Arguments for abortion get repeated all the time. They roll off the tongue without any thought. Before you stand up and speak up, let’s think about it. And then let’s talk about it.
OTHERS SAY: If the preborn child is a just a part of her mother’s body (like an organ) or growing on her mother’s body (like a tumor), this rhetoric might make sense. However, the reality is that from the moment of fertilization, the child in the womb possesses her own individual, complex genetic makeup, separate from her mother’s DNA. A preborn child is definitely not a part of the mother’s body – she is her own self, with her own body.
OTHERS SAY: Simple tissue does not have a beating heart, brain waves, fingerprints, or unique DNA. Medical science shows that human life begins at fertilization. “The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”1 After fertilization, nothing new is added to the person except oxygen, nutrition, and time.
OTHERS SAY: Having an abortion to end a person’s life, rather than bringing a child into a diff icult family situation is strange logic. We have not (yet) legalized killing toddlers living in unhealthy environments. Instead, we try to help these children and their families. Many organizations offer help for expecting mothers. Moreover, for each child who is adopted, approximately 36 couples are waiting, hoping and praying for a chance to adopt.
OTHERS SAY: Abortion for fetal deformities is discrimination against disabled people. This can lead to eugenics or working to remove unwanted traits from society by preventing the reproduction of those deemed weak or unf it. Studies show that for prenatal Down Syndrome diagnosis, 84% to 91% of those babies will be aborted.2,3,4,5 This happens despite waiting lists of people wanting to adopt special needs children.
OTHERS SAY: What if our forefathers said they were “personally opposed to slavery” but never stood up against it? African Americans might never have been recognized as persons deserving freedom and respect. Should children in the womb be slaves to the life and death decisions of others?
OTHERS SAY: If it’s all about “women’s rights,” why do 64% of women report feeling coerced or forced into their abortions?6 Another study shows homicide as the leading cause of death among pregnant women.7 Additionally, over 100 million girls in this world were never born due to sex-selective abortions.8,9 We have come too far to reduce a woman’s “right” to mean the right to kill her own child. Shouldn’t we protect the rights of ALL women, including girls in the womb?
OTHERS SAY: If a child in the womb is a developing human being, should another person really have the right to “kill” her? Abortion is a violent act (see abortion methods). Does a pregnant woman have the right to dismember a child inside her body? Is it okay for a doctor to suck the baby out of the womb with a machine? Society shouldn’t encourage anyone to engage in this type of extreme violence.
“The solution [to a crisis pregnancy] is not to kill the innocent baby but to deal with the mother’s values and her attitudes toward life.”
– Rev. Jesse Jackson
1 Sadler, T.W, Langman, Jan. Langman’s Medical Embryology; Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1995. Edition: English: 7th ed., international ed. Print. | 2 Mansfield, Caroline, Hopfer, Suellen, Marteau, Theresa M. “Termination rates after prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, spina bifida, anencephaly, and Turner and Klinefelter syndromes: a systematic literature review,” Article first published online: 22 SEP 1999 DOI. | 3 Carnevale, Alessandra, Rubén Lisker, Antonio R. Villa, and Salvador Armendares. “Attitudes of Mexican Geneticists towards Prenatal Diagnosis and Selective Abortion.” American Journal of Medical Genetics Am. J. Med. Genet. 75.4 (1998): 426-31. Web. | 4 “Prenatal diagnosis of the fragile X syndrome: loss of mutation owing to a double recombinant or gene conversion event at the FMR1 locus”, Journal of Medical Genetics Volume 34(11) November 1997 pp 924-926. | 5 “Is there ever a moral duty to use prenatal diagnosis and selective abortion?”, Gene Letter, The. Volume 2, Issue 1, August 1997. Web. | 6 Rue, Vincent M., Coleman, Priscilla K., Rue, James J., Reardon, David C. “Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women” Med Sci Monit 2004; 10(10): SR5-16 PMID: 11784. Print. | 7 Samandari, G., S. L. Martin, and S. Schiro. “Homicide Among Pregnant and Postpartum Women in the United States: A Review of the Literature.” Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 11.1 (2010): 42-54. Print. | 8 “The War on Baby Girls, Gendercide.” The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 06 Mar. 2010. Web. | 9 Roberts, Sam. “U.S. Births Hint at Bias for Boys in Some Asians.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 14 June 2009. Web.