Abortion: A Real Solution

Saving us from our ungodly selves.

The inspiration for my essay.
The inspiration for my essay.

Or, A Not So Modest Proposal To Make As Many People As Miserable As Possible, All In The Name of Being Absolutely Moral

 
 

For the sake of argument, let's say that abortion is immoral. I don't care what ethical system or religious belief one uses here, I'll simply grant at the outset: Abortion is immoral. Wrong. Not to be done. Ever.

Does this mean, then, we can rightfully create legislation to ban it under all circumstances? Well, why not? I'll go ahead and give that one to you as well: Abortion, let's say, is a subspecies of murder; we make murders illegal, therefore abortions must be covered by similar laws and precedents, with similar punishments following.

So, here's our principle: If it's immoral, it ought to be illegal.

Fine and good. Abortion is now both immoral and illegal, defined as a sort of murder. Let hurrahs spread throughout the land, let the pulpits resound with great rejoicing at our great ethical strides. Let Right-To-Life groupies roll around on sidewalks outside the homes of women who've had abortions and call for the police to perform their duly appointed tasks.

So, now what?

By the end of the day, we have a great number of women and teenaged girls who are pregnant and who don't want to be. They don't want the children that will be born. Some of the pregnancies will be, as they often are, the mangled fruit of rapes and incestuous attacks by relatives, molestations by neighbors, even by the very clergy who pressed to make abortions (and birth control) illegal.

But most of the pregnancies will be accidental: the pill failed; the condom broke; the people involved sort of slept together in the heat of the moment without thinking through the possibilities. The couple discovered the rhythm method is about as effective as any other form of voodoo. We've all heard the stories if, in fact, we haven't been in the starring roles.

In my future world, the women and girls doubtless get sent off for "counseling." I'm sure tax money will be involved, since this is a matter of law and we are preventing murders. Much of it will be funneled to "faith-based" organizations, which are always more than eager to get a public hand-out to spread their private interpretations of the Good News. The counselors' jobs will be to talk the women into keeping their children - as they will go to jail (or worse) if they find an abortionist or try a "home remedy." Many, some stricken with fear and guilt and heads swimming with tales of an afterlife filled with Eternal Death, Hell, and The Man With the Pointy Stick, will decide to keep and raise the babies.

But will they do a good job?

If it's immoral to murder, and abortion is murder, so we make it illegal to abort, then it should be illegal to leave children in the hands of biological parents who don't want them. Because if it's immoral to mistreat children, and not caring for, loving, wanting, and voluntarily devoting oneself to one's child is a form of mistreatment, then we should make it illegal to leave children in the hands of people very likely to mistreat them.

Now, some women who become pregnant accidentally do decide they genuinely want their children. And some extended families also really want the children, so aunts and uncles and grandparents step in and become surrogate parents when the mother cannot perform this role.

But many times, especially if abortion is absolutely illegal, a great number of women will be left who have no extended family (or any they trust) and who have no desire (and maybe no ability - mentally, spiritually, or financially) to raise children. For that matter, they may be 12 or 13 year-old girls who can't decide whether or not to wear cherry-flavored lip gloss to the 8th grade dance, much less how best to go about raising a child.

What do we do?

Assuming we're talking about males of legal age, we could legally require the biological fathers to step up to the plate and pay or take custody - but proving paternity may well be an issue, and it will cost money for conclusive DNA tests... and I assume, again, we will be using tax money, as this is a matter of law. And we could be talking long, drawn out court battles - and, in the meantime, the children will be born, and we will have to do something with them, even if the courts haven't arrived at their Solomon-esque answers yet.

We could fund orphanages. But let me ask: Is it better for young Oliver Twist to wind up in an orphanage run by the state (with yet more tax money) or by a religious institution (probably run, in part, with tax money) that doesn't care for him as an individual member of a family - or is it better for Oliver to be raised in a supportive family where he will be cared for by people who obviously love children? Which is likely less inherently abusive?

I think we'd say the latter. In fact, the former just sounds like Oliver is going to be warehoused to keep him out of our collective hair. And that could be a form of immoral mistreatment and, by definition, if we're going to make everything that is immoral also illegal, it should be against the law to place a child in an orphanage.

Here's what we must do, then:

If abortion is immoral, and it is illegal because it is immoral (since we have decided all immoral things should also be illegal), we must place all unwanted children with families that want children, respect life, and who have gone on record as being in favor of banning abortion. These people are obviously moral - they tell us so at every opportunity. These people obviously love children, even to the point of wanting to force women and girls to bring unwanted children into the world. The right place for these children to be, ethically, is with the people who love and want unwanted children. So, it would be immoral to put the unwanted children anywhere else.

In short: By law, if abortion is made illegal, people and families who supported making it illegal should be forced, by law, to adopt all unwanted children for as long as there are unwanted children.

A nice, simple solution. Legally force women to have children they don't want on moral grounds. Then legally force those who supported making abortion illegal to adopt all the unwanted children... on moral grounds.

This would be easy. Legally require that the membership rolls of all Right-To-Life organizations be made available to the government. These people go first. Children will be randomly assigned to them as they come available. Next, anyone who is a registered member of a political party that has an anti-abortion plank in its platform will be assigned some children. After that, anyone who belongs to a party that refuses to take a stand on the issue will be blessed with some unwanted children. Then, anyone who lives in a state with elected officials who are actively anti-abortion will be granted the boon of a few babies. We could do this proportionally - if the candidate won by 62% in a district, for example, we can randomly assign the children to 62% of the households if the pro-life voters are too bashful to stand up and admit their votes voluntarily.

Voilá. No more unwanted children. And if, paradoxically, the pro-lifers, their homes now packed to overflow capacity with life, complain they can't take care of the children, we can tell them to practice celibacy and give up on having biological children of their own; we can tell them to work harder, maybe get a few more jobs, spend their retirement money; and we can tell them that if they dare neglect the children, we'll put them into jail for poor parenting and then reassign their allotted batch to their neighbors.

There. Everyone's happy and everyone got what they wanted. All we had to do was be consistent and say that, if it's immoral, it should be illegal, no matter what. All abortion is illegal, child abuse is illegal, and not taking care of all the children you demanded be brought into the world is illegal.

Some might, frustrated with the writer by this point, argue that I am using a premise that makes no sense, namely: If it's immoral it ought to be illegal. Perhaps some would be inclined to say that not everything that's immoral can be made illegal without tyrannical or absurd consequences, or they'd say that even if some aspects of morality can be legislated, it doesn't follow all aspects should be.

Some might even say that, even if abortion is immoral, it makes no practical sense to claim all abortions should be made illegal - a decent, free society is simply ill-equipped to be run on the basis of moral absolutism. Otherwise we face the specter of hordes of unwanted children placed in inherently abusive situations and the possibility of citizens being forced to do the moral thing - take care of unwanted children whether they like it or not.

We have to put up with some measure of imperfection and incompletion and accept that much of morality revolves around social pressure and voluntary compliance, not the force of law and government, to function adequately. Maybe morality is a struggle and is always incomplete, even unclear, a difficulty and an ongoing argument. Many people might say something just like this.

My answer is that this all sounds very human. If you're satisfied with human-like answers, with what Socrates once called "a human sort of wisdom," then reject my proposal, by all means. Flee from it and oppose anything that sounds vaguely like it. But if you want to live in angelic perfection and in a moral utopia, contact your elected representatives right away and let them know that nothing short of Heaven will satisfy you while you have to live on Earth, and ask them to legislate accordingly.

Thank you for your time.

Signed,

Asmodeus Satanis

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Comments 74 comments

Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 2 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Jeff -- What say we sew up your vagina. Wait. I assume you don't possess one or the responsibility for the decisions surrounding that circumstance. So what say we button your lip whenever you want to make pronouncements about how women ought to act and women's health issues? I don't know. Just a thought about "immaturity."


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 2 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, Rosie. I am harsh, bitter, old, and sometimes have an odd sense of black humor. Case in point: this essay.


RosiePinUp profile image

RosiePinUp 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Wow, I could only hope to write as well as you do. Although, I found it a little harsh (I tend to try to look at both sides) , I enjoyed it. You're quite phenomenal at writing Satire.


Jeff 4 years ago

Just so you know, according to AGI, only around 1% of abortions are a result of rape. Also, if you don't want a kid don't have sex, or use protection. You make an adult decision to have unprotected sex, you deal with the results. There are SO many options other than having an abortion.

On another completely random note, an idea just occurred to me, if you're a woman who is too immature to accept the consequences of your actions, your vagina should be sewn up, because obviously you need not be reproducing. THAT would make this would a much better place, not abortion.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 4 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thanks, Brian. I hope it was helpful!


Brian 4 years ago

Wow. I love this article. Thanks for posting this. We're talking about this stuff in my high school ethics class and this was some good brain candy.


jacky 4 years ago

i need one too! would you


Mary G. 4 years ago

Men legislating women's rights yet no child is conceived without a man's sperm. So . . . what if all males had to be sterilized until they were mature enough and wealthy enough to support any children they conceived. Then they would have to take medication to "de-sterilize" themselves and by law be held responsible for supporting any children they conceived. Seems like many of the issues would become moot and the responsibility would fall on the men's shoulders as well as the women's???? Isn't that where they should be?


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 4 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Millercl -- We use ethics to legislate all of the time; but not everything ethical can be legislated; moreover, things for which there are only theological arguments, not rational, philosophical, and practical ones cannot be used as a basis for law: we aren't a theocracy and were never never designed to be one. Read my other essays on this site for further explanation and discussion.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 4 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Gusser -- many things are not mentioned by name in the Constitution but the law applies to them by implication. The states have limited "rights" - ultimately it is the people who have rights, not states.


Millercl profile image

Millercl 4 years ago

Is there any morality you deem reasonable to legislate?


Gusser 4 years ago

Abortion does not appear in the US Constitution. THEREFORE it is not up to the Federal Government to pass any laws concerning it. The 10th amendment clearly makes this a State issue ONLY. If we actually followed the Constitution that is.


Tor 4 years ago

Haha that was good.


darth vader 4 years ago

whers the science convention?


mighty son 2 4 years ago

i like it.


Bobby 5 years ago

No female conceives unless she "decides" to. Not a single sperm can get to her egg in the uterine ("Fallopian") tube unless she opens her cervix and makes the mucus that allows the sperms to enter.

We are held responsible for the produce of the operations of our bodies. Why are females in this one matter permitted to put someone to death because they do not want to be responsible for what their bodies do?

If females are not to be held responsible for what their bodies do in the singular matter of ovulating and admitting sperms, then why should males? Males do not consciously produce sperms. Most of the time they do not consciously desire to deposit sperms in a female's vagina. Most of the time males would, if they had control over it, emit seminal fluid without any sperms. So why should males be held responsible for the functions of their bodies if females are not?


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 5 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

DeJesus885: Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to read the entire piece for the whole effect. Feel free to repeat my argument or send others to it -- not because I make money from this (I have yet to make a penny from Hubpages), but because I think embedded here is a good argument. As you say, if abortion was made illegal, it isn't as if society would become a better place for it -- we made it legal because the alternative is worse.

You've earned a follower because of your review. Thank you!

RVI


DeJesus885 profile image

DeJesus885 5 years ago

You'd make a great lawyer or politician, for a moment there, you had me thinking "Oh god, someone spreading more pro-life propaganda" then I continued to read on and realized what you were getting at. Very, very, clever. Next time someone tries to preach some pro-life bullshit around me, I'll make sure to lead them to this Hub.

I'm very impressed with all of this and the logical thinking put into this Hub, you look into the long term affects of what would happen if abortion was illegal, whereas most people don't, they just assume if abortion is illegal suddenly the world will be a place of candy and rainbows and happy little kids.

You just earned a follower because of this Hub.


mandatory retirement 6 years ago

Truly I stumbled onto this hub page. The satire was evident immediately. Truly this is a real multi-faceted problem/solution. It's obvioulsy a problem for someone pregnant who doesn't want to be pregnant. It's a solution for someone who can't get pregnant but wants a child. All the stuff in the middle is man's way of trying to make it right.


Erica 6 years ago

I also had issues with my pregnancy and I found a simple solution in the form of RU 486 an abortion pill for non surgical method of abortion .

http://www.theabortionpill.com is the website which helped me on abortion


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Hi, Elena! Yes, you should absolutely hail Mighty Mom here. Our discussion, when it was running hot, was hilarious. As for the Senate, they wouldn't have me -- I don't think we've allowed philosophers or satirists in the American government since the early 19th c. I think there's an Amendment to the Constitution or something to that effect. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed this piece!


Elena. profile image

Elena. 6 years ago from Madrid

Hello, Richard (and maybe I should also hail Mighty Mom! Laugh!). After reading your article, I was simply going to commend your beautiful logic, actually propose you run for the Senate or something, but when I started reading the comment section, all composure flew out the window. It really blew when I read Mighty Mom's slogans/bumper stickers! Laugh! By the end of it, I didn't even know what the satire was all about anymore, I simply couldn't take "We bake 'em, you take 'em" outta my mind!

Simply: I adore satire, especially when it's delivered with such flaire and style. Kudos!


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, Dentist! All I can say to that is -- Amen. THAT is precise what I'm getting at. Thank you for understanding.


dentist83 profile image

dentist83 6 years ago

Vaningram, this is a great hub. Love it. It is easy for people been "pro-life" and condemn pro-choice, when they are not the ones involved in the problem. It is always easier to condemn others.

1(A) "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2(B) For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and(C) with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but(D) do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7 1-3


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thanks! But eating the children would not spread the misery adequately, so I didn't go for the full-on J. Swift pastische.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Oh, c'mon' Rich, let's really be Swiftian and just eat the unwanted babies! Or we could send them to countries whose inhabitants are starving.

I don't agree with everything you proposed so modestly, but it was well written. Good hub.


elphas meli 7 years ago

All christian know and understand that abortion is a sin and a serious indication of lack of respect for human life.we should all come forth to support the anti-Abortion campaign (ABORTION IS ILLEGAL)


Erin 7 years ago

Thank you.

And your words are very true. I do agree that society does make many women feel desperate and they offer them a horrible solution. With that being said though, only we can take responsibility for our actions. We can't blame our parents, we can't blame our friends, and we can’t blame society. We can only blame ourselves because we ultimately have the power. Not saying that there aren’t people who could use a helping hand.

And sadly, we do have abortion as an answer. And we don't get the support we need to make women feel like that isn’t the only answer. There are genuinely good people that want to help, but for whatever reason don’t. I guess it’s kind of part of a domino effect. But we have to start somewhere. We can't just keep pointing our finger at something else for why we do what we do.

Also, those children didn't ask to be created, they should have a chance too. Just because we don't have the support and help we feel that we should have doesn't mean we should stop fighting and give up.

But I am not Jesus, and I do see so many at fault, including myself. And it’s hard not to form a negative opinion, especially when innocent lives are being terminated. I would extend my hand to someone in need, even if they had an abortion. And maybe I should apologize for saying "monsters," I was in a moment. When I think about myself and what I thought as a solution, I hate myself and am disgusted. So that is monster comes from. I have had friends who have had abortions and I feel sorry for them. And in no way do I condemn them. They are the ones who have to struggle with those feelings, and I could never understand what they are going through.

But someone has to speak up and take a stand against immorality; otherwise, abortion would be no big deal. And it is a huge deal and a huge problem. If God is real, I don’t think he intended for the people who can make a difference to just sit on the side lines and watch these kinds of things happen. Because if we had no one fighting for the right side, then what kind of world would we live in.

I'm not even religious. So fortunately I don't feel that I am being biased. But I do understand morality. And yet, it is often difficult to draw a line, I believe that it clear where to draw the line with murder and abortion.

With that being said, everyone is going to feel differently. And I don't think you are wrong to feel the way you feel. Also just like you aren't going to change my mind (even though you did make me read much more into the subject) I am not going to change your mind. I think you are very wise, and I enjoyed the reading.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Good for you, Erin. Sincerely.

But I am not so fast to think that women who choose abortion are "monsters." Rather, often, they are faced with being unable to take care of the child -- or themselves. I think my point wasn't that abortion is a great and wonderful thing, but that our society really has no use for children, the poor, or those in trouble. We love the idea of punishment; we have little patience for the idea we may be morally responsible for helping those who are in trouble.

I don't see any great movement of people stepping up to assist women who are pregnant and in dire straights or to support the children born afterwards. I hear a lot of condemnation.

Truly, what *would* Jesus do in this instance? What happened to "You are forgiven -- go, and sin no more," and "give your belongings to the poor?" Instead, I hear plenty of people who sound like Jesus is alleged to sound at the Last Judgment, separating the sheep from the goats... except they forget that Jesus' standard will be: How did you treat the poor, how did you treat the weak, how did you treat the sinner? Not: How many people did you curse and point out how "irresponsible" they are?

Sometimes abortions are performed out of desparation. Not Selfishness. And our society makes no effort to reduce the desparation, only accuse the mothers of being "monstrous." As long as that situation persists, the rate of abortion will remain high.


Erin 7 years ago

You realize that only 1 percent of abortions result from rape and incest. So obviously we have a bunch of irresponsible women and men trying to find the easiest way out. I myself speak out of experience from being irresponsible. Do I have a child at 18 years old and face the shame and possibly the difficulties of motherhood? I would be lying to say that I didn't consider abortion. But only a monster could go through with it. My son is beautiful and the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I am glad I didn't have the selfishness to end his life just to keep life easier for me.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

I'll deny it till the end, Mighty Mom.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Richard -- you killed Kenny???


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, luvintkandtj!  And thank you for sharing this hub with others -- I really appreciate it.


luvintkandtj profile image

luvintkandtj 7 years ago from USA

Excellent Hub! I had to show it to a few friends. I love how you lure the reader in.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

It's their cultural context, or lack thereof. They don't know South Park from Johnathan Swift. Hell, I didn't even kill Kenny.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

A few people have been comparing your hub to South Park mentality, which is just so far off the mark. They made some out of context remarks about it on another hub. It was quite odd indeed.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, sherlynavia! It's kind of you to say so.


sherlynavia 7 years ago from United States

wow, great writing !


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Will do. I can scarcely wait to see what kind of mess that is!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

You might want to check out the comment thread action over on "Why Obama is Wrong for America." You will find some interesting viewpoints represented. And, I daresay, reinforce why it's so hard to use satire as an effective argument:-).


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Agreed, Mighty mom (though I have been accused of being all 3 at one time or another, I fear).


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Richard, we satirists (not to be confused with satanists or satyrs -- although I guess if the shoe fits...) must stick together!

Can't wait to see what thorny moral issue you tackle next!


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Chef jeff -- Thank you for your comments. I think people do forget the history that lies behind us and some of the reasons we legalized abortion in the first place. Though the Canadians could start adopopting our excess population, I suppose.

Mighty Mom -- I think I've done internal injury laughing over this list. It almost makes me wish that my proposal would become law just so I could see the tee shirts ... *almost.*


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Agreed, Chef Jeff. The argument is not when life begins. It is assuming we agree that abortion should be abolished legislatively, we will be faced with -- as Onusonus says, up to 40 million additional births a year. That's a lot of kids. I have no statistics on the number that will require placement in loving, caring homes other than the birth mother's. But suffice to say, it will be high.

I'm already thinking ahead to the public service slogans/bumper stickers and t-shirts (on both sides of this issue):

1. We bake 'em, you take 'em

2. Put your home where your mouth is

3. I just endured 9 months of quality family time. Now it's your turn.

4. Pro-life? Here ya go!

5. Real family values begin at birth.

6. Children: The more the moraler!

7. Please, let me carry that for you!

8. I couldn't have conceived a better family for my baby: yours

9. Will adopt for tax breaks

10. It's my right to raise your baby


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 7 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Well, we could just end up sending the newborns to Canada - LOL!!!

OK, all seriousness aside, I do not prescribe abortion as birth control, and I am basically not in favor of abortions when so many preventative measures are available.

Pro-lifers need a serious dose of pro-prevention, in my view.

Yet, as you say, at times those fail, or are not available at the moment of passion.

Abortion is not a new issue.  I have written in comments along this line that the women of ancient Rome had a natural abortion plant available to them, and since it only grew in and around Rome, it went extinct because women used it to the point that none was left.

I do remember the back alley clinics, and even though in those days abortion was illegal, it still occurred.  Abortion being illegal didn't stop women from going across the border to Mexico or using an illegal clinic.  Women died from those home-induced abortions, using coat hangers, or being pushed down stairs to kill the fetus.

There is no easy answer to this question, but I agree 100% that if a woman is to be forced to give birth, then by all means they need to be offered whatever help that baby needs to grow up in a loving, caring, healthy atmosphere. 

If that means making the proponents of the pro-life movement adopt the children, then so be it.

However, your argument is way too logical for even the most satirical politician to ever get it, much less vote for it!

Great hub!

Cheers,

Chef Jeff


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 7 years ago from washington

With revrence for life, I deplore the loss of life associated with warfare. The data are appalling. In World War I, more than 8 million military fatalities occurred. In World War II, more that 22 million died. So in fourteen years 30 million soldiers died worldwide, not including the millions of civilian casualties.

These data are dwarfed by the toll of another war on the defensless that claims more than 40 million each year.

Also relatively few abortions are performed for such special circuimstances as rape or incest. No, most abortions are performed "on demand" to deal with unwanted pregnencies, and are treated as another form of birth control.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Onusonus, you said: "To legislate when a developing life is considered "meaningful" is presumptive and quite arbitrary in my opinion. " Probably to legislate anything, make any sort of human judgment, make a decision of any sort is a bit "presumptuous" -- it's never a matter of having absolute knowledge, or an absolute grasp on what we may actually may know.

But it's necessary. We have to make judgments and laws and figure out how best to live, how to make choices, and hopefully be rational and reasonable about doing it, though the results will never be "God-like," as we are not gods -- our resulting laws and ethics and manners will always be a bit imperfect, warped, inconsistent, always in need of further work and eventual reform. Always.

That said, it is precisely because ther can be no rational concensus about when human life begins, precisely, that it makes little sense to pretend we can come up with laws that act as if we have one, good rational definition (such as the one you gave). The fact is, we have several good, rational definitions of when "human life begins," they are in competition, and none seem capable of winning the day decisively -- ultimately, we are unsure of precisely when human life begins.

Is it when sperm and egg unite? Is it when the heart beats? Is it when the central nervous system develops? Is it when the foetus moves itself the first time? Is it when it draws first breath? Is it whenever the "soul" is first present (though we can't tell when that might be)? Is it at around the age of 13 when the child begins to reason and can be held accountable for herself? Is it somewhere around the age of 30 when the passions back down a bit and the mind works better, and we have a fund of experiences to consider, and we can have a decent conversation with other adults -- including our parents?

All have been considered, historically, and more, and all have good arguments to support them. Choosing one over the other may have an element of the arbiraray to it -- but we each have to choose one in order to live and figure out how to approach many issues. The question is: Can a law be drawn up to decide for me? To pick one definition of "the beginning of human life" and then legislate that beyond this point we may never have abortions?

Obvious, people who are outside the womb can't be aborted. But inside the womb, we are not so sure when human, not merely biological existence, begins. My cat has a heartbeat, but that doesn not make her a human. Killing my cat may, under many circumstances, be cruel, but it may not always be immoral -- or, if it is immoral, it has nothing to do with my cat's beating heart. Similarly, killing a foetus may be cruel under certain circumstances, but to say it is also necessarily immoral each and every time requires more than stating the biological fact that a foetus has a beating heart.

And then, after you've shown it may be immoral, you have to argue why it is practical to outlaw it, why it is more beneficial and less dangerous to outlaw it than leave it alone and apply social pressure to make it unpopular; and you have to argue why people who oppose abortion shouldn't, on moral grounds, be legally expected to adopt and take care of all unwanted children, since they support bringing unwanted children here in the first place.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 7 years ago from washington

Putting the statement in its origional context might help, It was a quote from Calvin concerning a practice during a time in history when murder in one's own house was considered much worse than being killed away from their family.

So what of the beginings of life then? here is my definition; New life begins when two cells unite to become one cell, Bringing together 23 chromisomes from the father and 23 from the mother. These chromisomes contain thousands of genes.

In a marvelous process involving the combination of genetic coding by which all the basic human characteristics of the unborn person are established, a new DNA complex is formed. A continuum results in a new human being. aproximately 22 days after the the two cells have united, a tiny heart begins to beat, and four days later blood begins to circulate.

To legislate when a developing life is considered "meaningful" is presumptive and quite arbitrary in my opinion. 


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Mighty Mom -- you read me right. Children are just as precious, if not more so, after being born than they were prior to it, so if we mandate bringing unwanted children here by law, we must mandate that they be cared for in the best possible way-- i.e. in a home run by people who wanted them here in the first place. Otherwise, we are abusing them, I think.

And if that's impractical, which it seems to be, we ought not legislate it --but equally we ought not legislate women cannot procure abortions because it is impractical to bring unwanted children into a world where most people will refuse to voluntarily take care of the ones they don't "like," for whatever reason (i.e. they won't be adopted and they will, at best, be warehoused in orphanages).

As for our Canadian neighbors: I fear there are days I am more than willing to surrender to them and go live in Toronto. I even practice singing "O, Canada," just in case....


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Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

P.S. I get in enough trouble on these pages without siccing the Canadians on me. LOL! The idea of "bloodthirstay Canadian hordes" makes me laugh. What a visual!! I honestly cannot understand why America would have to secure our borders from Canada, unless they are coming over down and stealing all the best NHL spots :-).


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Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I must have missed the line about advocating killing anyone in their own home vs. in a field (neither of which sounds like a good idea to me!!). I believe Richard's point is that children born to unprepared/unwilling/unhappy parents are not going to have much of a quality of life. If we're going to mandate that all pregnancies come to term, we ought to have a plan for all these extra children. And make sure that every child gets raised in a home that truly believes == and will support their lives as being -- as precious AFTER birth as in the womb. Is that correct, Mr. Vaningram?


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Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Onusonus, I doubt you'll find many people who say that abortion is a good thing and that every woman ought to have at least one or two. Most people think abortion is a dispreferable thing, even if they don't agree with you it is always murder.

Hence, I'm not interested (here) in the question of abortion's moral status -- only in the question of whether it is reasonable to legally ban it, even if it is immoral (which I am not discussing here -- feel free if you wish to).

But back to your post. You say, "... it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field," Uh... why? Murder is murder, ethically -- its "horror" really has little to do with its moral status -- if I murder you in your house, on the side of the road, on the Orient Express, or in a Waffle House, all are equally murders.

Similarly, if I am trying to kill a notorious terrorist and drop a bomb on a house he is hiding in that happens to be filled with children and innocent people, I have also committed murder (regardless of euphemisms such as "collateral damage" that are used to soothe our cosciences). But we don't prosecute "collateral damage" murders, even though we have just as surely murdered as if we'd shot those children and innocent people to death at random on the street.

Why not? It's impractical. That's the short answer. And that's why we ought not make abortion illegal -- it's just as impractical for other reasons (assuming it IS murder, whci I am neither affirming or denying here), and because it would lead to various injustices -- AND, really, I see no reason why it wouldn't follow that, on moral grounds, pro-life people couldn't be legally forced to adopt unwanted children on moral grounds, no matter how impractical that might be (and possibly unjust), IF we must make everything that is immoral or potentially immoral illegal.

If you shorten that post, though, it'dprobably make a great bumper sticker.


Onusonus profile image

Onusonus 7 years ago from washington

If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a foetus in the womb before it has come to light.


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Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, commonsense. I think that's the first time anything vaguely involving common sense ever had anything positive to say about me!


commonsense 7 years ago

hi richard...if and when i ever reach the loft of dk5...i want you give me straighten also...damn good read!!!...commonsense...


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Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Hah,hah, hah Mighty Mom! I'm stockpiling my weapons now to save myself from the onslaught of the bloodthirsty Canadian hordes.


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Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Dmn right! Build the biggest fence we can build!!! We gotta stop the influx of opportunistic Candians sneaking into Michigan, Maine anad Washington state, not to mention all those poorly populated midwest states. They'll go to any lengths to get our overpriced prescription drugs!!!


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DK5 7 years ago

Oh ,thanks for clarifying that.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

DK5 -- It was an oblique reference to the border fence being constructed between Texas and Mexico, and the tightened border with Canada. But mainly it was sarcasm which, to those who read too literally, can appear as many things, including paranoia.


DK5 profile image

DK5 7 years ago

Who is building a big fence around our "ENTIRE COUNTRY"? Paranoid?


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Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

And thank you, too, t.keeley. I tend to think, obviously, that, in the end, our social/political debate shouldn't be about the moral issue; it should revolve around just how much can we reasonably legislate morality before everyone is sitting in prison... then again, they **were** building a big fence around the entire country recently... maybe that's to keep us all IN, not others out?


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Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, Mighty Mom! You're nearly as sarcastic as I am!


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Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I commend you, sir, on a brilliantly simple solution to an obviously black and white, cut and dried social issue. Come to think of it, aren't ALL social issues a matter of yes/no, sin/virtue, right/wrong? I really love the idea of putting the care of all these children into the caring and loving hands of the very people who value life above everything else. Since they are oh so concerned with the sanctity of life, they will no doubt be thrilled to play a personal role in supporting it outside of the womb!

BTW, on the subject of John McCain and the adoption of daughter Bridget, I read a pretty disturbing quote in an article in Rolling Stone. I truly hope McCain didn't say what the article claims. I do give him credit for trying to reduce the red tape associated with adoption here in this country (if, indeed, he would do so). In truth, there are decent loving parents out there (who may be pro-life or may be pro-choice) who genuinely want children and can't have them.

Sorry -- didn't mean to inject seriousness into this. Let's get back to the satire!


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 7 years ago from Seattle, WA

Answer: stop having sex. 'Nuf said.

Ok, satire aside, I somewhat agree with you. Yes, I am pro life. I am within the walls of my home. I believe that, while some isntances are rape/incest, the percentages are lower than irresponsible people just too dumb to prevent pregnancy. The numbers of those are much higher, I'm sure ;)

Regardless, whether it's murder or not, I can't control it, so why should I expect the government to either? I personally don't condone it, as I mentioned before. But I do believe in freedom of choice, even if that choice is murder of anything or anyone. Do I think it's right? Naw, but then again I choose to do wrong things everyday, frankly wrong is wrong so I should be killed too, etc. etc. The logic for legal pro-life or even pro-choice is bogus. It shouldn't be a law, period, one way or the other. :)

Great hub. I smelt the satire right away, well done!


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Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Rant away, SweetiePie. You sound on the money.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Rant away, SweetiePie. You sound on the money.


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SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

The Obama's are just as loving and caring. John McCain on the other hand, he is sort of selfish from what I have heard. Did you hear about how he left his first wife after she was disfigured in a car accident? Not only did he cheat on his wife who was at home with the children, he could not even tell her from the start he wanted to end it. Ross Perot has was a close friend of John McCain and his first wife and describes the man as very self centered. McCain left his first wife for a prettier and more attractive model, so how is that in line with family values? The right wing Christian fundamentalists never think through the facts and do not read accurate news sources. I apologize for this rant on your hub Richard, but I am getting sick of all the arguments people have in favor of John McCain and against Barack Obama. Much of the pleas people are making in favor of McCain remind me of things people said in the pre-Civil Rights era.


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Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

DK5 -- Should adoption be forced or voluntary? Should people who are capable of being good parents be required to adopt children others want? I say it should be voluntary. But, for the same reason, it should be a voluntary act whether women who don't want a child should carry them to term. I don't think it is a good thing for the force of law to be employed to make women remain pregnant any more than it'd be reasonable for the government to require others to adopt the children.


DK5 profile image

DK5 7 years ago

I kind of like the idea, Typically people who oppose abortion are genuinely nicer people,more giving,loving and are more apt to genuine know how to love and care for a child in need. The McCain's are a great example of this having adopted children themselves.Their decision to adopt comes not from their own selfish reasons but from a goodness and kindness that exists in their hearts, a genuine love and kindness not present in everyone.


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SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

Actually I admire those who use satire, but I must admit I am up late at night and was just not paying attention.


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Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Oh, it's OK! It's written that way -- to lull you into thinking one thing and then it hands you your head on a plate. And I signed it using a demon's name, just to make sure the point is made. Satire is not popular these days -- we just aren't used to seeing it as a literary form.


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SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

Okay I just reread it and I see what you meant. I apologize for having jumped to a conclusion.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Hi, SweetiePie. Do you know what satire is?! Re-read what I actually wrote & see if you can spot my barbed tongue planted firmly in my cheek -- this is hardly an anti-abortion essay.


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SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

Sorry, but you are highly misinformed about the history of childbirth and abortions in world cultures. No women chooses to have an abortion, but often they did so in the past because a man put them in a compromising position. Although I do not want to ever have an abortion myself, you are very misinformed to think making abortion illegal would solve all the problems. People simply obtained abortions in hidden places when it was illegal, which resulted in high number of unsafe procedures. Only a person lacking medical knowledge would advocate making abortion illegal.

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