Abortion: An infants right to live and a woman’s right to choose
My view of sin and the human race is that I believe that people are inherently good and that they become evil because they are not educated enough to know what is “good” and what is “evil”. I believe that these people in turn bring down others with them and help them in committing sins and other improprieties. Thus you get good and you get evil people in the world. But I believe there are more good people in the world than bad.
The overall purpose of this integration paper is to identify and establish those arguments which I feel are most relevant, and most pertinent to the most contentious topic that is Abortion. Although I do not believe in abortion, there exists a balance of arguments, which, for the purposes of fortifying my arguments, I should like to identify throughout this integration paper. To begin with, I should like to identify three precepts upon which I am basing my anti-abortion argument, including Individual responsibilities, Social responsibility and Moral beliefs. Simply stated, I do not believe that abortion is right. I say this because abortion is not just a term, but a meaning. This meaning encompasses the life and purpose of another individual. To me, it does not matter that the other individual may reside within the stomach of yet another individual, yet, is, unto his/her own individuality, and individual. Furthermore, this individual is represented as one just as you and I are divine creation within the Eyes of God. If abortion were allowed to persist unabated, it would surely impact our society as well as their mores, and well portend ramifications for other aspects of how a highly civilized culture should behave. And what of morality? To a large extent, I believe that this issue is steeped in religion. God did not intend for an individual to come into this world, only to be butchered before it has had the opportunity to realize its anatomical or biological being. It is true that an individual, who happens to be of the female gender, represents that instrument to which another spirit or soul is afforded personification in this often referred to ‘ungodly world’ of ours. Of course, I realize that saying this is one thing, while establishing it thoroughly in the minds and hearts of others is quite another.
As previously stated, I am trying to base my argument against abortion on individual, social, and moral bases. Abortion is an issue, which many people have voiced their opinions on, from the various spectrums of the political arenas as well as those religious spectrums. Groups have lobbied around both sides of the issue and political leaders have expressed their opinions publicly. Pope John Paul made it clear that he is anti-abortionist, and it would appear that much of the voicing of opinion from the religious right regarding the subject of abortion, and all of its followers i.e. Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, Gerry Falwell, et.al. reflects the reality that this issue is indeed complex. It is possible that some of these hold this view, based upon the belief that abortion is simple, depending upon the individual’s belief system, as well as structural and socialized background. Whether or not the issue of abortion is one of simplicity or complexity is not one, which I wish to address, per se, rather it is the issue and their precepts, which I wish to discuss. At this point, I should like to expound upon those moral or ethical implications of abortion.
By far, the main controversy of abortion relates to what may be called its ethical and moral aspects, and it is for this reason that they should be considered before treating what may be called its “societal aspects.” This is to say that if abortion is to be regarded as contrary to moral and ethical laws, it is hardly to be condoned on the grounds of its alleged benefits for society. On the other hand, if abortion is not to be regarded as immoral or unethical, one may defend it as a good to the extent that it is socially beneficial while still opposing it to the extent that it is socially disruptive. In contrast, most opponents of abortion would be of the view that it is never to be condoned, no matter what alleged social benefits may result from specific abortions under specific circumstances, such as the aborting of the babies of mental defectives.
Basically, opponents of abortion regard it as murder insofar as it involves what they regard as the willful taking of life. Thus they base their position upon a transcendent moral imperative “thou shall not kill” although it should also be noted that the morality of abortion is questioned by many who do not subscribe to the extreme of the equation that abortion is murder. Rachel Richardson Smith expresses this latter position when she writes:
Call it what you will – – fertilized eggs, embryo, or fetus. What we
have here is human life. If it were just a mass of tissue there would be
no debate. I agree that abortion ends life. But the anti-abortionists are
wrong to call it murder. (Szumski, p. 94)
Here of course, we have to realize a balance of perspectives. Nevertheless, advocates of abortion rarely address themselves to the moral issue, but instead, seek to counter the imperative against the taking of human live with another imperative that woman should have complete freedom over her own body. Ms. Richardson is entirely correct when she states that abortion is murder. The semantics of a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus are just that, and represent a kind of socio-moral smoke screen for many to bury their heads in. What I’m suggesting is that the moral issue of abortion cannot be evaded, but at the same time, that issue is more complex than some supporters of both the Right To Life, as well as pro-abortion position would have us belief. More specifically, it has been argued that abortion represents an intrinsic moral evil, which can be justified only to prevent a greater evil. Of this, I would agree. The most obvious greater evil, in this regard, would be loss of the life of the person already living, but I would consider such evils as the extreme emotional distress of carrying to term a child associated with rape or incest. In other words, it is possible for liberal or leftist to oppose abortion on philosophical grounds while approving the liberalization of society of which legalized abortion is but a manifestation. However, most opponents of abortion are social conservatives. Thus, the controversy over the legalization of abortion has inevitably assumed overtones, which go beyond the legalistic and philosophical question as to embrace the entire of area of societal liberalization. Given the reluctance of the Supreme Court to overturn precedents (Plessey v. Ferguson was not reversed for 68 years), it is unlikely that the anti-abortion movement will succeed in undoing Roe v. Wade. Given the difficulty of amending the Constitution, legalized abortion would appear to be here to stay. However, the Right To Life Movement, to the extent that it reflects a backlash against the growing trend towards societal liberalization, may yet have its influence upon American lives and values of the post-Reagan era. Kristin Lucker has written, regarding the liberalization of abortion that: “Barring major changes in the larger social context or on the structure of American public opinion on abortion, the best the pro-life movement can hope for, should one of the current anti-abortion bills pass, is a modern form of the prohibition experience.(Lucker,p. 242) But this the Supreme Court has ruled definitively on the abortion question, the legalization of abortion can be repealed only by the Constitutional Amendment, and it is clear that the amending of the Constitution is sufficiently difficult, if not impossible to amend. The Right To Life Movement has shown implicit awareness of the situation by not making a concerted effort to utilize the amendment process but has instead sought to rally public opinion in the same manner as the anti-slavery forces following the Dred Scott Decision. Similarly, in terms of society (legalities) abortion has in common with slavery the fact that it is difficult to defend intellectually, but it also has in common with slavery the fact that it may become obsolete through new techniques of family planning with evidence of a new trend towards the acceptance of single mothers. This may have the ironic result of decreasing the incidents of abortion, establishing greater social permissiveness, and thus thinking the symbol of permissiveness obsolete. At the same time, ultimately, the individual is what represents society, and it is society who must perform in a morally cohesive manner if that society is to sustain itself. So to summarize I feel that abortion is wrong and that a life should not be taken just to do away with a unwanted memory or to just give up a unwanted being that was a so called mistake. So I feel that an abortion is a infant’s right to live and is not the woman’s right to choose to take the life of the unborn fetus that is not wanted.
Lucker, Kristin, “Abortion And The Politics of Motherhood,” University Of California Press, 1984 Online edition
Szumski, Arnie, Ed. (Quoted By) “Abortion, Opposing Viewpoints,” St. Paul Times 1986