July 06, 2009
The Right to Live
To begin, one has to define abortion as the disruption of fetal development during pregnancy, before it has reached 20 weeks. Each culture and legislation sees it in different ways. That is the reason why people form their own opinions. Some see it asanother form of birth control, and others sanction and penalize it as a form of murder. Birth control? At present? With
all the information that exists about the variety of contraceptive methods and their use, one must see it as nothing but a huge irresponsibility to allow conception if it is not wanted. To agree that abortion is acceptable is just a “comfy” justification.
Pro-life advocateCarolyn C. Gargaro maintains,
The fetus is a completely separate life from the woman . . . it is not just part of the mother’s body. It is temporarily residing there, and birth is just the change of residence [for] an already living, active, person. Just because the unborn is dependent on the mother for nine months, does that give anyone the right to choose to end his life? Being dependent on othersshould not deprive a helpless human being the fundamental right to live (qtd. in Williams 11).
When faced with a statement such as this one, it is it not possible to counterattack with any valid argument. From the moment of conception, a new life has been created, scientifically speaking; therefore, under human law, ending that life is a criminal act.
Supporters of abortion rights, on the otherhand, see the embryo as a “potential individual.” They do not believe an embryo is a living person with rights. Since it is unable to survive outside of the womb, they argue that the embryo should not be seen as a being that is separate from the mother’s body. Here we stumble on a big contradiction in their argument: As medical technology improves, it has demonstrated that a fertilized egg, ifleft to grow of its own accord, usually develops into a full-term baby. Therefore, embryos should be seen as living beings that deserve all the rights and protections of human personhood. Here is where their argument loses all authority; if their dispute is supported neither by science nor by religion, then under what fundamental principles do they base themselves to take into their own hands,whether someone is allowed to live or to die?
Furthermore, in Whose Life? Dr. A. W. Liley, a professor of fetal physiology at the National Women’s Hospital in New Zealand who has been called “the father of fetology” is quoted:
. . . Biologically, at no stage can we subscribe to the view that the fetus is a mere appendage of the mother. Genetically, mother and baby are separate individuals fromconception. . . . On reaching the uterus, this young individual implants in the spongy lining and with a display of physiological power, suppresses his mother’s menstrual period. This is his home for the next 270 days and to make it habitable the embryo develops a placenta and a protective capsule of fluid for himself. (201)
Dr. Liley’s description might sound closer to poetry than science, yet it ishard to disagree that life—indeed, something that is potentially human life—is present from the moment of conception.
In addition, it is extremely important to examine the side effects of abortion. In Lookout, Carol McGalliard describes the raw impact that women who have had an abortion have to endure:
Abortion leaves scars that rip through the hearts and lives of the men and women involved.Counselors are finding that abortion is linked to increases in child abuse, spousal abuse, men’s use of pornography, addictions--the list seems endless. Until the men and women involved seek help to deal with their problems, most do not recognize that their struggles are rooted in the unhealed wounds from the abortion of their child. They live in a tomb of secrecy that wreaks havoc in their lives....