Friday, November 14, 2008

Culture Wars: Abortion

I read a blog post today by a guy who believes that a foetus, until its born, is not human and not alive. Life, along with personhood begins at birth, he says.

I had to read that twice.

Years ago I was utterly confident that the only ethical position was pro-choice. "I don't want to live in a country where the government tells women what they can or can't do with their bodies," I said confidently.

I'm not so sure now. I have two children, and when the first one (Fang) was just over 5 weeks old, I saw his little heart beating on a sonogram. I have to believe that my son had the right to live before his mother delivered him. And if I believe that, what else do I believe?

For years some reason the idea that the unborn had rights as well had escaped me, but when it caught up, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I'm a big fan of contraception -- all forms -- and an even bigger fan of the morning after pill. But once that little heart starts beating, I can't support stopping it. In cases of rape or incest, I'll cheerfully hang the rapists, but does the baby have to die?

Is banning abortion the answer? We have a lousy track record on banning things in this country and I still don't like the notion of the government legislating morality. Besides, the consequences of making abortion illegal are right there in the historical record -- abortions will be a lot more dangerous. Women will be badly injured or die.

What solution protects the rights of living women and the unborn as well? I look back and wonder how I could have been so certain.


jimbob86 said...

An abortion after 4 weeks stops a beating human heart. It is that simple. Men are not potatotoes, indeed.

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