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There are a lot of people out there who have had abortions and now regret it. It’s a tragedy what has happened to you, and the fact is that now you have a chance to do something new and something better. And the first step toward something new and something better is to recognize what it is that you’ve lost so that we can all grieve with you.
The process of human life begins at conception, with a new creature created with its own genetics, its own blood type, its own body.
Professor Hymie Gordon at the Mayo Clinic says that, “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” Professor Micheline Mathews-Roth of Harvard Medical School agrees: “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual life begins at conception.”
Unborn human beings have their own forming nervous systems by the third week, before most women even realize they’re pregnant; their own developing eyes, legs, and hands by the fifth week; their own fingerprints by the eighth week.
Human life changes over time. Brain development changes over time. But that does not mean a child is less human than an adult, or a person with Down syndrome is less human than a person without that condition. To pretend that these human lives are somehow simple clusters of cells or balls of meat is to deny scientific reality.
Since the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that the Constitution of the United States invalidated virtually all serious state restrictions on abortion, nearly 60 million children have been aborted in the United States. America easily averages over 1 million abortions per year — a far cry from the less than 200,000 per year reported prior to Roe v. Wade. While the oft-cited figure that one in three American women will have an abortion is certainly an exaggeration, a significant portion of American women will indeed procure abortions.
These women will disproportionately be members of minority groups. According to the CDC, black women are five times more likely than white women to have abortions, and Latino women are twice as likely. In New York City, a child conceived by a black mother has a higher chance of being aborted than being born.
The most honest abortion advocates will simply say that an unborn child is, in fact, an unborn child, and that the unborn child’s interest in life doesn’t outweigh the mother’s preference. But most abortion advocates aren’t so honest. Instead, they participate in the blatantly anti-scientific lie that a fetus is not a human life.
How about feeling pain? There are fully grown human beings with genetic conditions preventing them from feeling pain. Are they not human?
How about viability? Many people live thanks to dependence on machines. Are they no longer human?
How about life beginning at implantation? Well, that would suggest that babies fertilized outside the womb are not life, and that even if we developed artificial wombs, they would not be lives.
How about brain activity and sentience? We each go to sleep every night. Would it be acceptable to murder us in our sleep? Would we be no longer human?
There’s only one logical line to draw when it comes to human life: conception.
Even Peter Singer — the moral relativist philosophy professor at Princeton University — acknowledges that “if preservation of human life is your standard, you ought to want life protected from conception.” Singer just says that his standard for human life worth preserving isn’t met by unborn human beings — or by newborn babies, which is why he’s not opposed morally to infanticide. Points for consistency.
When it comes to the necessity for abortion, the Left usually attempts to shift the discussion from elective abortion to cases of medical necessity or to cases of rape and incest. As early as 1987, the Alan Guttmacher Institute asked women about their reasons for abortion, and only 1% of the 1,900 women surveyed suggested rape or incest. And 95% of those who mentioned rape or incest named additional reasons for deciding to abort.
As Tamar Lewin reported at the time, “in a separate 1979 analysis, when federally financed abortions were available in cases of rape or incest, or when the pregnancy threatened the woman’s life or physical health, a total of 3,675 women had abortions paid for by federal money. But the institute said that it knew which category qualified only 2,444 of the women, and of these, 72 were eligible because of rape or incest.
The Guttmacher Institute statistic is still used as the baseline for future estimates, although the numbers are likely much lower now than 1%. Politifact, for instance, says there may have been just 7,165 pregnancies from rape in 2010 in the United States. And that doesn’t say how many of those pregnancies actually resulted in abortion. Each year, there are 1 million abortions in the United States.
How about abortion due to medical necessity? That is extraordinarily rare, even in cases of preeclampsia or toxemia in late-stage pregnancy, C-sections are often the best medical solution.
There’s a difference, too, between taking actions to save the life of the mother that result in the death of the unborn child and aborting a child for medical necessity.
Now, you can still argue honestly that fetal life shouldn’t outweigh maternal life, but you can’t argue that a baby in the womb is not a baby in the womb; that life is not life; and that terminating life isn’t killing.
Does a biological mother owe any duty to the life growing inside her?
This is a philosophical question very different from the one posed by pro-choice advocates who simply claim that unborn life should be treated as an invader.
The termination of a human life in the womb — that is what an abortion is.
Abortion is a tragedy. It’s a tragedy for mothers, it’s a tragedy for fathers. Most of all, it’s a tragedy for the unborn hearts stilled. A tragedy for a world that will never see the light of lives snuffed out in the womb, and a tragedy for a society that cheers abortion as somehow making it morally advanced.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.