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Pro Choice vs Pro Life - Is Abortion Wrong?

Updated on September 13, 2014

What Are We Really Asking Here?

Pro-life or pro-choice? It's a discussion that isn't going away any time soon and I wouldn't presume to be the first to solve the debate. However, abortion is controversial because it poses a moral dilemma for people. It infringes on many people's understanding of acceptable behavior. Why? Well, because it involves deliberately terminating what these same people equate to a human life, which they view as a strictly unconscionable act. The problem for pro-choice advocates is that the unborn child, to them, does not hold the same value as the life of a self-aware, self-regulating human being, existing outside of the womb. Moreover, what of the mother's life? Is the sum total of her memories, experiences and personal growth not worth something substantial? If her health were at risk due to a pregnancy, shouldn't her inherent value trump that of a life that hasn't even started yet? This raises the first obvious question. Is an unborn child alive? The second question stemming from this is whether the unborn child has the same value and commensurate rights and freedoms as anyone else. And even if it is not alive and not of equal value, is it not painful or traumatic for the unborn to be terminated and shouldn't that be avoided at all costs? Undeserved suffering strikes a chord with all of us and we instinctively want to protect the innocent from pain and suffering. A baby in the womb is the ultimate icon of purity and innocence. It is therefore the ultimate sin to inflict pain on this most defenseless and docile of things. It think it's important to paint a vivid picture because this feeling resonates in all of us and irrespective of which side you are on, you ought to appreciate the values being challenged on matters of abortion. The first step in resolving the issue of abortion is to understand it better. To that end we will explore the 3 main questions alluded to earlier. Are unborn children alive? Are unborn children equal in value to everyone else? Are unborn children able to feel pain?

We started out looking very similar ourselves

The Meaning of Life

What is life? What does it mean to be alive? These are difficult questions to answer because like a fractal, life regresses into simpler and simpler forms. Each successive step down the ladder of size and complexity we still see evidence of life but fewer of those traits remain until we are left with nothing but molecules. Take DNA for example. DNA is the most important component that permits most cells to carry on their functions and to reproduce, yet it is merely a single molecule. In and of itself, DNA exhibits no activity or metabolism that would make it any different from any other inanimate polymer. Viruses are generally not considered alive either because they do not exhibit any activity except in the presence of a host cell. It is only by virtue of a host cell that viruses can replicate, which indicates some familiar characteristics of life, without actually being alive. Because it is very difficult to come up with an absolute, universal definition of life, we suffice to categorize different candidates by how many characteristics of life they happen to have. These biological characteristics are as follows: The ability to maintain conditions consistently over time, within the entity (homeostasis), being structurally composed of one or more cells or showing signs of organization within the entity (organelles within a cell), the ability to convert energy from one form to another for use by the entity (metabolism), the tendency for an entity to grow faster than it decays, the ability to respond to environmental stimuli, the ability to adapt to the changing environment and the ability of an entity to make copies of itself. The status of life or non-life is established based on how well a candidate fits all of these criteria. The conclusion is that many things can be considered alive for which we hold little or no value at all. A sperm cell possesses many of the aforementioned characteristics of life but a sperm cell is also limited in many ways. It cannot reproduce by itself for example. Neither can a female egg. Yet, when they fuse with each other, an additional characteristic (the ability to divide and reproduce) is gained and the resulting zygote gets a little closer to being alive. However let's be clear that this is a matter of degree. What makes it inconsequential to ejaculate into a condom yet murder to flush a zygote from a woman's uterus? Both the sperm cell and the zygote exhibit behavior attributes to living things, yes, but neither one of them have any perceivable value in human terms. A zygote is merely a ball of dividing cells, which neither individually nor collectively match the cognitive capabilities, emotions, memories or experiences of any living human. Saying that a zygote is alive may be technically correct but is of no consequence since we hold no value for equivalent forms of life. The only reason we would feel compelled to protect a zygote is because of personal bias. This isn't any old ball of cells. This is a ball of cells that will EVENTUALLY become a HUMAN BEING. Herein lies the problem with attaching simple labels to complex ideas. It is not particularly relevant whether an unborn child is considered alive or not. That's not really the issue at all. If it were, we'd be debating over an inordinate number of trivial abortions of life that are occurring all around us every second of every day, to which we have no attachment or sentimental value in the slightest. Even if we know that the end product will be a complete human being, the question of abortion applies before that state has been achieved. Truly, the second question is of greater importance. Are unborn children equal in value to everyone else?

What Makes a Human... a Human?

Consider what we know about unborn children. Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, you have a very broad spectrum of physiological development, all the way from a single cell to a fully formed (but not fully developed) human being. Also consider that even after birth, it takes considerable time before the brain's neural circuitry matures to the extent that self-awareness and memory, for example, emerge. To further compound the issue, we tend to refer to people by their qualities, their achievements, anecdotes, etc. which means we attribute value to that which has been gained through experience. Newborn children have had no experiences at all. They are merely unrealized potential but then the same can be said about all genetic permutations that are possible between sperm and egg. Where do we draw the line between something of ultimate value and something of inconsequential value? At what point does infringing on a person's rights and freedoms mean anything or have any measurable effect on that person? I think it's obvious that there is no hard line to draw. Again, it is a matter of degree. The closest thing we have to a line is the birth process itself, which is the point at which human life is officially recognized by society. I'm not saying this isn't a somewhat arbitrary line but it is a fairly obvious and convenient one to work with. With wakefulness occurring for the first time only hours after birth and most behavior being governed by the lower brain functions of the spinal chord and brain stem, much of the limbic system and cerebral cortex are undeveloped, meaning the baby is functioning very much like a machine or calculator, processing inputs and exhibiting reflexive and instinctive activity. It is well known that new neural connections continue to form well after birth in what is known as the exuberant period lasting 2-3 years. Vision, smell, emotions, and many other characteristics we take for granted emerge AFTER birth and it is important to keep in mind that birth by no means equates to a finished product mentally or physically. Having been unconscious and unaware for 9 months of pregnancy and having neither experience nor memory to constitute the baby's identity, I see no reason why an unborn child in particular ought to be seen as an equal to its mother. The mother's choice to terminate a pregnancy, it seems to me, is not an infringement upon rights or freedoms. In fact by removing the mother's choice to abort a pregnancy, one is doing the very opposite to her.

This contains a nice animation explaining the body's pain mechanism. The rest isn't relevant to this topic.

Learning What Pain Feels Like

Now if we all agree that being alive is not relevant to the discussion and that unborn children ought not to have the rights and freedoms of living people, the biggest remaining dilemma is whether abortions cause pain and suffering to the fetus. There is a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest that not only is pain impossible during the first 2 trimesters because the neural circuitry necessary for processing pain sensations hasn't formed yet but it is also likely absent all the way up until birth because the mental perception of pain is something learned in a sense and therefore requires experience outside the womb. Stuart W G Derbyshire, PhD and lecturer at the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology, explains that, "...thalamic projections into the cortical plate are the minimal necessary anatomy for pain experience.", and this is said to occur no earlier than 23 weeks gestation, becoming fully mature by 26 weeks. However, he goes on to explain, this is merely the biological infrastructure needed to transmit pain signals to the appropriate part of the brain, known technically as nociception. "A developed neuroanatomical system is necessary but not sufficient for pain experience". Contrary to common experience, pain is not just some automatic biological response. Every human being requires "conceptual content" which can only be provided outside of the womb to differentiate pain as a sensation from other sensations and to associate and localize pain with its source. Pain is subjective and personal. Stuart points out, "The limited neural system of fetuses cannot support such cognitive, affective, and evaluative experiences; and the limited opportunity for this content to have been introduced also means that it is not possible for a fetus to experience pain." Inside the womb, the dark, warm, buoyant and cushioned environment makes external physical stimuli very difficult to localize on the fetus' skin. Further, the womb induces sleep and unconsciousness that make affective experiences virtually impossible. How then, can an unborn child appreciate pain? It has been well established that nociception, or the transmission of pain signals, is necessary but not sufficient for pain to be perceived by the mind. If this does not demonstrate that abortions do not cause pain and suffering, consider that doctors routinely use anesthetics when performing abortions, which depress the perception of pain anyway so it is by no stretch of the imagination that abortions are a inherently humane.

Which side are you on?

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The Maternal Instinct

No doubt the prospect of having to kill your own unborn child has emotional repercussions on the parents and indeed anyone closely associated. It is perfectly reasonable to say that abortion is wrong on the merits that it seems unfair, cruel and traumatic for those of us who have to deal with it. However on scientific and philosophical grounds, it would seem that these feelings are irrational when they come to bear on matters of the law. The evidence we have at present favors the position that unborn children are not self-aware, that they do not feel pain and that they are so biologically undeveloped and so lacking in the content of experience that their lives are not on equal grounds with our own. Rather they are more like a freshly formatted computer. Such a computer has great potential but disassembling it doesn't result in any loss of personal information, which is the most important part.

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    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Is abortion wrong? Yes, but then so are many things we do such as war, drugs, robbery, etc. One issue not explored is, Why does the woman want an abortion? Are there reasonable alternatives? Adoption? Vasectomies?

      The Planned parenthood organization educated young people about sex and pregnancy and provided alternatives. Many of the PP clinics were shut down due to abortions. We still need the education for our young people.

      The article does not reach a conclusion.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Of course I share your concern that better education needs to be made available to prevent unplanned pregnancies and you're right about various alternatives existing, which in some cases avoid the need for an abortion. However in the event that an abortion is the best option available, we have to remain cognizant that it is our own squeamish disposition which makes abortion a taboo, rather than scientific reasoning. If there is any compelling reason to think that abortions are barbaric or immoral, I have yet to see it.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Vasectomies prevent unplanned pregnancies. Sperm banks exist in case the male wishes to procreate later.

      Another issue not addressed is, population control. How many people do we have in the world now? The earth is getting hotter and dryer. We will lose available farmland. We should probably reduce the population. Vasectomies are preferred to war, famine and disease.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      All valid points. I think it escapes the scope of this particular article though as I wasn't trying to home in on population control or avoiding pregnancy. I was simply focused on the alleged malignancy of abortions from a moral perspective.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Let us not be deliberately narrow. Let us expand our scope to find reasonable alternatives. I suggest vasectomies and I want to advertise it. I do not get paid for saying this. I ask you and others to join me.

      Now to be more narrow to the article, it is legally a crime to hasten a person's death. I believe that has been extended to the womb and is called, Feticide.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      There's a big asymmetry between the two scenarios. Whereas a dying person has an identity, memories, experiences, a fully developed biological system, an awareness of self, values, etc, etc, an unborn child has none of the above. We tend to anthropomorphize these things when they are in fact no different from a machine, accounting for our ferocity in wanting to protect them. However, this is far less rational and far more cruel than the alternative of abortion because when you allow it to become a bonafide human being with an identity, which may not be brought up in a suitable environment, the only justification is that nobody wanted to kill it and now you've got a dysfunctional, depressed, aggressive person to leave for the rest of society to deal with. What of our moral and legal obligations to raise children responsibly? At least acknowledging the mistake early offers some contingency and the "would be" baby wouldn't know a thing. It would blip out of existence before it ever came to be. No harm no foul.

      Now this is not to ignore or discredit your point about promoting alternatives. Of course any alternative is preferable (although I don't see why encouraging men to get their tubes tied is a good thing... yikes!). The issue is what to do when the alternatives do fail and I have no grand illusions of the world being able to solve all of its problems overnight so that there are no longer unplanned pregnancies. For better or for worse, this remains on the table.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      NCSL has a listing of Fetal Homicide Laws by state. Most states provide criminal penalties for killing an unborn child.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      From what I can see of these laws, they are unrelated to this hub topic. They seem to deal with criminal acts resulting in the death of an unborn child, which is entirely different than aborting your own baby.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Yes, however if it is a crime to kill an unborn child, then why is not it a crime to kill your unborn child?

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I suspect because the mother may have intended to keep the baby that the criminal killed. It's a philosophical argument. If you kill something, it can never be. Therefore the crime is not only killing the fetus, but the person that fetus is to become. It appeals to the mother rather to the child itself. Either way, the child isn't affected on a personal level, but everyone else is so it's more a crime against them. That's my theory anyway. I don't necessarily think it's sound but that's my guess as to why the law exists.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      I think the main problem here is lack of empathy. All humans have two hemispheres in their brain. The left hemisphere is logical, the right is emotional. The goal is to bring them into balance. Do not deny the right hemisphere, learn to deal with it. You may do this with meditation on your highest ideal. Meditate 15 minutes a day. You may also take up dream analysis. Use Jung as a guide. If you deny your emotional self it could lead to a nervous breakdown.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Empathy is a big part of it and in fact I stress that it's one of the reasons pro-lifers feel compelled to fight abortion. However unborn babies are not empathic beings. Their limbic systems are not nearly developed enough for them to experience emotion as we do. Empathy is only ever of any use if it can be appreciated, in this case, by the baby. For all intents and purposes, the baby doesn't know that it exists and so it doesn't care or feel anything. It doesn't care if it dies. Does an iPhone care if you disassemble it? If it did, we might actually care about taking one apart. Therefore I maintain that our empathy, however natural, is misplaced.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Yes, I understand that an early abortion may not be fully felt by the fetus. The question is whether we (you and I) have empathy for living beings yet to be born.

    • profile image

      Jessica 2 years ago

      Thank you Chris. I find you article very enlightening and true. I believe that the mother does hold the higher concern in the cases of abortion. It is her right on whether or not to terminate the pregnancy.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      When one lacks empathy for other living beings born or unborn it brings up the subject of mental stability.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I assure you I don't lack empathy. The entire essence of empathy is being able to internalize and appreciate someone else's perspective, as would be the case if they were suffering for example. You cannot have empathy for a toaster however. Toasters have no perspective because they have no consciousnesses. Your assertion that I lack empathy precludes that there is something to empathize for. Part of my research was to determine whether a fetus CAN even have a consciousness at all. The evidence points to no. It can't have emotions either. If that is correct, then there is no point to empathy. It would be like trying to console a toaster because you think it's having a bad day. Empathy would be much better served on those living people who are affected by the abortion, not the fetus itself.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      A human life = a toaster?

      I would ask you propose your viewpoint to someone you trust in the mental health field.

      I must leave you for a while, you will not hear from me.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm sorry I was unable to make you understand what I'm talking about. Clearly I did not equate a human life to a toaster. I equated a [NOT human life] to a toaster. Basically I was saying that a fetus is NOT what you would consider a "human life", even though it is scientifically comprised of living material. However it seems we differ on that fundamental premise so I'm happy to let it go for now.

    • sbuatte profile image

      Sarah Rhodes 2 years ago from Marissa, IL

      I believe that abortion is wrong; however, just because a person is pro-choice does not necessarily mean that he/she is pro-abortion. In countries where abortion is illegal, masses of women die or become disfigured because they still seek abortions. I don't like abortion, but I believe that every woman needs to make that choice for herself. I don't think that I should inflict my own personal beliefs onto other people and restrict them from what they feel that they need to do. I don't think that any woman WANTS to get an abortion.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Then perhaps we still have something in common. I find the issue most relevant when it comes to establishing laws. Whether a law permits abortion or not may depend on how we define what is "alive". If there are any circumstances in which this act, however displeasing, may be necessary, it's important to differentiate it from crimes between fully developed humans so that abortion is at least a legal option for those who need it.

    • sbuatte profile image

      Sarah Rhodes 2 years ago from Marissa, IL

      I suppose single cells are "alive" but certainly not developed human beings. In the Bible, a baby in uetro is considered alive when the mother feels movement. Since different mothers feel movement at different times, the point that a baby is alive may vary. Also, one characteristic of all living things is movement. However, since Biblical times, people have created technology to actually see fetus movement, possibly before a woman feels it. Therefore, I do not know if the Bible's definition remains valid.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Indeed by the time a baby is "kicking" it's far enough along to take on a human semblance. However I would urge you to ask yourself whether movement is a fully sufficient criterion, whether based on religion or science. Movement requires certain neural circuitry, musculature and skeletal architecture but develops prior to other systems responsible for self-awareness, memory, language, emotion and all the things that differentiate a person as we know it from a machine. The big question is, when is a human being a human being? If movement were fully sufficient, there are a lot of inanimate things that could fit into that category. I like to think about people I already know and ask myself why I care about their lives and what they have that a machine does not. When did they acquire these things that I put value on? I can't think of a single thing that wasn't acquired necessarily at some point after birth.

    • sbuatte profile image

      Sarah Rhodes 2 years ago from Marissa, IL

      Shortly after a mother feels movement, the baby is developmentally able to live outside the womb. As I previously commented, women may feel "kicking" at different times, but the rule of thumb suggests that most women feel movement around 20 weeks. Shortly after this milestone, a baby can live outside of the mother's womb with medical intervention. Only a developed human being can live outside of the womb. At this age, a baby exhibits every scientific criteria that all living things have in common, except, of course the ability to reproduce.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm afraid that's simply incorrect. Being able to survive outside the womb requires functioning lungs for example so that respiration and metabolism can proceed autonomously. It would also require a functioning brain stem, one of the first brain structures to develop, which controls many of the automatic functions in the body. However much of the cerebral cortex is very very much NOT developed yet and is not strictly required for a baby to just survive outside of the womb. At 20 weeks, a baby is not even close to being equivalent to any other human being. All of the thinking parts are non-existent and in fact, at 20 weeks, even nociception isn't possible, which means the baby would be unresponsive to pain stimuli. It's not until a couple of years AFTER birth that babies even form enough of the synapses they need to make sense of anything, including awareness of self, which is a part of "consciousness", something all adults have.

    • sbuatte profile image

      Sarah Rhodes 2 years ago from Marissa, IL

      I said "shortly after" a woman feels kicking, which is subjective to each woman, can an infant live outside the womb with medical intervention. I did not (and would not) claim that a fetus is completely developed at 20 weeks. A friend of mine delivered her baby at 27 weeks gestation. While he needed medical intervention with breathing, he grew and thrived. The baby's lungs were the only undeveloped organs. Another friend of mine gave birth to her fully-developed (including the lungs) daughter at 34 weeks of gestation. The definition of a living being does not include self awareness. I thought the original question was: "when is a fetus alive?"

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You would be correct insofar as the biological definition of "life". A single cell is considered alive but the thrust of this article goes beyond the scope of biology. I hesitate to use a word like "soul" because of the religious association but that's basically what the hub is dealing with. What is the essence of a person? A person thinks, has opinions, values, emotions... there's something there that is unique, that you miss when it's not around. You can't have that sort of a connection with a pre-born baby. Any affection one might have for it would be illusory. I can't remember where I heard this but in Japan they made an android that looked like a real human female, put it in an office area and started hitting it. They noticed that everyone got upset by this, even though they knew it was an android. They wouldn't act this way if it had been a printer. We anthropomorphize all the time. It's illogical though. When a baby is born full-term, it is not yet a person. It is not aware. It does not process pain signals as we do. It is therefore a blank computer ready to be programmed, nothing more. Is it alive? Sure, in the biological sense but so is a mold or a culture of bacteria. Is it alive in the human sense of having a human essence (for lack of a better word)? The evidence suggests no.

    • sbuatte profile image

      Sarah Rhodes 2 years ago from Marissa, IL

      Have you ever seen a baby boy get circumcised hours after birth? They do feel pain. Mothers emotionally sooth their newborn babies. Twins sooth each other after birth. A newborn is not the same as a machine. Though they possess limited experiences, they still remember the womb after delivery. Newborns dream. I do understand what you are saying. You have an interesting point; however, I respectfully disagree.

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      Coltin 2 years ago

      Your answer shows real inelctigenle.

    • profile image

      Anna 2 years ago

      The hypocrisy of the dcaornian neo-cons and the far right is truly amazing at times. These pro-lifers aren't very pro-life at all they say abortion is murder, give it up for adoption instead, there are lot's of people who want to adopt if that's the case, why don't these pro-life people adopt themselves? Why does the pro-life crowd stop caring about a person once it comes outside of the mother's womb? The pro-life crowd is usually against universal health care and is against state sponsored funding to mother's who make a decision to keep their baby if they were considering an abortion. Hypocrisy much? Abortion is a legal medical procedure that has been legal in the United States for decades and so long as this country remains a developed country, abortion will always be legal. Republicans on the far right are using it as a wedge issue to try to prevent health care access for all Americans. That's shameful and sad.

    • profile image

      kelsey 2 years ago

      This is all very interesting information on abortion. I am not sure I would ever be able to do it myself. I wonder what are all the other options besides abortion. http://pccwayneoh.org/Inquiries/

    • profile image

      kelsey 2 years ago

      There is not a whole lot that I even know about abortion. If that were a decision that I were considering making I would make to research on it before I did. Another thing that I would also look into is the alternatives of an abortion. http://pccwayneoh.org/Inquiries/

    • Sgt Prepper profile image

      Gunny Cracker 23 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      Any which way you slice it abortion involves the taking of innocent human-life for selfish reasons.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Actually I've sliced it in precisely such a way as to refute what you've just said.

      All the words you used in your post are inappropriate to describe a fetus as they are not alive. Rather they are made up of living cells but there's a huge difference between the 2. A kidney is made up of living cells but it is not a "life". Your use of the word innocent is equally inappropriate because innocence can only be attributed to beings which are self-aware, capable of cognition and decision making. At that point they become culpable and their actions can be judged. A fetus is not nearly on the same playing field so calling it innocent is like calling a stapler innocent.

      Finally, selfish reasons may include (but are not limited to) having a health complication associated with child birth, which may put the life of the mother in danger. Considering that women of breeding age have lived some of their life already and have knowledge, personality, attachments, values, etc. it seems ridiculous to entertain the notion that a woman should put a barely sentient protoplasm above herself when her own life is at risk. Sperm-Egg combinations are a dime a dozen. Fully formed thinking beings are not.

    • Sgt Prepper profile image

      Gunny Cracker 23 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      Killing is always justified in matters of self-defense.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      The moral dilemma of trading 1 life for another is a difficult one... just not in this case because we're not comparing apples to apples. If it's not alive, you're not killing it. That's why I think the word "abortion" is perfect. It's like aborting the construction of a car on an assembly line when it's nothing more than a painted chassis. The same applies to a human being.

    • Sgt Prepper profile image

      Gunny Cracker 23 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      If it is not alive why do you have to kill it? Every abortion stops a beating heart. I am sorry to remind you of any poor decisions you might have made. There is one decision you will never regret. Let the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart! He will cleanse you and make you anew. Today is the day and now is the time. You have nothing except that burden on your back to lose.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Why? Plenty of reasons: not enough money, not a fit parent to raise a child, health reasons, not the right time, etc.

      It's actually incorrect that every abortion stops a beating heart because in many cases the heart hasn't even formed yet but it's irrelevant anyway. The heart is a mechanical pump. It has nothing to do with the "essence" of what makes a human being a person.

      Full disclosure: I have no personal experience with an abortion, which is a good thing because if I was speaking from emotions rather than from scientific data, my opinion would most certainly be biased.

      Religion has nothing to do with the topic. The point is to determine the scientific viability of an unborn human as a full-blown person.

    • Sgt Prepper profile image

      Gunny Cracker 23 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      The viability of a newborn is even more tenuous. Newborns require constant care and attention to survive everyday 24/7.

      Preborns require little or nothing. If you leave a newborn alone it will likely die in a day. Leave the unborn alone and it will not be suffer at all.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sgt, not sure what you are getting at there... yes babies need attention but how is that relevant?

      Jay, I'm perfectly in touch with my emotions, thanks. The reason abortion is discussed at all is because it is a legal issue. When it comes to laws, you think with your head, not with your heart. If laws were emotionally driven, we'd have all sorts of stupid laws that make no sense, just because they make us feel better. People irrationally anthropomorphize fetuses all the time as though they were human. Why? Because the thing looks like one of us, it kicks, we have a maternal/paternal instinct, etc. However, our emotions would misguide us to protect this thing, even when common sense says we should abort it. Tell me, do you think it's a good idea to defend a fetus up until birth (at which point the law would consider it murder to kill it) and then have a couple of screwed up parents fail to take care of it properly? Congratulations! You protected something that wasn't even human so that it could become a screwed up human. That's all we need. One more dysfunctional person walking around. Abortion is sometimes the kindest thing to do.

    • Sgt Prepper profile image

      Gunny Cracker 23 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      If you leave a "painted chassis" alone on an assembly line it will not be built into an automobile. If you leave an unborn child alone it will continue to develop.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Dispel with the mental health comments or I will consider it abuse. You don't agree with me? Form a cohesive argument to rebut mine. It's not my fault you can't do that so don't take it as an invitation to defame me with baseless assertions.

      Sgt: That's precisely WHY you abort a fetus... so that it won't get that far.

    • chriscamaro profile image
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      chriscamaro 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      The topic of this hub is abortion. To suggest I divert from that to explore the balance of resources in my brain's hemispheres, is to suggest that there is something wrong with me or my thinking. As I already mentioned, I am well in touch with my right hemisphere but I consider it to be inadmissible here, on this topic, which is primarily a legal one. I also have a quite an extensive background in psychology that I have never felt the need to mention until now.

      At the end of this hub I mention the emotional and social repercussion of abortion because they are very real and do have a significant impact on those involved. Having said that, when it comes to law-making, these factors are secondary to the more central issue of deciding whether abortion is actually murder or not. As it stands to date, in the eyes of the law, it is not. This hub concurs with that position and explains why.

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      Gunny Cracker 23 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      Prior to Roe v Wade for almost two-hundred years most states recognized abortion is murder. Judicial-legislation has destroyed America, or I should say Amerika. Laws come and go. Only God's law is immutable.

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      Gunny Cracker 23 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      Prior to Roe v Wade for almost two-hundred years most states recognized abortion is murder. Judicial-legislation has destroyed America, or I should say Amerika. Laws come and go. Only God's law is immutable.

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      chriscamaro 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      That's assuming absolute God-made law exists. That's a huge IF.

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      Gunny Cracker 23 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      Chris, IF I am wrong what could I lose believing in God and the Bible? If I am right I gain salvation, forgiveness and eternal life.

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      chriscamaro 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      At the risk of going off topic, you don't necessarily lose anything. However, I have noticed that with religion comes a whole bunch of baggage and protocol that basically affects how you think and the choices you make in life. Abortion as a topic for debate is a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

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      Gunny Cracker 23 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      With religion comes recognition there is right and wrong, that there is truth and lies. It appears that before this year is over we will be under martial-law in America. Next year at the latest.

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