Abortion is Killing the Child in the Womb

Some things are obvious. The title of this post is obviously factual because it is based on the plain meaning of words. Nobody could have a factual objection to it, only a political objection. Another obvious fact is that life begins at the beginning. All things begin at their beginning. That is what “beginning” means.

It should be possible to have a fairly straightforward measuring stick that a lot of people would agree on for when abortion should be illegal, nation-wide. Killing the child in the womb should be illegal (some form of conspiracy to commit murder or homicide) in all cases where the child is viable with medical help outside the womb. Once delivered, the child is clearly a human being. This would prevent any late term abortions, and not prevent RU486 or contraceptive methods like the pill that flush the rapidly developing embryo out of the body. It doesn’t depend on religious or moral stances or fine parsing of when life begins (for life begins at the beginning, obviously). And it is already aligned with the partial-birth abortion ban in the US.

Killing a child in the womb before that time is a tragedy, but I’m not sure that punishing the already disturbed women who make that choice by forcing them to seek out non-accredited doctors is a win for society. I am open to arguments on this. My religious conviction is that all abortion is killing, but murder is usually more closely parsed than killing, and that’s why the sixth commandment said “Thou shalt not murder” in Hebrew. Is abortion murder of a child in the womb? To answer that we need to know what murder is. Murder is the unlawful taking of human life. Thus to some extent murder can be defined however the powers that be (in the US, this would be the people and their legislature) want. I think that the powers that be should define murder and decide where abortion fits into that frame. Judges do not define crimes. They only apply the definitions that are in the law. And that is why I believe that Roe should be overthrown, because judges made new law where there was none before. Following that, the issue can be handled by the legislatures of the states or that of the federal government. This is a legalistic turn to a moral argument, and I am sorry if it seems wishy-washy. But I was led to this conclusion by reason in support of morality, not by leaping to conclusions.

On the other hand, the eugenicist aspect to abortion should be troubling to all who hope for a color-blind nation. Abortion is more easily available, and more widely used, in the mostly black inner cities of America than any other place in America. If you read the story of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, you will find this was PP’s intention from the start.

And just think about all the 40 million legal abortions that have been performed in the US since 1972. Would we need so many legal and illegal immigrants to do the jobs that need to be done if we hadn’t been killing off so many children who would have grown up, some of them who would have working-age children of their own by now? Instead of 12-20 million illegal immigrants, we could have 40 million American citizens who participate fully in our economy and society.

Imagine no abortion, it’s easy if you try.

Sparked by evanescent

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7 responses to “Abortion is Killing the Child in the Womb

  1. ‘Abortion is Killing a Child in the Womb’

    The title of this post is obviously factual because it is based on the plain meaning of words. Nobody could have a factual objection to it, only a political objection. Another obvious fact is that life begins at the beginning. All things begin at their beginning. That is what “beginning” means.

    This is exactly the sort of thinking I addressed in my article: it is not as black and white as you paint it. And like I said in my article, to draw the “beginning” lines at conception, but not say, intercourse, is drawing the line in a convenient place of YOUR choosing, which begs the question.

    Your argument also begs the question in its very title by assuming that abortion is killing a child; it’s not at all! A cell is not a child, nor is an embryo nor blastocyst nor necessarily even a fetus. It is strictly speaking, KILLING, but killing what? And it would be impossible to object to this killing with honesty, whilst standing on ants, swatting flies, or eating meat.

    If you’re going to object to abortion purely on the grounds of potential life, then (like I also said in my original article) then why not have sex all the live long day?; male masturbation should also be illegal, not to mention contraception!

  2. I reject any equation of human life with the life of an ant or cow. I am not a Hindu or Jain and do not think that animals are reincarnated humans. The animal aspect of a human is an omnivore and at least in part survives by eating other animals. The mind and soul of a human is nothing like any animal, and those are the aspects that set humans apart.

    I don’t object on the grounds of potential life, so you missed me with that argument.

    And human life clearly begins at the beginning too. It is silly to argue against the meaning of words. So where is the beginning? The beginning to me is either when the fertilized ovum implants on the lining of the womb or when all the parts are in place that are necessary to survive to term.

  3. Wolf said:

    I reject any equation of human life with the life of an ant or cow.

    Why? Humans are animals. We are not more or less worthy of life than any other. Every living creature on the planet today has proven it can survive by natural selection in its particular environment. The difference with humans is that we can think about our own existence. But there is nothing sacred or sacrosanct about man.

    The mind and soul of a human is nothing like any animal, and those are the aspects that set humans apart.

    The mind of any animal is nothing like another animal. Just because humans have the most complex minds in the world doesn’t make us holy ground. The word soul is a metaphysical spiritual belief, and I think the word is meaningless.

    The beginning to me is either when the fertilized ovum implants on the lining of the womb or when all the parts are in place that are necessary to survive to term.

    But this begs the question, and is rather convenient. Why one or the other? Why not somewhere in between?

    A human being is a person, and the person is the product of the brain. It is most logical to say that when the brain is formed that is when humanity begins.

    I admire your attempts to form a dichotomy between human and not, but it simply isn’t a case of one or the other. Gestation is a series of gradual steps, from mitosis to blastocyst to embryo to fetus. What is it about a fertilised ovum makes it human, that doesn’t make an egg or sperm on their own human? To draw the line after conception and say “humanity begins here” is special pleading, and has no reasonable basis.

    On the other hand, once the brain has fully formed in the womb, the child is still not viable, but we have a living being with a formative mind that can experience pain. So whether viable or not at this point, aborting it would be taking a human life and would cause unnecessary suffering.

  4. In an interesting development, Holland has legalized killing a child who has already been born.

    Around the world, the same excuses that have been used to kill the unborn are now be used to kill children who have already been born. Holland recently passed a law legalizing “baby euthanasia,” according to a March 2006 article in the The Times in the United Kingdom. If a child is born sick, her parents can choose to kill her.

    In many other countries, the child doesn’t even have to be sick in order to be killed. If the parent is mentally ill, that suffices.

    According to a CNN.com story, “postpartum depression is recognized as a legal defense [for infanticide] in at least 29 countries, including Great Britain, Canada, Italy and Australia, [Professor Michelle] Oberman said. Those countries have infanticide laws, which state that when a woman kills a child under the age of 1 and she can prove that the ‘balance of her mind is disturbed’ by reasons relating to giving birth, the maximum charge the woman can face is manslaughter.”

    “The practical result of these statutes is that these women receive probation instead of jail time and they receive sentences that require probation plus counseling,” Oberman said in the article.

    Probation? For infanticide? In what way does the fact that child was killed by her own mother mitigate the crime?

    Philip Resnick, a psychiatry professor at Case Western Reserve University, said in the CNN.com article, “Those infanticide acts, particularly in England … limit it to the first year by law. In other words, if a baby is killed after 364 days, the mother is charged with infanticide, if it’s 370 days, they are charged with murder.” So there it is: from the day a child is born, the clock is ticking. You have one year to kill your baby and still get away with probation plus counseling.

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  6. Wolf, you have a totally warped perception of events. First of all, this has nothing to do with abortion, and to compare killing a newborn child with an undeveloped fetus is dishonest.

    Second, nobody is saying killing a baby is right, or that some mothers secretly just have this desire to kill their baby and should plot to do it within the first year!

    The law is recognising that some mothers can have serious mental problems, like all people can. If you kill someone whilst not being in control of yourself, say through being insane or on drugs, should you suffer the same penalty as a cold calculating murderer who intended to take a life? No, of course not.

    People like this need to be rehabilitated and treated, not thrown into prison with truly evil people and psychopaths.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world were that black and white and we could lump people together into “good” and “evil” categories… The real world doesn’t work that way, Wolf.

  7. Pingback: Abortion is killing one out of three black children in the womb « Wolf Pangloss