Defending the Unborn: Philosophical Arguments Defending Unborn Human Life: Degree of Dependency, Development, Size or Age
Life is Sacred
awaken
Respect for Life

Defending the Unborn

 
"To be, or not to be?"

or

 "Where do you draw the line?"



    This latter question recently faced college students strolling through campus during the first week of spring semester, thanks to Justice for All, a pro-life organization that trains thousands to make abortion unthinkable for millions, one person at a time. The purpose of the question: stimulate discussion on human rights and abortion.


    Many Americans are in favor of pro-choice legislation, especially from the compassionate perspective of averting one of the potential injustices of rape –a woman being required to give birth to a child that she did not willingly consent to conceive. Up until 2011, I was also.

     I've never favored abortion, hardly anyone does. Most people agree it’s a difficult and unpleasant choice. Nonetheless, I couldn't see myself as someone wholly pro-life. My main hang-up was the thought of forcing a daughter who had been raped to go through a pregnancy. What I failed to think about was the life of the child. What about his or her life? Do they have a right to choose?
 
     Although evil can never become good, good can come from evil. A child coming into the world, a child that is in no way at fault for the wrongful act of his or her biological father, is an example.

                               
"You saw me before I was born." Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

     Thankfully, a Master in Theology and Philosophy explained his position as someone pro-life. Our discussions shed light on the importance of defending the unborn. I also had the opportunity to attend a training session hosted by Justice for All. Through this session, I became aware that only two percent of abortions are the result of rape. What about the other 98%?

     Rape is a terrible occurrence. Those who commit this crime should rightfully be punished. Those who have been through such an experience should receive our consideration, love and support.

     For the purposes of discussion, let's suppose a woman who has been raped, conceives, and decides to keep the child. The child grows to the age of two but then mom decides she doesn’t want the child anymore due to financial strain and unaccepting parents. She decides to end the child’s life. Would this be acceptable? Of course not, it would be considered murder and she would likely go to jail.

     If it is not okay in the above example, how long after a child is conceived, but still in his or her mother's womb, should it be legal, if at all?

"Where do you draw the line?"

     Perhaps a person would propose that the time when an abortion is acceptable should be based on degree of development. A child that is five years old and can play a game of baseball is certainly more developed than a five-month old baby still in his or her mother's womb. But is not a fifty-year old adult more developed than a five-year old child? Of course, yet both have the same right to life. That same five-year old most likely possesses within their body the capacity for reproduction, but that part is not yet fully developed –a child, from the moment of conception, has all the DNA necessary to become an adult.

     Perhaps a person would say that the time when an abortion is acceptable should be based on size, for example before three weeks of development, or three months. Does this mean that a person who is taller or larger should have more rights? Does this mean that a three-week old baby, who would just begin to have a beating heart, should have fewer rights than a three-month old baby?


    Perhaps a person would state that the time when an abortion is acceptable should be based on degree of dependency: since the child is still connected to his or her mother’s body, and could not live without her, he or she does not have a separate life, and therefore, separate rights. Essentially, the child is dependent on mom and since her body belongs to her, she should be able to choose when an abortion is acceptable.


     Let’s suppose you work as a lifeguard. You’re closing for the day when you suddenly hear a splash. You look over your shoulder and see a three-year-old has fallen into the pool. You’re the only one present; the child is dependent on you or they will drown. Is it okay to walk away? Of course not, it would be a crime, and in some jurisdictions, even if you weren't a lifeguard. If we care about others as we care about ourselves, especially those at the earliest or final stages of human life, we can acknowledge that degree of dependency doesn’t nullify a right to life.
I’m glad that in America women have nearly the same privileges and opportunities as men. These equalities have been achieved over many years of entrenched inequalities.


     Notwithstanding misfortune, women in America can pursue any future that fulfills their hopes and dreams. But what about the woman still in her mother’s womb? A person’s gender can be determined from their DNA from the moment of conception. What about her privileges and opportunities? What about the hopes and dreams she’ll have?


     If a woman and her unborn child are murdered, the person who committed the crime would likely be charged with two counts of murder, one for the woman and one for the child. Is it reasonable for our society to treat a man or woman at their earliest stages of development as though they don’t have rights because they are unwanted?


     There are around 3,700 abortions in America every day, 3,700 Americans who were denied their God given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.



 

 

   
Psalm 139 (Wonderfully Made) by Danielle Rose

"In the words attributed to Mother Teresa,

"If abortion isn't wrong, what is?" 


For the relativist who carries his or her philosophy to its logical conclusion, the answer would be "nothing is 'wrong.'"

Absolute Relativism: The New Dictatorship and What To Do About It