Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Great Abortion Debate

There are folks who come to my blog and do a search on abortion and I've never written about it since I prefer to restrict myself to writing on positive topics. However, the abortion debate triggered by Mr Trump's comments has been raging through the blogosphere and I came to the conclusion that I actually sometimes dislike both sides for their insincerity, their pigheadedness  and their inability to actually talk with each other without flying off the handle.

The whole abortion debate has been framed in the term of rights, which is, frankly, retarded on the part of traditionalists because the whole idea of human rights isn't traditional at all, but something which was brought by Enlightenment, the very antithesis of the traditional Christianity. Pro-lifers are further dishonest when they claim that abortion had been universally forbidden before Roe vs Wade since under English common law abortion, even a late-term one, wasn't a criminal offence until the 19th century. Salic law as far as I know, treated late-term abortion akin to murder, but not the early abortion.

What is certainly true, is that Christian Church universally viewed both early and late term abortion as a sin, with the punishment of accordingly 3 or 10 year penance and that abortionists were prosecuted if the abortion resulted in the death of the woman.

And here we come to the main problem with the modern pro-life position: while they keep claiming that abortion is murder and holocaust they also state that women who procure abortions are just as much victims as the aborted fetuses and should never be as much as spoken harshly to, otherwise it would be "unloving." Strange enough, they aren't ready to extent the same "love" to the doctor who performs abortion.

While it's undoubtedly ridiculous to portray those women as totally ignorant of what they are actually doing, the other side in this whole debate (should the women be punished, that is)  rather comes across as a bunch of vindictive guys with a grudge against women in general who are more interested in punishing the would-be mothers (preferably by death)  than in really stopping abortion.

Actually prosecuting the doctors but not the women seeking abortions makes a good deal more sense and I'll try to explain why. When someone dies, in most countries you'll need some type of a medical report stating that the death was due to natural reasons, otherwise police will get involved. To prosecute a woman for terminating her pregnancy would mean that she'd have first to register this pregnancy officially or to make it publicly known which is rather complicated when she isn't showing. Some women learn that they are pregnant earlier than others.

Many many pregnancies end in miscarriage, sometimes after as little as 3 weeks. Will the police create a special department to investigate whether all these miscarriages were entirely natural? Do we really want it? Will every fertile woman have to undergo a pregnancy test if she is 3 days late and report the results to the government?  From the practical point of view, if abortion is to be restricted, it's much easier to punish the abortion clinic than its clients. 

The real reason most pro-lifers don't want women to be punished is probably due to the fact that despite the rhetoric that they use they don't really believe that abortion is murder, though they undoubtedly and in my opinion, correctly believe that it's a type of killing and something very unnatural which wouldn't be touted as "a right" in any healthy society.

Any healthy society further on would frown upon extramarital sex, extoll chastity in women, encourage traditional family roles and view motherhood as something deeper than a hobby. We don't live in a healthy society, so I don't expect abortion to be forbidden any time soon. Pro-lifers in America expend a lot of energy fighting for the cause but so far haven't achieved anything. May be, they should rethink their strategy?


  1. My personal opinion is that abortion is murder under all circumstances. There is an organization near us that supports un wed mothers before and after the birth of their babies. They have acquired an ultra sound machine and take it to inner city neighborhoods and women can get ultra sounds for free. This has really changed the minds of many women and has saved some little lives. -

  2. I think it's a good idea to support unwed mothers.

    Do you believe that morning after pill is a form of abortion as well? If yes, are you also against the Pill, the IUD and IVF? Do you think that abortion should be allowed when life of the mother is at stake (ectopic pregnancy, for instance)?

  3. Why would abortion not be murder? An embryo is a living being, in the process of developing. I have listened to a doctor who does abortions up to 24 weeks. It is true that the doctor must count all of the body parts, so that none are left in the woman's uterus. That turns my stomach. I do think that Pro Life agencies have made inroads. Maybe not in the government, but in individual lives. I admire those who are running for party leaders in the States - they have the guts to say they support pro life. Our prime minister in Canada will not anyone be in his party who is pro life. So strange - birth control is readily available, women have more freedom than ever and never have there been so many unwanted pregnancies. Something is not adding up.

  4. Murder means and unlawful killing of a human being (if you kill a dog you may be guilty of animal cruelty, not of murder). So the question is, under which circumstances is killing a human being lawful, and when does an embryo become a human being? If it's a human being since the moment of conception, then using the pill (suppresses ovulation, but if it still occurs, will prevent implantation) is a form of murder. Ditto for any form of IUD, which prevents implantation as its main function. IVF clinics routinely destroy embryos or keep them frozen indefinitely. One obviously can't support these things if he believes human life begins at conception.

    Further on, if abortion is murder under any circumstances, should the mothers aborting their children be given traditional punishments for murder (death, life in prison etc). If not, why not?

    I'm not pro-abortion, btw. I just find that a traditional pro-life position is rather illogical ( I prefer to give them a benefit of the doubt and not claim that they are intentionally dishonest).

  5. Housewife from FinlandApril 19, 2016 at 4:44 AM

    Killing grown up human beings in a war is not concidered a murder, either, but a heroic deed... ;)

    I have never understood why everybody gets so emotional around this subject, on both sides. And suprisingly often people who think that abortion is a murder, still think that death sentence is ok. If that is not illogical, I do not know what is.

    Interesting fact: here in Finland great deal of abortions are not done to the young and irresponsible who have had premarital sex, but to married mothers who just feel that they have had enough children. (Why they do not use contraception is beyond my understanding.)

    Luckily abortion rates are getting lower and lower here, thanks to proper sex education.

    1. There is a difference between an abortion and a death sentence. Death sentence is for punishing the person who perhaps commited several crimes (like 3 murders). What did an embryo do to deserve a death sentence?

  6. I think the society usually decides what they consider as murder, but as Christians we also have the Bible as the guide. I believe late term abortion is very much akin to murder, early abortion not so, but still wrong except in certain circumstances. I guess the point I have been trying to make is that wide-spread acceptance of abortion is an indication of a deeper social problem, such as our attitudes to sex, family, roles of men and women in society etc. I further think it's possible to make a very good case against abortion from natural law, without using modern liberal rights rhetoric or the idea that every life is sacred (which obviously nobody believes who isn't a total pacifist).

    Also, while I don't think it's realistic or helpful to prosecute women for (early) abortions and it's probably the problem for the church more than for the state, notice that the church used to lay penance upon women who had them, instead of saying they were just passive victims. Presenting women as victims of evil doctors is frankly, weird. However, I agree that since it's widely accepted in our society and blessed by the government, it dupes many into thinking it's no big deal and it's something to be taken into consideration, too.

  7. There are also circumstances, such as ectopic pregnancies, where either chemical abortion or removal of the baby and a Fallopian tube is the standard treatment. Allowing the baby to continue to grow could cause fatal hemorrhage in the woman and the baby would still die. These pregnancies are not uncommon and neither are early miscarriages.

    I'm against elective abortion as a means of birth control and I agree we are all responsible for our own actions but I'm entirely against punishing women civilly for them. She may have to repent before God but I think that is as far as it should go. God alone knows the heart of what happened. Depending on the circumstance it may not be murder any more than killing an aggressive home invader is murder. If we prosecute or punish her how about prosecuting the boyfriend, husband, parents who may have pressured her into it or threatened abandonment or at the very least was involved in the creation of the baby.

  8. Wasn't there an American novel about a man who killed his pregnant girlfriend after the doctor had refused an abortion? (it's an old novel). He was hanged for this.