This is the third part of a series of posts about the immorality of abortion. Please feel free to ask questions, comment about what you think, and challenge me! You can read the first part here and the second part here.
So here’s part three:
Another argument, in accordance with the “It’s my body” argument, is that the baby cannot even survive on his own without his mother (Chacon and Burnham 15). How can he really be a person, if he cannot even survive on his own? The baby isn’t developed enough to interact with people, should he be born prematurely. He can’t reason, and he isn’t conscious of what’s happening around him. How can he be a person?
The answer lies in the realization that a two year-old baby can’t survive on his own without his mother. We all rely on other people to provide for us; this is a self-evident fact about society. We rely on family and friends to provide for us. Yet is it moral to kill someone that relies on you? The answer is an obvious “no”. But what about the question concerning that a fetus can’t reason? A two year-old baby can’t reason either. It doesn’t necessarily know right from wrong. But what is important, and what links the two year-old baby to a fetus, is that they both have the capacity to develop reasoning skills and a better awareness of what’s happening around them. They both lack mental development, but such development can be achieved. All things take time to grow and mature; this is an obvious fact and it is no different for a fetus. We must also remember our discussion of what it means to be a person. The baby doesn’t have to do anything to become a person; he is a person by his own nature as a human being. We haven’t the right to kill an unborn baby any more than we do a two year-old child, and no one should have a legal right to have an abortion. How can our own law ignore this? Law is something that is enacted to protect and form a better future for those subject to it. How does our law protect and provide a future for the unborn? It doesn’t.
What about a more drastic situation? What if a mentally handicapped girl is raped? She didn’t consent to conceiving the child, and, due to her lack of mental awareness, how can she possible raise, or even handle, the presence of a child in her life? What right does the baby have to be present in the handicapped girl’s womb? Wouldn’t an abortion be justified? A pro-lifer would argue “no”. But why?
Consider that there is a man that is in need of a woman’s liver, and while she is sleeping, he uses modern technology to attach himself to her so that he can survive. Unless he receives the aid necessary from the woman, he will die. In this analogy, the man is the baby of the raped girl, who didn’t consent to the infant’s conception or presence, and the man also resembles how the baby, without the woman, couldn’t survive. But do the man and baby both have the right to attach themselves to the woman and the raped mother respectively, when neither of the females willingly allowed them to do so?
It is wrong for the man to attach himself to the woman. He has no right that enables him to begin using the organs of the women, especially without her consent. He is, to a certain extent, stealing, or grabbing, what he needs to survive, in an intrusive way. Analogously, how can a pro-lifer argue that it is moral for the baby of a rapist to be present in a handicapped girl, while it isn’t for the man in need of a woman’s liver?
The answer lies in the fact that the baby has a right to his own environment; that is, the womb of a mother is his natural environment. A man attached to a woman’s liver without her permission has no right to be there because it is not the natural environment for the man; he doesn’t belong there. All fish deserve to live in water, all lions deserve to live on a savannah; these are the places that they are designed to live. An unborn baby has the right, no matter what, to be present in his mother’s womb because it is his natural, his own, environment, in which he is meant to live until he is born. He belongs in the mother’s womb, and we cannot deprive him of his rightful environment.
At last we come to a last resort argument by pro-abortionists: It’s legal to have an abortion while the baby is in the fetal stage (Chacon and Burnham 15). To refute this, we must realize the fact that it is intrinsically wrong to have an abortion. Already, we have discussed why abortion, under certain circumstances and arguments, is wrong, and merely for the fact that it is legal doesn’t mean that it is moral. Our law is wrong. If the law says that theft is permitted, does that mean it is morally correct? The law that the baby may be aborted during the fetal stage is based on the idea that it is not yet a human person. But how, after the fetal stage, can it somehow be a human person, when, in perhaps only a week’s time earlier, it was not? Once again, we must remember that personhood is not something that is developed; it comes with our human nature. I am not saying that a child should be able to be aborted after the fetal stage. However, a fetus cannot be anything else but a human. What else can the offspring of two humans be? And once out of the fetal stage, why only then can the child be justified as a human? How can it change from not being a human person to being a human person? You cannot get something out of nothing. Can you grow an apple tree unless you have a seed? The infant is a person at an early stage in its life, and just like a girl who has not gone through the developments of her body that would make her a woman, still the fetus is not a full-grown baby ready to be born. But we cannot take away the dignity and rights owed to the baby, for it still possesses the capacity to become a full-grown baby, and no matter what, from the point of conception, it is a human being.