Should There Be Rights to Abortions?

A brief essay by Joe Boudreault October 2006

    Think about what an abortion is: the ending of a pregnancy before the fetus is able to survive outside the womb. While inside the womb, the fetus depends completely for its survival on the biological systems of its mother. A fetus is a baby, the beginnings of a brand new human being. There are cases where a premature baby (born before it fully develops inside the womb) has survived, and some premature babies have been sustained outside the womb until they can fend for themselves. But to deliberately end the life of the fetus is what abortion is all about. It is done to a perfectly healthy baby and its objective is to terminate that life.

Since the unborn fetus is dependent on the mother for life, it is considered to be a part of the mother’s body. This reasoning is used in most abortions when the mother claims that she has the right to “do as she wishes with her body”. But that claim is shallower than a soap bubble. While a heart is simply an organ (which can be transplanted), and a hand is an appendage (which can be repaired), and muscle is a component of a limb (which can be replenished), the same cannot be said of a fetus in a womb (which is just another organ). A fetus (remember, it’s a baby) has virtually all of the components or organs to become a complete normal human being. It is a human being in every sense, and it lacks only mental and physical maturity. Transplant a heart (or any other organ) and the recipient is still the same person. Heal an injured hand or rejuvenate a tired muscle and the person does not lose identity or character. But destroy a fetus and you destroy a life. Abortion is murder, plain and simple.

I smile at the roadside billboard that says “Aren’t you glad that your mother didn’t have an abortion?” The mother who chooses to abort her unborn baby usually does it for one or more reasons: convenience, apathy toward the fetus, fear of responsibility, loathing (if it’s the result of rape or incest), a threat by the spouse or partner, and even shame toward the pregnancy. But the reasons are personal and usually selfish. I am not talking about the rare necessary of medical abortion to protect the mother’s well-being. Whatever the reason, the baby’s right to life is usurped. I defy any mother who aborts to honestly say that it was never followed by high guilt.

God, the creator of us all, has declared that every life is precious from the moment of conception. “I have wove you in your mother’s womb” said the psalmist (Ps. 139:13 ). To allow abortions simply because the mother demands it is to devalue the human who is murdered. Another bothersome body part to be rid of, like a tumor? It is the thin edge of general euthanasia. Dice, slice and purge the fetus and drug, poison and unplug the elderly. Just like that. But watch out: become too much of a hindrance to society, and you will be next.

Having been made in His image and likeness is grounds enough to hold the extreme preciousness of a human life. If we begin to draw a line where that life actually begins, we consequently draw a line where the value and worth of a life begins. That is, we draw a moral line on where our conception of a human life is worth anything special, and ignore God’s proclamation of that worth. I became me at the moment of my conception, not at the moment of my exit from the womb. I stop being me (in the physical sense) the moment I die, and not before that. Abortion is a form of murder and murder is unlawful killing. Abortion is also a clear form of euthanasia; it merely occurs at the beginning of life’s cycle, rather than at the end.