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Question of the Week 2 - Pro-life advocates often compare America’s abortion-on-demand policy to the Nazi Holocaust. Isn't that extreme?

Breakpoint Parents Guide 1

 
The basic argument from BreakPoint here is: the Holocaust did not start with gas chambers. It started when ordinary people accepted the principle that it is permissible to take an innocent human life.

The basis for this argument rests on two assumptions: 1) a fetus within a woman is considered an innocent human life and 2) a woman does not own her own body.

I think there is no debate whether it is wrong to kill an innocent human being (see the first question of the week). The debate arises on whether a fetus that is still inside of a woman’s womb should be considered a human being.

The issue of denying a woman the right to choose to deliver a baby or not implies that the woman cannot decide what to do with her own body. The debate presented so often from the pro-life view is that the woman, once pregnant, no longer owns her own body because she is no longer free to make a decision about it. Once the fetus is formed, an abortion is not allowed and the woman must complete the pregnancy no matter what the dangers are to her or to her baby. This is counter to our common human values - that each person is responsible for his/her own body.

Humanity does not practice consistency about the state of a fetus. I have had several cousins suffer through the sadness of a miscarriage, where the fetus dies relatively early in the course of the pregnancy. Each time, the fetus is not given a name and then a formal funeral held for the innocent human life. A miscarriage is the unfortunate termination of the pregnancy, where something was not correct or efficient in either the woman’s or baby’s body along the usual stages of development.

I understand the inclination to dislike an abortion. The delivery of a baby created by the love between the mother and father is a wonderful thing. However, in the real world, not every fetus should be delivered. Sometimes it was created not out of love (rape or incest). Sometimes its presence is dangerous to the mother’s life or health. Sometimes the mother and father are unable to care for it if carried to term. The woman must have a choice in the matter, to decide whether to carry the fetus to its maturity, when it will be capable of surviving outside of the womb (thereby becoming a fragile, innocent human being), or not. These debates about abortion often have other hidden agendas.

The original link in case the article ever returns to Breakpoint:
(http://www.pfm.org/Content/ContentGroups/BreakPoint/Columns/Worldview_for _Parents/200311/Question_of_the_Week2.htm)

created - Dec. 2004
last change - 12/30/2004
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