At the Edge of Life

“It is difficult enough to adjudicate the ethical, medical, and moral ramifications of abortion without adding intrinsically chaotic politics into the mix of the abortion controversy.”


The quote above is from a full article I wrote in August 27, 2019 and which is included on my website (August 27, 2019). That article’s title is simply, Abortion. Because of the intense emotions associated with abortion, I wrote that article as objectively and sensitively as I could. But, of course, when emotions are at their peak, one person’s sensitivity is another’s insensitivity and objectivity is perceived as indifference at best. 

Given the intellectual limitations of slogans on placards or one-line chants, however clever or effective they may be, ignite animosity. That, in turn, dismisses any chance for reason. In its place there are street fights, the most dangerous form of combat (apart from war) and which often causes permanent physical damage. It disturbs me to see sub-human thugs kick a human being’s head while he is down on the ground, conscious or not conscious…I thought that went out with Attila the Hun. 

But here, I want to express an objection I have to the icon slogan in favor of abortion on demand. In addition to the slogan being simplistic, it is inhumane. 

In one way or another, the iconic slogan proclaiming that abortion should be done on a woman’s demand because it is her body which is involved, is not quite honest.  Consider the following:

My sister and her husband decided not to have children because my sister’s legs were paralyzed by polio. She was taking a pill to avoid pregnancy. One day, she called me because despite her need to avoid having a child, she was crying because she had a miscarriage. For different reasons, women have miscarriages. That is not the same as deliberately aborting a child, let alone doing so moments before the child is born. 

Rowe/Waide provided a compromise for that dilemma. Natural miscarriages happen for various reasons. Choice is not involved and therefore morality is irrelevant, apart from religious judgments. But, after the first trimester, abortion becomes a moral issue. And the word ‘abortion’ itself becomes a euphemism for killing an unborn child who also has a body with just a few parts to be completed. Of course I don’t believe that a woman should be legally restricted or punished by law for safely aborting a child for whatever reason, especially if the woman does not want the child. As grim as it may be, a child who its mother does not want is better off not being born.

I don’t know to what extent an unborn child feels pain (if any) when its head is bashed, but however painful an abortion may be to an unborn child (especially in earlier trimesters), abortions can’t be worse than living the first decade or so of its life without the care and love of its mother, an experience which almost certainly will affect the child negatively throughout its lifetime.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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