I know I have made my opinion known on the topic of abortion within this blog in past posts, however, some topics are important enough, worth enough, to be revisited again and again.
January 22nd is the anniversary of the 1973 Roe Vs. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion as a “Constitutional” right in the United States of America. During those 45 years since that ruling, there have been (conservatively) 60 million abortions in the United States alone. To put this into perspective, six million people of Jewish decent were murdered by Nazi Germany between 1941 – 1945 during World War II. If you are generous and allow a full 5 years across WW-II for the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany (in reality, they were slightly more compressed), you would achieve nearly the same rate of 1.33 million deaths per year for both Jewish people killed in the Holocaust and abortions in the U.S. since 1973 (1.20 million/year vs. 1.33 million/year for the Holocaust and Abortions in the U.S. respectively).
While both abortions in the U.S. and the Holocaust are (were) state sponsored events (the U.S. Supreme Court sanctioned abortion in the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 as well as Government funding of Planned Parenthood – using taxpayer dollars – which sponsors abortions), the justifications that each hide behind are quite different (presumably to make one sound less horrifying than it really is).
While the reasoning used by Nazi Germany to justify the murder of millions of Jewish people all across Europe are completely indefensible by any right thinking individual, the subtlety used to justify abortions within the United States are more cunning and deceiving. Within the abortion argument in the United States we hide behind words like embryo and fetus. By using these words to describe a phase of human life, we tend to isolate the subject of the abortion and make it sound less human and thus perfectly acceptable to remove and throw away. We simply state we are terminating the pregnancy (vice acknowledging we are terminating a human life) and having safely justified our actions to ourselves, we move on.
But the question still remains: Is Abortion Murder? Just because we have justified it to ourselves does not mean that it is OK. Nor does it mean that we will not be held accountable for our actions just because we’ve excused ourselves of them. Have we fooled ourselves into believing that the termination of a pregnancy (vis-à-vis abortion) is OK because we are not actually taking a human life, when in reality, we actually are?
I suppose if you are Atheistic in your world view, it doesn’t really matter. After all, there is no God, no Moral code, and definitely no purpose or meaning to life. Given the foundation the Atheist builds their world view upon, they really shouldn’t mind killing of any kind. After all, with no God to answer to, and everything in existence being meaningless, it wouldn’t matter one way or the other if abortions were murder or not. But if you are Atheistic in your world view and you are intellectually honest with yourself, then why do you care how the morals get defined? There is no more control over which process wins here than there is with stars burning out in the heavens.
If you are Agnostic in your world view you shouldn’t have an opinion unless you are directly affected by the issue. And even then you should pick your friends carefully. After all, if you had one influence in your life that favored abortion and another, equal influence, that opposed abortion, it would be pretty confusing for you. The Agnostic would have to flip a coin in order to decide.
However if you are Theistic in your world view, then you must believe that all life emanates from a God, a Creator. And if you cannot definitively define the exact moment in time when that God-given, Creator induced life begins, then you had better err on the side of caution and treat all credible instances as human life.
This is essentially what President Ronald Regan said during his time in office. President Regan argued (from a Theistic point of view, without stating it explicitly) that if one could not determine the point that human life began (we may all agree that the individual cells are life), that you could not act responsibly in terminating that life without being potentially guilty of murder.
So is abortion murder? Consider that the fetus stage appears human in form. We have hands, feet, a head, a torso. A face. Consider that at the fetus stage that we have a human heartbeat (~6 weeks), at the fetus stage we can measure brain waves/activity (~6 weeks. Indeed the brain needs to be developed enough at this stage to govern organs such as the heart). Consider at the fetus stage you can begin to see rudimentary facial expressions. There are ultra-sounds of a fetus even sucking their thumb. At the fetus stage you may even determine the biological sex of the child.
Some have argued as to whether or not the child is sentient at the fetus stage. We know that at the fetus stage the child reacts to stimuli such as pain. Very early on the child can even react to the voices of its mother and father.
These are what we know, in a rudimentary way, through both science and medicine of today. Who knows what we will be able to discover or discern in the future?
And of course there is the religious argument. Christianity teaches that the person (the spirit – that part of you that will endure forever) is known by God (the Creator) before you are even formed in the womb.
Is abortion murder? How can any reasonable person say that it is not? And we destroy thousands upon thousands of lives each year in the United States alone. Isn’t it time that this practice is stopped?