Editorial: Abortion is legalized homicide

A heated debate has been waging for decades. One side says we have legalized the mass murder of innocent children. The other claims that this act is justified as a right to one’s own body. The latter statement is true: of course women should have complete body autonomy. Abortion is completely justified if it can be proved that the fetus is not a distinctive human life. Abortion is murder.

Murder is the deliberate killing of an innocent human life. So for abortion to be murder, the unborn child must be a distinctive human life. Contrary to popular belief the abortion issue is not about women’s rights. It is about the unborn’s right to life.

So is the unborn alive? Absolutely. It’s not even debatable. The science of embryology states that a human life starts at conception. This means that from the moment of conception the unborn child is a distinct human life with its own unique DNA. This is a scientific fact; undeniable. This is as accepted as gravity within the scientific community. An unborn child is not part of the woman’s body. Yes, it is connected to the mother, and yes, it is dependent on the mother but it is not an extension of her.

We use the pronoun “it” only because the English language fails to provide a pronoun which could encompass either sex, not because we subconsciously see the unborn as inhuman.

Because the unborn are unarguably alive, then the killing of said human babies is murder. The debate then shifts to the value of these unborn babies. This argument is ludicrously dangerous. When we start taking away the basic rights of another human, in this case, the right to life, based on their value to us, it’s called discrimination. So when we systematically treat developing human babies as “clumps of tissue” and prematurely end their lives, we create a civil rights issue. Abortion is a civil rights issue. The right in question is the most basic of rights, the right to life. For once, the Republicans are leading a civil rights debate.

There are only four differences between a fetus and a fully developed adult. We’ll make it easy. They spell SLED. They are size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency. Let’s start at the beginning. We can’t diminish one’s right to life based on size for obvious reasons. Simply because one person is larger than another, they do not have a greater right to life.

Level of development is a tad trickier yet just as irrational. Humans continue to develop for about two decades after birth. A seven-year-old girl is incapable of bearing children. Does this give less of a right to life than a thirty-year-old woman? Of course not. That’s ridiculous yet we somehow find it easy to apply this logic to a developing fetus.

The environment makes no difference to one’s right to life either. Especially when abortion is only legal during the first trimester of a pregnancy. There is no change is environment between the point when it is acceptable to kill a child and when it isn’t. Even if abortion was legal throughout the entire pregnancy how would a journey six inches down the birth canal make the baby suddenly human and valuable?

Many argue that the babies’ dependency on the mother means it doesn’t have the same claim to a right to life as other human beings. However, this same logic could just as easily be applied to diabetics who rely on insulin or a senior citizen who relies on a pacemaker or any of the other millions of people who rely on various medications in order to live their life. Their dependencies do not make them less valuable humans and certainly do not alter their right to life.

Basically, the unborn’s right to life cannot be infringed upon for any reason. Even on a constitutional ground. They are living human beings and, therefore, have all the rights granted to them in the constitution which does not discriminate on any basis, as we have proven many times over the last century.

The abortion argument becomes particularly heated when rape is brought into the equation. No one wants to devalue the horrors or evil of rape. The fact that people could act in such a way as to force themselves on another person is despicable, to say the least. However, as horrific as rape is, abortion is still murder, and hardship does not excuse homicide. Unfortunately, as cold is it may sound, a second evil cannot undo the first.

There is also the occasion where the pregnancy is a threat to the life of the mother. We often get ahead of ourselves when we claim these operations are abortions. An abortion has the intent of killing the fetus. The operations performed in these cases have the intent to save the life of the mother with the foreseeable yet unintended outcome that the child dies. The “abortion” is the lesser of two evils in the depressing situation.

An unborn child is absolutely a human life and deserves all the rights granted to every other human life including the right to life. These realities can be hard to face but once it is accepted that the unborn are in fact human lives and not just simply clumps of cells no excuse can justify the murder. If the excuse cannot be used to justify the murder of a toddler, then it cannot be used to justify an abortion.


Addendum & Statement of Principle

The aforementioned argument has merit; there is significant evidence that life begins at conception, and thus that terminating a life constitutes killing a living person. However, the inconsistency in the conservative argument on this issue comes after the baby is born. 

Many if not most abortions come out of dire circumstances -- for example, the mother feels she will not be able to take care of her child. Unfortunately, conservatives have articulated a belief that the baby's rights essentially end once he or she comes out of the womb; not only is it the mother's responsibility to deliver the child, but also to provide for it without assistance from the government.

No one is a greater proponent of personal responsibility than myself, but to simply state that when a child is conceived in less than desirable circumstances (rape or not), the mother is responsible for delivering and providing for her child is a shaky argument that justifies many of the "women's rights arguments" on this issue.

One's commitment to being "pro-life" should not end upon the baby's delivery. If the position one takes is that every child that is conceived must be delivered, the only justifiable corollary is that every child that is delivered must have the opportunity to succeed while they are still dependent on others, which manifests itself in terms of social services, nutrition programs, parenting classes, and day care.

It is a reasonable debate as to who should provide these services -- the government or faith-based organizations seem to be the top two candidates -- but one way or another, they must be available, as otherwise the conservatives cede the moral high ground as soon as the baby is born.

It's a strange day when Aaron Davies sounds like a conservative and I sound like a liberal, but this is a pretty unique topic.

This editorial encompasses the positions of each member of the LSNews.org editorial board in some form, but does not necessarily reflect a collective opinion in its entirety, nor does this editorial represent the official position of the Lampeter-Strasburg School District or the advisor of LSNews.org. The lead author of this piece was opinion editor Aaron Davies, while the addendum was drafted by editor-in-chief Benjamin Pontz. Questions or concerns can be directed to lspioneernews@gmail.com.

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