I have written about abortion in a number of articles. I felt it was time to write an article about the topic.
Articles in which I refer to abortion: Ethics | Illegal | Liberal Utopia | Relativism | Moral Teaching | Tolerance | Return to Catholicism | What I Believe | How Are We Saved? | Statement of Faith | The Problem with God | Isaiah | Acts
One argument given by those who favor abortion is that until born, a person doesn't qualify for legal or other rights given to the other members of society. (But why is it considered murder if someone violently kills an unborn baby? There is a contradiction here.) Some even think it's not abortion until the embryo has implanted in the uterus.
Why should those who are opposed to abortion think it should be illegal for those who think otherwise?
Overpopulation will someday result in starvation for billions. Isn't it better to restrict population now, especially by only having children when you can afford to take care of them well? I am sympathetic to this argument but contraception and abstinence should be used for this purpose, not abortion.
Let's consider other things that could be legislated against for the good of all.
This raises the question of whether legislating morality is the proper role for laws. While I would love to live in a place where everybody is a Saint, I doubt that laws could ever create this kind of world. In fact, in the early church, increasing the control of Christians at large by the church leaders resulted in a less lively faith life for the average Christian.
One argument for abortion being legal is that it protects the safety of women who would get "back alley" abortions otherwise. Of course, there were far fewer of these than current abortions, so if the goal is to protect the largest number of pre-born children, having abortion be illegal is more effective. But is it even right to allow one kind of abortion (legal) to protect people from a more dangerous kind ("back alley")?
The Catholic Church considers making abortion illegal one of the top few issues that trump all other issues. It is hard to take them seriously when they can't even get rid of the pedophile priests — it seems a little disingenuous to take the moral high-ground for one thing but not the other. Also, they can't even enforce that Catholic leaders believe and practice Catholic teaching. How can they involve themselves with external affairs when they can't even address their internal problems? Or to put it another way; what right do they have to do this?
Our society finds some of these acceptable but others unacceptable. How does it decide which category? By sheer madness, certainly not by using the powers of reason. If "the people" want something bad enough than it's OK to do anything to get it. If just one person here and there wants it — well, that not a good enough reason.
Certainly there are times when killing fellow humans seems justified. Some examples:
Catholic just-war doctrine requires that an enemy actually attack you before you retaliate. This seems wrong. If they are mobilizing their troops to attack you, you should be able to attack them before they are at full strength.
Will those who have abortions go to hell because of it? Or will the fact they had promiscuous sex cause them to go to hell whether they have an abortion or not? What about those who don't believe in hell — is it wrong to discuss such topics with them?
I find it odd that people who are so controlling of Christians regarding their public religious expression are so libertarian in their views of abortion. Rather than emphasize education and responsible behavior for those having sex, they allow for millions of abortionsa year with no education provided. Why do they allow freedom for all regarding sex but repress the faith of Christians? It doesn't make any sense — there must be a spiritual component.
Why do proponents of abortion allow for abortions that cause pain and suffering to the aborted fetus? (After 7 weeks, the fetus can feel pain.)If these required that abortions be pain free for the aborted fetuses it would be easier for some to go along with legalized abortion, but this is never mentioned as a consideration. Apparently, a pregnant woman can inflict pain on her unborn child for any cause if she wishes. This is madness! But as soon as the child is born such treatment would result in the child being taken away from the mother and legal charges against the mother.
I find it odd that some of the fundamentalist, Bible-thumping Christians who are so radical in their opposition to abortion think nothing of devouring huge amounts of meat in which the slaughtered animals experience severe distress and pain. Why is human suffering so special? If we are opposed to inflicting pain and suffering on others, surely we would be vegetarians — or at least we would care for the animal's well being and spare no expense to minimize the effects of our preference for eating meat.
It seems to me that doctors are making a lot of money performing abortions. It appears to be a conflict of interest, a self-serving profession. Kind of like when politicians create government jobs to use as payback for those who elected them.
Certainly having an abortion is not a normal, happy-path choice, rather, it is done to correct a mistake. Is it right to use one bad decision, one bad choice, to correct a previous bad choice?
I suppose you could say that having so many unjust wars in which we send so many soldiers to kill our so-called enemies has set the stage for the abortion mentality. If it's OK to kill someone for every unjust whim of the government then certainly it is not so bad to abort an unborn fetus.
In my view, abortion should be allowed when both the following are true...
This does not imply that abortion is morally justified; only that a woman who claims to have been victimized has the right to choose.
In these cases of allowed abortion, the woman should be provided educational materials about the various moral, medical, and psychological issues involved. It is reprehensible that the abortion industry provides one-sided information implying that abortion has no side-effects.
Abortion should never be required.People should be educated to know how to avoid unwanted pregnancies. People should not have unprotected sex unless they have the means and willingness to raise and nurture the child that might result.
Young people should be educated to know that having unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy (as well as disease). Why do people think having irresponsible sex is acceptable behavior? If someone kills someone while driving drunk, we call it manslaughter and put them in prison. But if someone gets pregnant then aborts the baby we think nothing of it and call it "choice." This is madness!
People promoting abortion never seem to think it is even important in the least to educate people to have responsible sex. It's as if having irresponsible sex is a human right. Weird.
Those promoting legal abortion often claim it is needed in cases of rape or for the mother's health, but these situations are a small minority of abortions. This argument is a red herring. If abortion were only legal for these situations there would not be such an intense public outcry against it. I personally think abortion should be legal in cases of rape as long as you didn't have to prove it was really rape.
Accurate information about abortions and fetal development should be mandatory for everyone. It is reprehensible that those promoting abortion provide bad and misleading information. Why shouldn't a woman considering an abortion know about the possible bad physical and psychological effects, and the risk of it affecting her chances of having a healthy baby in the future? I suppose you could say that with the internet, anyone can do the research themselves so why should society force them to learn something?
My conclusion is that abortion would not be necessary if people were having sex responsibly. But sadly, people have been trained by our culture (TV, movies, books, internet, school, peers) to think that sex is a right and that there are no responsibilities that go along with it. In a word, society is depraved.
Our society is caught up with pleasure seeking through materialism, entertainment, and sex. People are all-too-happy to allow themselves to be exploited by others from shallow, promiscuous relationships and from materialistic salesmanship and marketing. The government is all-too-happy to kill our fellow humans in unjust wars and tribal wars, and society at-large is quite at home killing others via abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic research and cloning.
We don't think twice about harming and killing animals for food, for fur, hooves, and who knows what else with no sense of the sacredness of fellow creatures. If we must eat them, shouldn't we at least thank them first and try to slaughter them in the most distress-free manner possible?
What good will it do to fight to make abortion illegal? It would be like trying to get the Church of Christendom to stop burning heretics at the stake. We must first change people's hearts and souls. As they become immersed in God's love they will naturally stop having abortions.
All I can hope to do is encourage people to think about what they are doing — perhaps a few will have a spiritual conversion.