The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Analyzing the Arguments: Abortion

Posted by iusbvision on April 4, 2006

Argument # 1: Regular people have a right to their bodies as long as they do not hurt others.

This is an extremely valid argument, only it depends solely on the assumption that the fetus is not a separate human being. Fundamentally, this is where the core of the abortion debate exists. Most people believe one of three concepts; [1] a fetus isn’t a child until it is born and takes its first breath, [2] it isn’t a child until it is ‘self-aware’, or where there is some gauged timeframe or [3] it is a child from the moment of conception. Regarding concept one, most individuals agree abortions shouldn’t be legal in every case up until birth. This is why many frown on partial-birth abortions.

The majorities of individuals usually fall under concept two, but do not see where the logic behind this concept fails. There is no definitive line between concepts two and three, in other words, how does one draw a clear line as to when a baby is self-aware and becomes human?

Let us say one ‘can’ draw this clear line when the baby begins brain activity, or its heart starts beating. Then there is another problem, children did not have a heart beat before it started beating, and did not have brain activity until it became active. In other words, from its conception, it can be assumed that a baby ‘will’ eventually have a beating heart and brain activity.

If this is true, however, if one is to hinder these activities even ‘before’ they start – then it is no different than hindering them ‘after’ they start because in either case, it was going to happen.

For example, stopping a car at the beginning or end of an assembly line does not change the fact it was going to be a car. It forces the machine to stop its creation process. So whether one stops the birth process at the beginning or the end of pregnancy, it does not change the fact it was going to be a baby.

This is all relevant because if individuals believe a fetus is human from conception, then the argument above holds no merit, as the mother’s decision is having a direct effect on another human being. However, if one believes one of the other two concepts, this argument will hold no validity to them.

Argument # 2: If a child is born into a low income or adoptive situation, isn’t it just as bad, or worse than aborting it?

There are many statistics out there backing up this argument, but one has to analyze the question being asked. This concept is attempting to justify abortion based upon financial situations and impracticalities of keeping the child. Only these arguments fail to see they are actually saying, “A child is better off dead than in poverty or in an institution designed to raise children.”

Well, perhaps we should do the same to those individuals who are already born under these circumstances. In other words, we can assume that a 5 year old who grew up in an abusive family won’t stand much of a chance in society – so let us simply kill her, after all, her life would have been miserable anyways.

This pre-judgment cannot exist in our society, how is it one can claim a child is ‘better off dead’ on the assumption the family is not well-off or the child will not know his biological parents? If anything, this argument judges those who have been raised in these situations by saying “You didn’t turn out normal” or “You didn’t live a happy life worth living”.

Argument # 3: It Is The Mothers Choice, Illegalizing It Would Violate That Choice.

It is understood that freedom of choice is one of the fundamental building blocks of a democracy. The argument against this concept is going to be based upon the previous one, whereas if a child is considered to be a human being from conception, then the child has just as many human rights as the mother.

If this was not the case, then a mother should have supremacy over her child at any age including after he is born. If we allow a mother to have superior human rights over a child during conception, then she must also possess those rights after birth. If this is the case, the mother would have the choice to abort her child up to the age of 18. I know it sounds extreme, and it probably would not happen, but I am implying the consistency of logic. Human rights are human rights, no matter the age.

However, we could differentiate between human rights and fetus rights; this seems redundant though, as a fetus would not have rights unless it is human, and if it ‘is’ human, it should have the same rights as any other. So once again, it comes down to whether or not one believes a fetus is a human being or not. As I said before, this is where the core of the abortion debate exists.

Argument # 4: What About The Tragic Cases In Which An Abortion Could Save The Life Of The Mother?

There is no doubt there are many tragic cases in which the issue of abortion becomes controversial. Most know an absolute law will not be able to solve the problem, or make everyone happy. According to http://womensissues.about.com, “3.3% of women have an abortion due to a risk to fetal health.” and “2.8% of women have an abortion due to a risk to maternal health.” You will find on this website that the other 93.9% of cases are due to money, relationships, and family. This means out of the annual 1,370,000 abortions that occur within the United States, 1,286,430 are performed mostly out of circumstances and not out of life threatening or highly controversial situations.

The website also shows “47% of abortions are performed on women who have already had one or more abortions.” The ultimate question becomes “is universal abortion the answer?” Should society allow such daunting numbers for the 6.1% who have controversial situations, or should we create a method for handling such cases if it were to be illegalized? Although it is understood creating a law to handle these cases is not easy, and another issue all together. The complexity does not disqualify creating a law from being attempted.

I have only scratched the surface of the abortion issue. Unfortunately, abortion exists because individuals are getting pregnant when they had not planned too. With the combination of teaching (as unpopular as it is) abstinence and proper use of contraceptives, many of these cases could have, and can be prevented. For example, I bet most individuals didn’t know the website above also states “90% of women who are at risk for unplanned pregnancies are using contraception”

For more information on practicality of abstinence, birth control, and sex visit: Epigree Women’s Health

Craig Chamberlin
Assistant Editor

One Response to “Analyzing the Arguments: Abortion”

  1. Silly! said

    I never thought about abortion like that before. I have ideas and comments running through my head but I am not quite sure how to put it in words. However, the part about the five year old, very creative and I give you kudos for that!
    Oh and thank you for suppling something besides filth at this college, I am so sick of what ever the IUSB newspaper is called.

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