The national debate around abortion centers around two peaks of moral high ground. There is the woman's right to have ultimate control over her own body versus the right to life of a fetus. I will admit upfront to being a pro-choice advocate. I am not saying I approve abortion unconditionally. I am saying I fully support any woman's right to choose what happens in, on, and to her own body. From the point of view of human life, there is no moral justification for abortion. From the point of view of an intelligent, thinking woman no one has a moral right to manage her body but her. It seems there is no way to win in this conflict.
I believe no government agency has any right to dictate what any person does with her body. Abortion is an option - it is not the only option. Opponents of abortion should put as much effort into providing and promoting options as they do in trying to inflict government control onto women's bodies.
Now to my extremist views. Much talk is devoted to the point where life begins. Is it conception? Is it 28 weeks? I can see a fetus as a parasite invading a person's body. Of course it is alive but so is a tapeworm. Both use the host's body for life. No one has ever called for government intervention in tapeworm removal. I believe the government's involvement begins only when a fetus takes his/her first real breath. Before that point, it has been just a parasite. If a woman chooses to allow the parasite to live and be born she should be praised for doing so. Just as with a tapeworm, the government should not be interested or involved in how the parasite is handled.
People who have a deep respect for human life must really despise me at this point. I understand. On one level I find my own opinion despicable. I still contend that the best way to prevent abortion is a two-fold approach. Promote options for pregnant women and provide alternatives and support for those options. As far as the government is concerned a fetus should be considered a parasite until it breathes his/her first free air. At that time, all protections provided all humans attach to the infant.
Is it then air in the lungs rather than a direct insertion via an umbilical that distinguishes a fetus from other animals; that turns it into a person? That seems a rather arbitrary definition at best.
Would you use the same definition for other "parasites" as well? Would a tapeworm become a person if removed from the gut? Do insect eggs inserted under the skin become a person when they emerge?
If you would have an entire nation of millions agree with you, a little more reasoning behind your declaration of air in the lungs makes an organism (again, ANY organism?) into a person. For it's not being alive that matters - the vast majority of life we all kill at will - it's the killing of a person that matters.
I see a lot of people object to the first breath idea. I would modify my proposal to say personhood begins when the infant is no longer directly dependent on its mother's body to stay alive. This provides protection for preterm infants and those cases where the mother dies but the infant is saved.
Comparing an unborn fetus to a parasite is not an unheard of concept. In fact in order for the Nazis to convince the workers in their death factories that what they were doing was humane, the Jews were often referred to as "subhuman" or "rats". The purveyors of genocide in Rwanda also referred to their targets as cockroaches. Likewise throughout history slave owners justified their atrocities by associating the people they subjugated with unintelligent or dangerous animals. Undeserving of freedom.
We know that it's very difficult, psychologically, to kill another human being up close and in cold blood, or to inflict atrocities on them in the first place. In order to overcome that natural inhibition it has come historically effective to identify undesirables as subhuman, vermin, or as you have so eloquently put it, "parasites".
This mentality, though comforting to the liberal mindset, departs from the very foundations of American society. It destroys the hope of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It was those very words that Lincoln, the great emancipator, used to guarantee freedom to the slaves that should be echoed in the halls of government when these radical life threatening policies are enacted against the weakest and most vulnerable of us all. Our children.
But a fetus IS a parasite, by definition.
But while the word usually carries a negative connotation, a parasite is not always a bad thing. The trillions of bacteria in your gut for instance - they live in and off of your body, but as you will die without them they cannot be considered to be bad.
It boils down to government interference in personal freedoms. It should not happen! I believe the GOVERNMENT should view pregnancy as a parasitic affliction until the baby is born. Then the government has the responsibility to protect the baby just as it does any other living human. I do not suggest any person think of pregnancy this way - only the government!
The government interferes with your freedom with every law it passes.
It's called living in a society. Don't forget, the "government" is just a group of your fellow citizens, most of whom you voted into office.
I don't want any "Fellow Citizens" telling me or my wife what we can do with our bodies. I do not think any group of "fellow citizens" should be passing laws on this subject.
I agree with you up until the part about being a 'parasite' until the fetus takes its first breath.
A baby born at 24 weeks is generally considered to be viable and so at that point I feel it's no longer simply a 'parasite' that requires its mother's womb to survive. If it can be kept alive outside of the womb (obviously with lots of help from medical technology and doctors) I have a hard time agreeing that a woman's right to choose what happens with her body trumps the rights of a fetus that could survive without its mother.
Here the law is that you can have an abortion until 20 weeks and for me I feel that's a fair compromise. It gives a woman a decent amount of time to make the decision before the fetus could potentially survive outside of the womb.
My point is that there should not be any laws on the subject... ANY
You don't think we need to define what a "person" is, then. Except, of course, that the law should define it as when the organism ("parasite" if you will) breathes air.
Opinions are great - we all have one - can you give your reasoning as to that one?
Personal beliefs and opinions are all valid and important to each of us. I believe I was unclear in the scope of this opinion. I propose the government take this position and avoid imposing laws that take a more technical interpretation of person-hood.
But you are advocating the imposition of a law: that a woman (but not a male) can kill a person up to the point it breathes air. After that it can no longer be done.
And to justify that stance is your opinion that only at birth does the parasite become a person - an opinion you have failed utterly to explain or support. Or are you saying that yes a fetal parasite is a person, but one with no rights? Again wanting a law that gives automatic rights to anyone breathing?
In the realm of government intervention in personal rights, I only propose that government view a fetus as alive but not human until it is born. At that point the government should view the infant as a viable human being with all the inherent rights and protections that a person must have. We cannot allow a government agency the power to dictate our morals. If my moral makeup tells me a zygote is a person - that is only me and not any government agency. We should not expect or allow a government entity to make such deep moral determinations and impose them on anyone.
And you're still saying that your opinion trumps all others without giving any reasoning for that opinion. Still wanting laws that agree with what YOU think is true.
Others will protect a child, just as you will, but do it while still in the womb. What makes your opinion superior to theirs? Why do you wait to bestow rights until it breathes air? Is it the contraction of rib muscles and the diaphragm THAT important, to call it a person only after those muscles are used?
I mean, if you're going to make arbitrary decisions like that, why not just give parents rights? Until you reproduce, you are still a subhuman - at least that requires more than the use of involuntary musculature! After all, by your definition anyone in an iron lung is but a parasite and can be killed at will.
You've made the proposal - back it up with solid reasoning or forget about it!
But I just don't buy that a baby becomes human only by being pushed through a vagina. My daughter was born 8 days past her due date, was she really less of a baby at 41 weeks gestation than a baby born at say 35 weeks, just because that baby was outside the womb?
I mean don't get me wrong, I am 100% pro-choice, but within reason. I don't believe that a 3 week old zygote should have all the rights of a human being but I do believe a fetus becomes a human being at some point in the womb. I couldn't tell you when, exactly, just like everyone else.
I think it's fair to try to do the best we can for both women and babies. Is telling women they have no choice if they accidentally fall pregnant the best we can do for women? I don't think so. Is letting a woman abort a baby that could viably survive outside the womb the best we can do for babies? I don't think so.
That's about where I stand, too. At some point that collection of cells becomes a person, with the same rights anyone else has. And as I cannot determine that precise instant, and have never heard any valid reason for any specific point, I will accept current law as a reasonable compromise.
"At some point that collection of cells becomes a person..." is most likely a valid point. A government agency should not have the power to determine that point and impose that determination on anyone. Once an infant is capable of taking an unaided breath no one (except Hitler's Nazis) will deny his/her humanity. Only then should the government and laws come into play.
But they're capable of taking an unaided breath well before most are born (28 weeks give or take). They just have the disadvantage, I guess, of being inside of a womb instead of being born prematurely. How does it make sense to terminate a fetus that would in all likelihood survive outside of a womb?
I get that the time limit they put on it when they say "no abortions after X# of weeks" is pretty arbitrary but I don't think it's really asking too much of women to make a decision about abortion before their baby could feasibly breathe on their own if they weren't stuck in the womb.
In my PERSONAL opinion I think its best if you allow a woman to abort an unborn human if she isn't willing to take care of it. If that child was going to be born and the mother did not want it the child would not be properly loved by its own mother or sent into the adoption system, which is not a good thing for a child be in. Let a woman do what she wants with her body.
So what you are saying is adoption is a fate worse than death.
I cannot and do not want to try to present abortion as a moral choice. Sincere opponents of abortion must put their efforts toward eliminating the need, offering alternatives, promoting adoption and providing healthy environments and medical care for pregnant women. Wasting their efforts, money, or resources trying to make a government agency the moral determiner is not the way to solve the problem. History has proven beyond doubt that making anything illegal does not work. The consequences can be worse that the act being prohibited.
We have laws to prevent us from harming others. Is the parasite that is destined to become a human baby not worthy of protection?
Parasites that don't breath yet are despicable.
contemptible, loathsome, hateful, detestable, reprehensible, abhorrent, abominable, awful, heinous; odious, vile, low, mean, abject, shameful, ignominious, shabby, ignoble, disreputable, discreditable, unworthy; dirty, rotten, lowdown, lousy; beastly; scurvy. Thesaurus.
Well, thats one way to look at it.
Or check out a You Tube video of an abortion procedure.
These are quite scary. They should do the trick in preventing unwanted pregnancy. Every teen should watch a couple of these videos. Maybe teens are seeing these videos and that's why the abortion rate is down.
Lets say kids started rebelling against the status quo of the current level of promiscuousness, I mean "casual sex."
What if the majority of youth/young adults waited until after marriage of their own volition and wisdom-guided wills?
How would such behavior affect the nation? I think there would be more peace and love.
Yes. This Ideal could NEVER come about through FORCE.
We may lament about the pain and suffering of the parasite as it is rippped out the cavity of its host, the soul being sent back to the astral plane, the effects of abortion on the body and mind of the mother and the reaping of karma due to the murder of a parasite, (which would have turned into a baby somehow,) but ultimately the decision and responsibility must rest with the one who got pregnant. The one who allowed a single sperm to come anywhere near her eggs must come to her own decision. Feeling the support of those around her and relying on the safety and cleanliness of an abortion clinic may be HER only saving grace in some situations.
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