by FJ Rocca 8/28/15
The euphemism chosen by promoters of abortion is “Pro Choice” implies the rational decision of one action over another. It does not consider the quality of the thing about which the choice is being made. The act of choice is essentially neutral. It is only a matter of right and wrong when the specifics are made clear. In the case of abortion, the “choice” is death over life.
Actually there is no choice in the Pro Choice argument. The Pro means for and the Choice means abortion. No one argues for the choice of not aborting. The argument is that women should have the option of aborting. There is no choice being argued in the opposite direction. That choice doesn’t need to be made.
Pro Life advocates are more specific about the term they choose to describe their position. They support life—specifically the life in the womb. While Pro Choice advocates declare that the choice is the exclusive right of the mother (hence, abortion on demand, a common phrase used to describe the Pro Choice position) Pro Life advocates declare that the mother is not the arbiter of the life in her womb, because it is a person who has a right to life.
So what are the main considerations in choosing to abort? Is the mother the rightful arbitrator of whether to end the life in her womb? Make no mistake, whether one considers a fetus “tissue” or a baby, it is indisputably alive. People take life all the time. Swatting a fly takes life. Killing cattle for food takes life. In war, killing the enemy is taking life. All of these are thought by the majority of people to be valid in one way or another, notwithstanding arguments to the contrary.
People also kill other people under circumstances that are almost universally considered evil. Murder is evil, unquestionably. That’s why it is necessary to prove a murder case beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. There are legal definitions for murder in different degrees, for manslaughter, and for justifiable homicide, as well. In every definition there is specific reference to the victim of the crime. Without consideration of the victim, there would be no crime.
In 1973, the Supreme Court held that abortion was legally the choice of every woman, regardless of her reasons for wanting to have an abortion. Specifically, the Court said that the only balancing argument was whether the abortion took place before or after the fetus had achieved “viability,” i.e., whether the fetus could live outside the womb. The Supreme Court based that decision upon a right of privacy they assumed was in the Constitution, even though no such right is spelled out or even hinted at.
I am not a lawyer, thus, I am unbound by complex and tortuous technicalities in the law. I believe that legal technicalities, however impressive they may sound to the layman’s ear, often do nothing more than cloud pure human reason. But I am aware enough of what is so simply said in those documents from which all laws in the United States are drawn and upon which they are fundamentally based: the Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, and its amendments in the Bill of Rights are among the least ambiguous and most openly clear documents ever written.
The Declaration of Independence, the first of these documents, states clearly that every human being is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable human rights. By use of the term “Creator,” it is implicit that we possess those rights are most certainly not conferred upon us by any government. Governments do not create human beings, and because the specific identity of our Creator is not enumerated, whether we are created by God or Nature or some other as yet unidentified force, those inalienable rights are conferred upon us at the moment of creation.
That moment cannot be at birth, because what we have become as human beings by the time of birth has already taken place in the womb. No person can be “created” nine months after conception, because conception is the actual beginning of the creative process. Moreover, the right of privacy, upon which the Supreme Court based its decision, can only be enjoyed by an already created being. If the mother possesses that right of privacy, does the child in her womb not also enjoy it?
One might argue that it is sometimes necessary to take human life. But the reasons must be strong. For example, in cases of capital punishment, it is usually required by law that a capital case against a defendant be proven beyond any reasonable doubt. In case of war, it is always necessary obtain Congressional approval.
No steely reasoning is necessary for abortion. Indeed, the main argument is whether the mother demands it. Whether the fetus is a person or merely tissue is secondary to the mother’s will. In fact, this secondary consideration is moot in its premise by the very nature of the term “Creator” in the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps in cases where the child is severely handicapped or will suffer if brought to term, or in cases when the life of the mother is threatened and a choice must be made whether to save the mother or the child, there may be a legitimate argument for abortion.
But even in such cases, rights of the unborn child must still be considered. To declare the arbitrary right to abort an already created human being, without just cause, even by that being’s parent, is absurd and goes contrary to all decent human conscience. Before any life is taken, including the life of a child in the womb, a case ought to be made that it is not merely desirable, but necessary.
That abortion is abhorrent is easily demonstrated by the number of its proponents who say exactly that. Many women have said that they would personally never have an abortion, but that they support the right of other women to have one. This approaches the level of contradiction if you ask why these women would not choose to have an abortion, because the answer is almost inevitably that it is a matter of conscience. Then, if it is a matter of conscience, and one chooses not to have an abortion, the only logical conclusion is that abortion is wrong.
The life of the child in the womb is nor the property of the parents. No one owns another person, not even his parents. The mother and father may take part in the act which leads to conception, but they do not actually “create” the baby that develops in the womb. In fact, the parents merely supply the physical means that lead to conception, i.e., an egg and sperm. And because they are not the Creators of that life, they do not possess proprietary rights to its use and disposal. And whether one believes in God or not, no human being can create life. It takes a force greater than human force to do that.
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. • (965 views)