Friday, 9 February 2007

Moral Issues - Abortion

I have long been a believer in a woman's right to choose to have an abortion or not. This belief has not been without its moral dilemmas, though, particularly in relation to the questions of partial birth abortion and the time at which a foetus is considered a human being. Also disquieting is the fact that the loudest proponents of abortion seem to be those disgusting women in the style of Germaine Greer and Betty Friedan that have done more to set back the cause of women than anything else in the last 50 years.

So where do I stand now?

Having looked into my (atheistic) soul and asked some really hard questions I find that I must come down on the side opposing abortion, unless a woman's health is at risk or the foetus has some major defect.

I simply cannot agree with the argument that a foetus is not a human being until it's born. Is an elephant foetus not an elephant until it's born? What about a dog foetus? If they're all not of their species when they're foetuses then what are they? Are they all the same? Do they have no value? Are they all disposable?

Leaving aside the issue of declining birth rates in the West (and particularly in countries where abortion is legal), which is a matter I'll post on elsewhere, a foetus has the potential to be a great scientist, a President or Prime Minister, and, yes, a mass murderer; all of which are human beings.

1 comment:

Ericosborneo said...

I appreciate your honesty and how you arrived at your conclusion. Well done, I think. Not being an atheist, I have come to a similar conclusion but with the added impetus of the thinking of the US constitution that "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." If the fetus is a human fetus then it is a developing human and is entitled to all those rights.
However, if the mother's life is in dire medical jeapordy I can certainly see that it makes things much more complicated. I for one would not choose to judge a woman for having an abortion for that reason - though 99% of all abortions are solely for reasons of convenience.
However, I am quite uncomfortable with the idea of aborting a defective fetus - it seems to lead to the line of thinking that says defective people are less than human (a very dangerous line of thinking). Many people have come to see that children with birth defects should be considered a special gift - they teach us how to love, care for and see life's true priorities. Yes, they may require a lot of us but sometimes the best things in life require much. Just some thoughts.