Arguments on abortion are a dime a dozen and they’re all basically the same wrapped up in different paper. My takes are probably no more exciting than the rest but recently, I’ve heard the following argument made about abortion. If the doctors are going to kill unborn babies, then why can’t we kill them, the argument being that a fetus is a person, even before having exited the womb and killing a person is murder, which is illegal in both the bible and the law of the United States so killing the fetus is committing murder. I concede, but so is killing the doctor. This claim was so outlandish and foolish that I felt the need to settle a few quafs I have with it.
My ideas on abortion are very split. Morally, the killing of an unborn child is not easily dismissed but in the eyes of the law there are a few things we cannot ignore. First, the law is absolute. So, in the case of abortion we cannot say we’ll allow abortions in some instances but not in others. It is allowed in every case or in none at all. So, let’s think about this. If we allow abortion in all cases we’re allowing an excuse for people who do not want to take responsibility for their actions or in some extreme cases, a form of post-birth control. If we never allow abortion, we deny it to everyone, no matter what their circumstances or needs. So, the woman who is raped, the girl who is molested by her father and the twelve year old girl who gets pregnant should all be forced to have these children which may bring about more detriment to their lives than has already been caused. So, for even one girl/woman who really deserves the choice, it must then be left open for all, regardless of how we may feel morally.
In addition, the Constitution lacks the words, “A woman has a right to an abortion”. Many people choose to ignore that fact. Abortion is not a right, but the denial of one that meets the qualifications set out in Roe v. Wade is illegal. In the law of the United States, a fetus can be aborted up to the end of the first trimester and after that only in rare circumstances. This is based on what we now call a “right to privacy” which again, is found nowhere in the constitution but is thought to consist of several parts of the constitution (penumbras). This idea of privacy does not say that it is alright to kill a human life. It allows for a woman’s right to choose based on the privacy she has over her own body. According to the Bible however, an abortion at any stage is illegal except if the life of the mother is threatened. Nowhere does the Bible say however that they condone the killing of abortionists, or the doctors who perform these procedures.
A few things we must keep in mind to keep our heads clear while thinking about such a personal and moral topic:
The Bible is now over 2,000 years old and forwarded some ideas that now we might find immoral (slavery, stoning to death of women who have affairs, etc.)
Law and morality are separate. While they are often intertwined, they cannot be thought of as one in the same.
Many children who are born to homes that do not want them end up brutally beaten, tortured and soemtimes even killed.
Abortion is not the only choice out there for women and education into some of these other options may help.
Why killing doctors is not the answer? “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.” Murder does not justify murder especially by religious standpoints. I think we have to bring ourselves to a balanced place, see that abortion where it is a moral dilemma is a give me in the law. You have to allow abortion because of the properties of the law and because there is no absolute way to rule out abortions in every case, everywhere.