had increased four-hundred percent. Did having an abortion help them?
The next issue I raise is perhaps more emotionally charged than all the others: What about the womans right to control her body, life and destiny?
I believe that any woman has a equal say alongside any man. In my personal value system and life, this is especially true except where it concerns a womans own body. In this area, I defend a womans right to have absolute, ultimate choice and responsibility, in matters concerning her own life, body and person.
Therefore, I feel it necessary to operationally define the term "part", as it refers to biologic systems, especially where it pertains to a womans own body. In general terms, a part of any persons body it that which carries the identical genetic coding as the host.
Based on the above working definition, let us consider the following argument:
All parts of anyones body are genetically identical.
A mothers body and the unborn child she carries are not genetically identical.
Therefore, the unborn child is not "part" of the womans body.
The woman does have absolute rights, under God, over her own body. However, an unborn child, not being "part" of the womans body, is a defenseless, co-habitant and deserving of its own rights. When one realizes that the child upon taking up residence out of the womb, has enforced full legal rights and protections. All that separates a "child" from being a "fetus" is the birth process, a trip of 9"-12". Can we rationalize not protecting both the unborn child and her legal rights? Certainly the whim of a prospective mother, concerned about single-parenthood, diminished chances for employment or who may (taken to the ludicrous) desire a child of the opposite gendre, can not be seen as valid cause to exercise legally sanctioned life and death authority.
J. Calhoun, former Vice President of the United States, claimed slavery to be a "positive good." Governor J. H. Hammond of South Carolina carried this thought to its logical extension adding that without a slave class, "you would not have ... progress, civilization and refinement." Calhoun would add that its not only their labor but their very life force which fuels society and progress.
Is the unborn child to be the "Dred Scott" of our century? As with this famous black slave, the child does not have even the basic right to life: she too is considered property, chattel, human cattle. Her life is forfeit any time prior to birth. How is this not murder?
Who can tell us where it will end? We are hearing the term "viable life" bandied about, which is said to mean that: simple biological life is no longer an adequate definition of life. A fetus must be of sufficient gestational age, as to survive on its own outside the womb, to be considered to possess "viable life". An older person ceases to possess "viable life" when he becomes incapable of interacting, on a conscious level, with reality. How long will it be before, in Hitlerian fashion, our definition of "viable life" becomes a legal one, stretching to include those who, suffer from poor health, old age or who are simply incapable of adding to society? I would like to have demonstrated for me how far abortion is from euthanasia? I submit that they are closer together than wed like to believe. Dr. Kevorkian seemed to feel so. Eric & Dylan, in Littleton, must have held life in little regard. We are closer than we think. We have only to make the not-so-very-big step granting adult children the right (now granted to expectant mothers) of life and death over their elderly, dependant parents. "Unthinkable!", you say? Thats what my parents said of legalized abortion-on-demand.
I have found the pro-abortion arguments to be vacuous, in the light of actual, reported facts and figures. In truth, legalized abortion does not protect the victims of rape, mental disorders or illegal abortions. Further, it deals a death blow to the Judeo-Christian concept that forms the basis for our form of government: all persons, regardless of age, sex, color, race, creed, socio-economic status, or place of residence, are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights [sic]." No human being is chattel.
Will it take us two-hundred and fifty years to realize the error
of our present course, as it did with our American Forefathers and slavery
... I pray not!
THE UNBORN CHILD
Although he may have a heart and a brain, and he may be a human life
biologically. a slave is not a legal person. The Dred-Scott decision by the
U.S. Supreme Court has made that clear.
Although he may have a heart and a brain, and he may be a human life
biologically an unborn baby is not a legal person. Our U.S. Supreme Court
has just made this clear.
A black person only becomes a legal person when he or she is set free.
Before that time, we should not concern ourselves about him I because he
has no legal rights.
A baby only becomes a legal person when he is born. Before that time,
we should not concern ourselves about him because he has no legal rights.
If you think that slavery is wrong, then nobody is forcing you to be a
slave-owner. But don't impose your morality on somebody else!
If you think abortion is wrong, then nobody is forcing you to have one.
But don't impose your morality on somebody else!
A man has a right to do what he wants with his own property.
A woman has a right to do what she wants with her own body.
Isn't slavery really something merciful? After all, every black man has
a right to be protected. Isn't it better never to be set free than to be
sent unprepared. and ill-equipped, into a cruel world? (Spoken by someone
Isn't abortion really something merciful? After all, every baby has a
right to be wanted. Isn't it better never to be born than to be sent alone
and unloved into a cruel world? (Spoken by someone already born)
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THE UNBORN CHILD