by FJ Rocca 8/25/15
Since Roe v. Wade took effect in 1973, almost 56 million abortions have been performed. The US population, at present, is approximately 319 million. In four decades, approximately one-fifth of the American population has been legally exterminated. The excuses given for abortion vary. In some cases, the life in the womb may be hopelessly compromised by deformity or other physical condition diagnosed pre-birth. This makes abortion a form of mercy killing.
In other cases, it isn’t about physical mercy or the future child’s well-being, but about certain social condition under which that child might live. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood’s predecessor and the progenitor of eugenics and social engineering, favored abortion in cases where the child would suffer the social ills of poverty or of coming from a low ethnic caste. She considered large families a blight on society and advocated the wholesale extermination of any ethnic group she considered undesirable to the rest of humanity. Among these were people with black skin whom she said would pollute the gene pool. She even addressed and supported the KKK in their desire for black genocide. Make no mistake about it. Margaret Sanger’s intentions were thoroughly racist and in her goal of exterminating those she considered undesirable, she succeeded by frightening numbers, considering that, of the 56 million abortions performed since 1973, approximately 16 million were black. Even Hitler could not outdo Margaret Sanger. He killed only 9 million. Margaret Sanger openly admired Hitler whose excuse for extermination was racial purification. She considered abortion of black children a mission to save society, a kind of mercy killing that was more a mercy to society than to the lives taken.
Today, eugenics is called “social engineering” and is widely practiced. But unlike Margaret Sanger, whose mission was aimed at saving all of humanity, since Roe v. Wade, we have seen and heard reasons for abortion that are based almost exclusively on the choice of the woman who wants to end her pregnancy. Much less than the excuse of saving society, she need not even give a reason for aborting. But it still boils down to whether the woman feels better about killing the life growing in her womb than she does about carrying it to term. This too is a form of “mercy” killing, but without the slightest excuse that it is for the benefit of the child. It is killing exclusively for the mother’s comfort.
In survey after survey, when asked whether they favor abortion, women have said that they do not favor it for themselves but that they favor some other woman’s right to choose whether or not to abort. This is invalid reasoning. If one favors the right of someone—anyone—to choose the death of another, one favors that death as much as the person who is doing the choosing. There is no moral sliding scale here.
As to the argument that the fetus is nothing more than a glob of tissue, then why is it necessary to have a procedure in which its life is ended by stopping its heart or vital processes? And even if one perceives that the fetus is only tissue, what kind of tissue is it, a tree, a fish, a rare bird? No, a human fetus is destined to become a functioning human being.
The process begins with conception, derived from the Latin root “concepiere” and “conceptus” meaning to take in and hold, as in an egg which takes and holds the sperm. This indicates clearly that the whole understanding of conception is for the sperm and egg to join and “conceive” a life which will gestate and become a person. Regardless of terms bantered about in forensic debate, there is no denying that what is inside the womb during the gestation period for all mammals is a life. Therefore, whether it is tissue or more than tissue, it is human tissue which is unquestionably alive.
Women will often speak angrily of arguments against abortion. These arguments always center upon the rights of the mother and always presume that the life within the womb belongs to that mother to use and dispose of as she wishes. Notice the term “mother” is always used, causing one to ask further, can a woman be mother to mere tissue? The question is rarely asked, however, in regard to abortion, whether someone possesses the right to decide the fate of another person, someone outside that woman’s womb.
Indeed, except in rare circumstances outlined by law, no one possesses that right, not even if it makes her feel better. She cannot decide, for instance, whether the rapist who made her pregnant must die. She may wish it and she may file charges against him and hope he dies. But she has no legal right to determine his fate, regardless of how ugly a crime rape admittedly is. Even a murder victim’s family does not have the right to determine the fate of the murderer. That must be determined by a court of law, in a tortuous series of legal procedures. Why then, is the life within her womb not also entitled to a judicial hearing and due process? After all, the fetus–the child she carries–is far more innocent that someone who has committed a crime. It would seem that the question is worth at the very least a national discussion.
Some say it is different if the person has conceived the life she intends to take. But it takes two people to conceive a child. The mother cannot do it alone. The egg captures the sperm, remember? So, does the woman have more right than the man over the disposition of the life conceived by both of them? After all, the physical contribution of the egg represents only half the process. Moretover, although it is undeniable that the parents are responsible for the physical contribution of egg and sperm, they cannot make the magic that gives life itself, the act of creation. If indeed the biological parents had the right to dispose of that life, then the man would have as much right to make the decision to abort as the woman. Why could he not demand that the life be destroyed within the woman’s belly even if she objected? The logic of such a proposition is absurd. Whether or not one believes in God, there is no denying that the process by which life itself is created takes place out of the realm of human will. Scientists throughout the ages have tried do emulate the process of creating life, and always done so with zero success.
The abortion argument is often framed in the context of reproductive rights. Indeed, people do possess the right to perform the act that results in pregnancy. But that is where the definition of the term ends. The right to reproduce does not exist after conception. It can only exist before conception, because conception is the act that starts human reproduction. The decision to exercise reproductive rights is the decision whether or not to have sex. All people can do to control whether or not conception occurs is to avoid it by methods that keep the egg from capturing the sperm. In cases of rape, it is regrettable that the woman is prevented from exercising her will in the matter, but the physical reality remains the same. Once that union occurs, nature takes its course and conception does or does not occur at the will of God or nature.
One could reason that, regardless of the tortuous nature of legal interpretation, by the Supreme Court or anybody else, the legality of Roe v. Wade flies in the face of our fundamental laws, the Founding Documents, from which all other American laws proceed. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s stretch at interpreting a right of privacy that makes abortion acceptable, an interpretation with which many Constitutional scholars disagree, The Declaration of Independence states without question or confusion that we are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right of life. That creator is not specifically defined, leaving it to individual interpretation. It could be God or nature, but that doesn’t matter. If human rights are endowed by their creator, they are endowed at the moment of creation.
It can in no way be interpreted that the Declaration recognizes the Creator as either the man or the woman who committed the act that led to conception. They are merely the agents who provide the physical means of conception. Creation itself, the endowing of life, is not the work of the parents, thus they do not have a right to use and disposal of that life.
Women argue their right to abort saying that the fetus is a part of the mother’s body. Actually, it isn’t anatomically a part of her physical self. It is a separate, self-contained entity thriving in the amniotic sack separate from, but within, her body. Far from having a right to destroy a life they are merely agents in creating, parents have the distinct obligation to nurture and protect that life from all harm, including killing it and removing it from its mother’s belly. In fact, in many states, if a pregnant woman is murdered, the murderer must face charges for the murder of the child, as well. It is time for us to clean up our laws in regard to abortion so that they are consistent with human reason and with humanity itself. Whether one considers it tissue or a baby, that it is life is undeniable, and it is life that no one has the right to take without just cause.
FJ Rocca was born the day after Pearl Harbor in the same hometown as Johnny Appleseed. He is a trained classical musician, a published illustrator and a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction. His website is candiddiscourse.com. • (971 views)