Difference between revisions of "Essay:Why I oppose abortion"

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Therefore, it is wrong to call every abortion a murder. But abortion is and always will be direct killing of the innocent human being, always regrettable and never morally justifiable.
Therefore, it is wrong to call every abortion a murder. But abortion is and always will be direct killing of the innocent human being, always regrettable and never morally justifiable.
:Really the abortion debate can be quite simply boiled down into a single question:Does life begin at conception, birth, or somewhere in between?  It's almost definitely not birth, since babies can be born prematurely and still survive, and it's probably not conception, since a zygote has about the same chance of surviving on its own as any other cell taken outside the body.  It's about as human as an amoeba.  So, obviously it lies somewhere in between.  I would say that it's at about the beginning of the third trimester, since that's just about the lower limit of survivability.  Abortions after that should probably be performed on a case-by-case basis, with the mother's health being paramount.  However, you are entitled to your opinions.  --{{User:Theemperor/Sig|}} 02:55, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
== Religiousness of pro-life people ==
== Religiousness of pro-life people ==

Revision as of 02:55, 3 October 2009

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"An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus/embryo, resulting in or caused by its death. In many parts of the world there is prominent and divisive public controversy over the ethical and legal issues of abortion." (Wikipedia)


Yeah, why should anyone oppose abortion? Abortion can be huge relief to women, and all we need to do is kill a bunch of tissues that doesn’t even know about itself. "The cause of permissive abortion is definitely a liberal enlightened, sophisticated one."

However, if pro-choice side is wrong, about 115 000 innocent human beings are killed every day, legally. Some of us believe it is wrong to take innocent human life.

Biological arguments

Beginning of human life

"A favourite pro-abortion tactic is to insist that the definition of when life begins is impossible; that the question is a theological or moral or philosophical one, anything but a scientific one. Foetology makes it undeniably evident that life begins at conception and requires all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy. Why, you may well ask, do some American doctors who are privy to the findings of foetology, discredit themselves by carrying out abortions? Simple arithmetic at $300 a time, 1.55 million abortions means an industry generating $500,000,000 annually, of which most goes into the pocket of the physician doing the abortion. It is clear that permissive abortion is purposeful destruction of what is undeniably human life. It is an impermissible act of deadly violence."

(A quote from Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the founding members of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America. He worked with Betty Friedan and others for the legalization of abortion in the United States. Their efforts essentially succeeded with the Roe v Wade decision. He was also for a time the director of the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health (CRASH), New York's largest abortion clinic. The development of ultrasound led him reconsider his views on abortion.)

For years abortion proponents have raised the question of when human life begins. As a result terms like "potential human life" have been grabbed up by the media, abortion apologists and the like. But what is the truth about the beginings of life?

Biologic life is passed along continuously, it is like an unbroken chain. It is passed along from one being to another. Concerning when life begins, a particular aggregate of hereditary tendencies (genes and chromosomes) is first assembled at the moment of fertilization when an ovum (egg) is invaded by a sperm cell. This restores the normal number of required chromosomes, 46, for survival, growth, and reproduction of a new composite individual. By this definition a new composite individual is started at the moment of fertilization. However, to survive, this individual needs a very specialized environment for nine months, just as it requires sustained care for an indefinite period after birth. But from the moment of union of the germ cells, there is under normal development a living, definite, going concern. To interrupt a pregnancy at any stage is like cutting the link of a chain; the chain is broken no matter where the link is cut. Naturally, the earlier a pregnancy is interrupted, the easier it is technically, the less the physical, objective encounter.

In a 1999 article entitled, When do human beings (normally) begin? "scientific" myths and scientific facts, Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D. gives a scientific view on the beginning of life.

She begins with some basic facts about embryos:

"To begin with, scientifically something very radical occurs between the processes of gametogenesis and fertilization--the change from a simple part of one human being (i.e., a sperm) and a simple part of another human being (i.e., an oocyte--usually referred to as an "ovum" or "egg"), which simply possess "human life", to a new, genetically unique, newly existing, individual, whole living human being (a single-cell embryonic human zygote). That is, upon fertilization, parts of human beings have actually been transformed into something very different from what they were before; they have been changed into a single, whole humanbeing. During the process of fertilization, the sperm and the oocyte cease to exist as such, and a new human being is produced."

She then looks at the early stages of the development of babies, pointing out that they have traits particular to themselves and to human beings:

"This new single-cell human being immediately produces specifically human proteins and enzymes (not carrot or frog enzymes and proteins), and genetically directs his/her own growth and development. (In fact, this genetic growth and development has been proven not to be directed by the mother.) Finally, this new human being--the single-cell human zygote--is biologically an individual, a living organism--an individual member of the human species."

She is not alone in her observation. William J. Larsen, whose textbooks are used on college campuses across the country states in his book, Human Embryology (New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997 pg. 20):

"… [W]e begin our description of the developing human with the formation and differentiation of the male and female sex cells or gametes, which will unite at fertilization to initiate the embryonic development of a new individual." (Emphasis added.)

"Virtually every human embryologist and every major textbook of human embryology states that fertilization marks the beginning of the life of the new individual human being." - Dr. C. Ward Kischer ,Professor Emeritus of Human Embryology of the University of Arizona School of Medicine, American College of Pediatricians

Dr. David Fu-Chi Mark, a nationally celebrated molecular biologist who has patented various polymerase chain reaction techniques, observed that until the development of molecular biology and modern molecular biological techniques,

"Most scientific knowledge concerning human identity and human development prior to birth was based solely upon gross morphological observations and biochemical studies. Over the past twenty years there have been extraordinary scientific medical and technological advances and discoveries which expose the rather rudimentary level of knowledge and ignorance of science, errors of fact and judgment concerning past scientific understanding of the child's existence as a human being, the child's early development and ability to react to the child's environment and feel pain prior to birth. The new techniques developed through the exploding revolution over the past twenty years permits scientists to observe human existence and development at a molecular level, which is applicable in determining genetic uniqueness, genetic diseases and related information through the analysis of human genes well in advance of the old gross, anatomical observation."

He further states, "There can no longer any doubt that each human being is totally unique from the very beginning of his or her life at fertilization."

"A human being at an embryonic age and that human being at an adult age are naturally the same, the biological differences are due only to the differences in maturity. Changes in methylation of cytosine demonstrate that the human being is fully programmed for human growth and development for his or her entire life at the one cell age."

Modern molecular biology has discovered that by the third cell division (long before implantation) all control of growth and development are established by the child's DNA. This means that immediately after conception, all programming for growth of the human being is self-contained.

"The question as to when the physical material dimension of a human being begins via sexual reproduction is strictly a scientific question, and fundamentally should be answered by human embryologists--not by philosophers, bioethicists, theologians, politicians, x-ray technicians, movie stars, or obstetricians and gynecologists." - Dianne N. Irving, M.A., Ph.D.

Human embryologist say:

Keith L. Moore: ”This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being” (1988. Essentials of Human Embryology. p. 2. B.C. Decker Co., Toronto.)

William J. Larsen: ”… gametes, which will unite at fertilization to initiate the embryonic development of a new individual.” (1993. Human Embryology. p. 1. Churchill-Livingston, New York.)

Bradley M. Patten: ”Fertilized ovum gives rise to new individual“. P. 43: “…. the process of fertilization …. marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.” (1968. Human Embryology, 3rd Ed. p. 13. McGraw-Hill, New York.) Quoting F.R. Lillie: P. 41: “…. in the act of fertilization …. two lives are gathered in one knot …. and are rewoven in a new individual life-history.” (1919. Problems of Fertilization. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.)

Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud.: ”Human development is a continuous process that begins when an oocyte (ovum) from a female is fertilized by a sperm (spermatozoan) from a male.” (1993. The Developing Human, 5th Ed. p. 1. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia.)

This sentence is important – human development is a continuous process that begins at conception. Human development continues many years after birth. From the moment of conception, embryo develops as human being not into human being.

Ronan R. O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller.: ”Fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a genetically is thereby formed.” (1992. Human Embryology and Teratology. p. 5. Wiley-Liss, New York.)

Scott Gilbert in his book Developmental Biology:

”Traditional ways of classifying catalog animals according to their adult structure. But, as J. T. Bonner (1965) pointed out, this is a very artificial method, because what we consider an individual is usually just a brief slice of its life cycle. When we consider a dog, for instance, we usually picture an adult. But the dog is a “dog” from the moment of fertilization of a dog egg by a dog sperm. It remains a dog even as a senescent dying hound. Therefore, the dog is actually the entire life cycle of the animal, from fertilization through death. [...] The life of a new individual is initiated by the fusion of genetic material from the two gametes-the sperm and the egg.”

This is, once again, very noteworthy quote, because many people refuse to believe that embryo is human being before it is human in appearence. But human is human from the moment of fertilization.

Encyclopedias that are meant to represent scientific consensus, say:

Encyclopedia Britannica 1998, v 26, p 611: “Although organisms are often thought of only as adults, and reproduction is considered to be the formation of a new adult resembling the adult of the previous generation, a living organism, in reality, is an organism for its entire life cycle, from fertilized egg to adult, not for just one short part of that cycle.”

Encyclopedia Britannica 1998, v 26, p 664: ”A new individual is created when the elements of a potent sperm merge with those of a fertile ovum, or egg.”

The Gale Encyclopedia of Science 1996, v 3, p 1327: ”For the first eight weeks following egg fertilization, the developing human being is called an embryo.”

The Hutchinson Dictionary of Science 1994, p 340: ” – in biology, the sequence of developmental stages through which members of a given species pass. Most vertebrates have a simple life cycle consisting of fertilization of sex cells or gametes, a period of development as an embryo, a period of juvenile growth after hatching or birth, and adulthood including sexual reproduction, and finally death.”

Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia 2002, v 1, p 1290: ”Embryo. The developing individual between the time of the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism. [...] At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun.”

Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia 2002, v 1, p 1291: ”The period of pregnancy begins with the union of the sperm and egg. At the moment of fertilization of the egg (conception), a new life begins.” Collier’s Encyclopedia 1987, v 9, p 121: ”The new individual is established at the time of fertilization, and embryonic development simply prepares this individual for the vicissitudes of adult life, and the development of future embryos.”

Collier’s Encyclopedia 1987, v 9, p 117: ”The fused sperm and egg, called zygote, is a new individual with full capacities for development in a normal environment.”


Fertilization not Implantation marks the beginning of human life. Patrick Lee, professor of bioethics at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, wrote an essay, The First Fourteen Days of Human Life, published in The New Atlantis that debates the use on non-implanted embryos for science.

From the very beginning of their article these men attack the shaky foundation of the ethics behind the use of embryos for science:

"Most people, who point to implantation as the beginning of an individual human life, offer not the slightest bit of evidence to support their claim, relying instead on an alleged intuition. But since such intuitions can be matched by contrary intuitions, and since the alleged intuitions contradict the evidence supplied by embryological science, they have no evidential weight whatsoever."

They go on to artfully walk through the developmental stages of the embryo from day one through day six. Pointing out the fact that the events that occur are only a matter of the embryo maturing rather than experiencing events that cause a radical change of direction or purpose.

In conclusion they state:

"Science has not solved every mystery of early human development. But human embryology has advanced sufficiently to enable us to dismiss certain fallacies about when a new human life comes to be. We do not doubt the good faith of those who believe that individual life begins at implantation or after the powers of twinning and fusion have passed. But arguments advanced to support these beliefs collapse under scrutiny. We must not let the desire to use human embryos in research obscure our grasp of what those embryos truly are from day 1: namely, nascent members of the human species, worthy of that fundamental respect and protection that justice demands for every member of the human family."


I post here quite the same I did on the abortion talk page.

Viability means in general "capacity for survival" and is more specifically used to mean a capacity for living, developing, or germinating under favorable conditions. None of us could survive outside our natural environment. Unborn baby is in his natural environment with full capacities for development.

In a broad sense, many born people are not viable because they are incapable of surviving without depending on others. If the argument is that the unborn are not viable because they are dependent on others to survive, then a one-year-old baby is no more viable than an unborn baby. Neither can survive alone. That could also be said about people who are severely handicapped or suffering from some debilitating illness, as well as people who are senile, comatose, unconscious, or under general anesthesia. If the ability to survive without others is what creates the right to life, these people have no more right to life than the unborn.

Viability is an arbitrary concept. Why not associate personhood with heartbeat, brain waves, or something else? The point of viability changes because it depends on technology, not the unborn herself. Humanity remains the same, but viability changes. Viability measures medical technology, not one's humanity.

Is viability not just an extrinsic criterion imposed upon the fetus by some members of society who simply declare that the fetus will be accepted at that moment as a human being? In other words, the viability criterion seems to be arbitrary and not applicable to the question of whether the unborn is fully human, since it relates more to the location and dependency of the unborn than to any essential change in her state of being. This criterion only tells us when certain members of our society want to accept the humanity of the unborn.

Bunch of tissues, not person

"Say whatever you want, it’s simply a bunch of tissues, it’s not self-conscius, it’s a microscopic dot, it can’t think, it is less developed than most of animals. It may be human, but it is definitely not person!"

A baby is a baby no matter what we call her. As we all consist of different tissues, every human being is just a "blob of tissues". But at the moment of conception, these tissues belong to certain human individual and are not just some kind of abstract organic matter that some day may become a human individual.

It is most irrational idea that human right to life should be in connection with the stage of development. Human development is a continuous process - human beings develop for their entire lives. Being less developed than an adult does not mean that a child or embryo should have less right to live. This is exactly the same argument that I told in the previous section: Something human does not get the right to live by getting older and bigger; whatever is human must have the human rights from the beginning. Those who deny that fetuses have a right to life do not value human life, but instead select arbitrary characteristics (such as particular levels of physical or psychological development).

As someone already pointed out, the declaration of human rights includes many rights that can’t be exercised by unborn people. But a few years old toddler also can’t exercise many of those rights, such like right to work. However, this is not enough to take away rights they can exercise, and, naturally, they can exercise their right to live.

If the unborn’s value can be compared to that of an animal, there is no reason not to also compare the value of born people to animals. Even if someone believes that people are no better than animals, why would they abhor the killing of young animals, while advocating the killing of young children? It is dangerous when people in power are free to determine whether other, less powerful lives are meaningful.

Personhood is properly defined by membership in the human species, not by stage of development within that species - personhood is not a matter of size, skill, or degree of intelligence.

Wikipedia: "The term person in common usage means an individual human."


Etymology From Anglo-Norman parsone, persoun et al. (Old French persone (“‘human being’”), French personne), person (plural persons or people) 1. A human being; an individual.

Merriam-Webster dictionary: person 1 : human, individual

Women rights

“Even if the unborn are human beings, they have fewer rights than the woman. No one should be expected to donate her body as a life-support system for someone else. Every person has the right to choose. It would be unfair to restrict a woman’s choice by prohibiting abortion. Every woman should have control over her own body. Reproductive freedom is a basic right.”

The one-time choice of abortion robs someone else of a lifetime of choices and prevents him from ever exercising his rights.

Experiences of uncountable number of women prove that pregnant woman usually continues with her social life and career. Pregnant women don’t become some kind of unanimous and passive life-support system for someone else. And it is reasonable for society to expect an adult to live temporarily with an inconvenience if the only alternative is killing a child.

John Noonan proposes the scenario of a family who was found to be liable for frostbite finger loss suffered by a dinner guest whom they refused to allow to stay overnight, although it was very cold outside and the guest showed signs of being sick. Just as it would not be permissible to refuse temporary accommodation for the guest to protect them from physical harm, it would not be permissible to refuse temporary accommodation of a foetus. It is nonsense to suggest that the law never tells people what they can or cannot do with their bodies. In fact, there are many things which people are not legally allowed to do with their bodies. To name just a few, they cannot sell them for sex, or sell their organs to people who need transplants, or put certain drugs into their bodies. Statements like this ignore the fact that, by any rational standard, the unborn child is a separate individual from its mother.

"Abortion rights are fundamental for the advancement of women. They are essential to having equal rights with men. By the way, the circumstances of many women leave them no choice but an abortion."

Early feminists were prolife, not prochoice. There are still feminists for life. Women’s rights are not inherently linked to the right to abortion. The basic premises of the abortion-rights movement are demeaning to women. Some of the abortion-rights strategies assume female incompetence and subject women to ignorance and exploitation. Abortion has become the most effective means of sexism ever devised, ridding the world of multitudes of unwanted females. The presumption that women need abortion to be equal with men, says that women are essentially lower beings than men and need a special process - abortion – to become equal with men.

Every child a wanted child!

"...It’s unfair to children to bring them into a world where they’re not wanted. Having a baby who is not wanted and wont be loved is amoral "

A new human being is already brought to this world – at the moment of conception. Therefore, the problem of unwantedness is a good argument for wanting children, but a poor argument for eliminating them.

“Unwanted” describes not a condition of the child, but an attitude of adults. First and foremost, we must ask since when does anyone’s right to live depend upon someone else wanting them? Human being has value simply because it is, not because it is wanted. Should we complete the slogan "Every child a wanted child" with "if not wanted, killed!"?

That is exactly what that Planned Parenthood slogan means. Someone is killed just because someone else didn't want him.

Opponents may ask, doesn't the unwantedness of children lead to child abuse? That babies/children who are abused were "unwanted" children who should have been aborted?

But isn't abortion itself an ultimate abuse of children? How can we separate the violence of abortion from the family violence heard on the news? Simply because it seems kinder to kill a voiceless embryo in the womb?

In fact, abortion has done nothing to end child abuse. It has had just the opposite effect. According to the National Center of Child Abuse and Neglect (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), child abuse has dramatically increased since abortion was legalized. In 1973 the agency reported 167,000 cases of child abuse. In 1983, it reported 929,000 cases.

Unwantedness of children simply does not lead to child abuse. Professor Edward Lenoski at the University of Southern California studied over 600 cases of child abuse. He found that in over 90% of these cases, the parents said that the child they abused had been a wanted child.

Is abortion a murder?

It depends on what we consider to be a murder. Usually "murder" has three components:

  • Objective component: killing an innocent human being
  • Subjective component: intention to kill innocent human being
  • Juridical component: action against law

As life of every human being starts at conception, abortion is always the killing of an innocent human being. Only half the patients who go into an abortion clinic come out alive.

However, abortion does not always include the intention to kill innocent human being. Firstly, many people simply don't know abortion results in death of innocent human being (this goes for women who want abortion, because every competent doctor knows that abortion results in someone's death). Abortions may be performed in very different situations, with very different knowledge and with very different intentions.

Secondly, there are cases when mother's life is at risk. In such case, abortion is a regrettable secondary subject not the intention itself.

Juridical component is far more simpel; abortions are legal, wheter in all, most or some circumstances.

Therefore, it is wrong to call every abortion a murder. But abortion is and always will be direct killing of the innocent human being, always regrettable and never morally justifiable.

Really the abortion debate can be quite simply boiled down into a single question:Does life begin at conception, birth, or somewhere in between? It's almost definitely not birth, since babies can be born prematurely and still survive, and it's probably not conception, since a zygote has about the same chance of surviving on its own as any other cell taken outside the body. It's about as human as an amoeba. So, obviously it lies somewhere in between. I would say that it's at about the beginning of the third trimester, since that's just about the lower limit of survivability. Abortions after that should probably be performed on a case-by-case basis, with the mother's health being paramount. However, you are entitled to your opinions. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:55, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Religiousness of pro-life people

"We systematically vilified the Catholic Church and its "socially backward ideas" and picked on the Catholic hierarchy as the villain in opposing abortion. This theme was played endlessly. We fed the media such lies as "we all know that opposition to abortion comes from the hierarchy and not from most Catholics" and "Polls prove time and again that most Catholics want abortion law reform". And the media drum-fired all this into the American people, persuading them that anyone opposing permissive abortion must be under the influence of the Catholic hierarchy and that Catholics in favour of abortion are enlightened and forward-looking. An inference of this tactic was that there were no non-Catholic groups opposing abortion. The fact that other Christian as well as non-Christian religions were {and still are) monolithically opposed to abortion was constantly suppressed, along with pro-life atheists' opinions."

(Bernard Nathanson)

A person does not have to be religious to say it’s wrong to murder a child, any more than they have to be religious to say it’s wrong to steal money. Just because many (but not all) pro-lifers are motivated by religious beliefs does not make abortion a religious issue. Remember, the civil rights movement was often led by pastors and headquartered in churches, but that didn’t make civil rights a religious issue.

To say that abortion should be off limits to the law because many pro-life people are religious, is as illogical as saying we should do away with laws against theft because one of the Ten Commandments is, "Thou shalt not steal." If we are going to start rejecting laws simply because they are supported by religion, given that there is hardly anything illegal which is not also prohibited by Scripture, then we will have to do away with all of our laws.

See also: