I once heard a Florida doctor spell out one of the most horrifying, yet logically sound arguments for abortion I have ever heard. I include this story in our section on the fruits of abortion because I believe that poor, muddleheaded thinking is a natural outgrowth of abortion (and other sins). As Paul writes to the Romans, there comes a time when God gives us over to a depraved mind. It seems safe to say that encouraging a mother to kill the child she is carrying in her womb is evidence of a culture’s depraved thinking.
Here is the logically sound and yet depraved example of poor thinking:
According to this Florida doctor, he treated a college-aged female one Winter morning and had to tell her what she didn’t want to hear: “You’re pregnant.” The young, unmarried woman was more perplexed than crushed, and she kept saying, “I don’t know what I should do. I don’t know what I should do.” The doctor–thinking she meant something like, “Oh, my goodness, I never planned for this; this was a mistake; I am not ready to be a mother”–tried to encourage the young woman that it would be all right and that her family would support her through the trials of having a child. In reality, however, the young woman meant, “Should I abort the baby or not.” Here was the exact dilemma she relayed to the doctor.
I don’t know whether I should keep the baby or not because I am scheduled to go on a mission trip with my church group this summer. If I am pregnant, I cannot go. I don’t know what to do. I can do so much good by going on the trip and serving people in need, and I have the opportunity to lead people to Jesus there. I don’t know what to do.
Ach, you guys and your abortion is murder” kick.
But if what this doctor is saying is accurate, the equation the young woman presented to the doctor was a serious one. Here she has planned to do some work, and the unplanned pregnancy gets in the way. Is she supposed to drop everything and let her life be ruined, or does she make a sober, responsible judgement. She’s young and she can have a baby at a better time in her life.
Sounds like more evidence that the American church is in pitiful shape. God help us.
Tony, she already has a baby. And babies don’t “ruin” lives.
The claim that babies don’t ever ruin lives is clearly fictional. As a trivial counter-example, having a baby is occasionally fatal. More prosaically, having another mouth to feed can destabilize a family on the edge of poverty (60% of American women having abortions already have a child, 75% of American women having abortions cite financial problems). Yes, having a baby can ruin your life.
It’s interesting that you didn’t touch on Angela’s other contention: “she already has a baby.” I know it’s been argued for over 30 years now, but there is yet to be a cogent argument for a fetus’ non-personhood. We know the baby is living, we know the baby is a human, and we know it began at conception. One could use the tired argument that the baby is a parasite and cannot support itself outside the womb. Well, neither can a 6 month old, or a quadriplegic, or the mentally handicapped. Are we ready to call them parasites? Expendable? Non-persons? It’s also surprising to me that you can have a moral objection to ruining a person’s life but don’t flinch at murdering another. Murder, not life, destabilizes a family.
I’m not sure why the fact that she already has a baby is supposed to change the argument (indeed as I remarked, some 60% of those seeking abortions already have a child).
On the baby’s “personhood”, the case would have to be made for it. It hasn’t been made yet. On viability, the Supreme Court defined it adequately, and it would apply to all post-birth humans as well as fetuses that could survive outside the womb (even if with artificial help).
I’ll be interested to see what happens if someone develops an artificial womb capable of bringing a fetus to the point of delivery after removal from the uterus at an early stage of pregnancy. I suspect that efforts to bar abortion on the grounds that this makes the early embryo “viable” will prove unpersuasive, but I could be wrong.
Do you have no regard at all for that fact that a human life is at stake here? Many people have overcome financial hardship and enjoyed life with their children in spite of difficulty. There are many ways to gain help both through the government and through private organizations. The answer to an unplanned pregnancy does not have to “ruin.” Help for young women who are distressed about pregnancy should be the focus rather than the death of her child (which by the way, women die from abortions too….and sometimes they are permanently damaged….sounds like ruin….)
I don’t know if you have children….having them makes the argument more intense because you see first hand, every day as you watch them grow, what we are throwing away in this country.
I have two children, whom I raised to adulthood with my wife. Like any parent I am aware of the human costs of childrearing as well as the great rewards.
The key federal Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, rules that once a fetus could survive outside its mother’s womb, even with artificial aids, its rights may supersede the mother’s right to privacy. Until then they do not.
I think that was a wise decision. So do most Americans. In polls for some decades now, they support it by a wide margin, nearly 2:1.
Our society is way past that definition. Abortion is available for any term of pregnancy in MANY places in the country. We, as a society, are condoning the ripping apart of tiny little bodies, or death by saline solution, or an induced premature birth so that death will occur, or death by puncture in the skull. Since Roe v. Wade we have figured out how to kill a baby in all 9 months. What a sad and destructive use of technology.
Please do not misunderstand. I am for women’s rights. I think women should vote, make decisions about their careers, be paid as much if not more than men when they deserve it, and have all the rights and privileges afforded to them in a free society, just like men. But I do not and will never see abortion, which I see as an extreme form of child abuse, as a right. There are many things we do not have the right to do in this society. The list is endless. Why in CA, where I live, I do not even have the right to talk on my phone in the car unless it is hands free. I simply do not see abortion as a women’s rights issue.
I don’t think the figures bear you out on this, Angela.
The earliest date for viability is usually reckoned by the doctors to be around 24 weeks (some younger fetuses have survived but usually with serious damage) but around 90 per cent of all abortions in the US take place before the end of the twelfth week, before the fetus even has a EEG signature.
I think abortion is a women’s rights issue because if a woman doesn’t have the final say about the contents of her womb she is nothing more than a slave.
Where do you get those figures? From those who want abortion to not look as destructive as it is? And even if they are accurate, 10% of aborted babies go through nothing less than torture to die. (Actually all of them do, but since the ones past 24 weeks seem more human to you, we’ll focus on them.)
And it’s unrealistic to suggest that we limit abortion to just the first 24 weeks. You might as well get a “pro-life” tee shirt. Women are so convinced that it is a right that many of them are vicious about it and demand for it to be legal for them at any point in the pregnancy.
I don’t see the connection between slavery and being “forced” to give birth if the law did not allow abortion. The denial of a one desire does not constitute slavery. I think many actual slaves would willing trade places with the supposed pregnant slaves in America.
I get the figures from the Guttmacher Institute.
You say that fetuses over 12 weeks go through “torture”. Yet viable fetuses cannot be aborted on demand under Roe v. Wade, viability is normally assessed at 24 weeks and the fetus doesn’t even have the equipment, let alone the cognitive functions, to be aware of pain prior to 26 weeks.
Only 1.1% of abortions take place at 21 weeks or more. I would like to know more about why those particular abortions take place so late. Since a late abortion is a far more complex and risky procedure, women tend to prefer abortions as early as possible, and modern medical abortifacients make this relatively easy.
If one can be raped and not permitted legally to remove the fetus from one’s womb, then one is a slave, a public incubator.
10 Weeks after Fertilization
All parts of the brain and spinal cord are formed. The heart pumps blood to every part of the body. The whole body is sensitive to touch except for portions of the head. The preborn human makes facial expressions.
I copied the above information from the “just facts” website.
Tony, truly, do you think you and those who hold the same opinion as you are driven more the “rights” issue than by the science facts?
For the woman who gets pregnant and does not want to be a mother yet, there are couples who do not have the gift of fertility that would open their arms to that little one. She would not have to be a “slave” forever. (I just cannot equate pregnancy and slavery. It seems like an insult to the person who has been or is a slave.)
Pregnancy, as a result of rape, accounts for a very small percentage of abortions. While realizing that rape is very traumatic, it doesn’t make sense to advocate, promote, and condone abortion because someone might get pregnant from a rape and need to end the child’s life. Looks to me like we could spend our resources on the emotional restoration of the woman and care for the child rather than making a bad situation worse, (possibly much worse if the women is permanently damaged from the abortion). It seems less likely that a woman would regret giving a child life, than killing a little one. Maybe I only feel that way because I am so convinced of the value of the life?
My facts on ability to detect pain are from Essential reproduction by Martin Johnson and Barry Everitt (Blackwell, 2000).
The statement that “all parts of the brain and spinal cord are formed” in the above is very misleading. The brain is present only in a very rudimentary form at ten weeks (Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition). There are muscular spasms as the nervous system development proceeds. The sense of touch is present and triggers reflect actions in response to stimuli.
All of my statements here are driven by the known facts as determined by neurologists and fetal development specialists.
You say that a rape-slave would not be a slave forever. This much is correct. When she was no longer fertile her slavery would be over in the sense that she would no longer be condemned to use as an incubator following rape.;
Rudimentary or not, the fact stands that the brain is present and the central nervous system is present. We can both agree that at the time of most abortions a human is being destroyed and here we come to our difference of opinion. Does that life have a right to live above his/her mother’s right to end it?
You would say the mother’s right trumps the baby’s life and I believe the baby’s life trumps the mother’s right to end it. (I don’t believe mothers have the right to end their children’s lives at any stage of development. You think there is a window of time that she does have the right to end it.)
Why do we differ? Because you are focused almost entirely on the mother and I am focused on both. In no way does my insistence concerning the value of the baby make me insensitive to the plight of mothers with unplanned pregnancies. My above posts indicate that.
What exactly is the rape victim a slave to? motherhood? pregnancy? I don’t understand the fertility statement. I am a fertile female but not a slave to …..well anything. If I were raped today and became pregnant, what would I be a slave to? I have a good friend who was a rape victim and she is not a slave.
I agree with your assessment of our differences. I strongly oppose putting the interests of the developing fetus in its earlier stages before those of the mother.
However I think you are also ignoring clinical facts about fetal development and using vague statements ” the brain is present and the central nervous system is present” in a manner that leads you to treat the developing fetus as somewhat more than it is (your earlier questions on pain, for instance, betrayed a lack of knowledge about neural development).
The rape slave is a slave of the society that denies her control of her own reproductive system. If you con’t want that control, that’s up to you, but if once raped you would be denied control of the outcome of the pregnancy you would still be a slave, an incubator waiting to be used by any man. The law in the United States currently does not treat a raped woman that way.
WHY CAN’T WE LOVE THEM BOTH
by Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke
by Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke
By 8 weeks?
By this age the neuro-anatomic structures are present. What is needed is (1) a sensory nerve to feel the pain and send a message to (2) the thalamus, a part of the base of the brain, and (3) motor nerves that send a message to that area. These are present at 8 weeks. The pain impulse goes to the thalamus. It sends a signal down the motor nerves to pull away from the hurt.
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Pain can be detected when nociceptors (pain receptors) discharge electrical impulses to the spinal cord and brain. These fire impulses outward, telling the muscles and body to react. These can be measured. Mountcastle, Medical Physiology, St. Louis: C.V. Mosby, pp. 391-427 “Lip tactile response may be evoked by the end of the 7th week. At 11 weeks, the face and all parts of the upper and lower extremities are sensitive to touch. By 13 1/2 to 14 weeks, the entire body surface, except for the back and the top of the head, are sensitive to pain.” S. Reinis & J. Goldman, The Development of the Brain C. Thomas Pub., 1980
The rest of this post will be me, again…Angela. The above information is copied from websites after running a search on fetal pain. So, it looks like some doctors think differently about whether babies experiment pain during an abortion.
However, in spite of the information, I feel like pro-abortion people really don’t care if the baby feels pain. As a society we have lost the conviction that children are important. Instead, we think of children as expensive, timely, and just plain inconvenient . It’s amazing how much it affects us all, me (who should know better) included. I was pregnant at 38 years old and in some scenarios actually embarrassed to tell people because I knew they would think little of me for being pregnant at that age. (By the way it was not planned either.) And the medical community was VERY uptight about it because of the “high” risk of birth “defects.”
Even, Tony, your use of the word “slave” to describe someone who would be forced to have a baby if abortion were not available demonstrates that we have lost, as a result of Roe v. Wade, the significance of human life. (Actually Roe v. Wade is only one facet of causing this problem.) Slaves have no freedom, no choices about anything. Taking one option away from a woman does not constitute slavery. Speaking like that only serves to sensationalize the issue.
Sadly, though, you are correct in saying that 2 to 1 people agree that killing a baby while she/he is intruding on Mom’s body is ok. However, people like me must continue to speak up. It is my conviction that all children allowed to be born and those who are not, are all wanted and could all be loved and nurtured especially in a country like America.