A Dialogue on Abortion

How would you respond to these statements?
Here’s what a typical discussion may look like:

“But I consented to sex, not pregnancy!”

People are only able to consent to actions, not to outcomes. The risk of pregnancy may decrease with contraception, but it’s still a possible outcome. Consent to sex acknowledges the possibility of pregnancy. 

“A woman should be able to do what she wants with her own body—It’s My Body My Choice.”

A fetus is not a part of the mother’s body, but a completely separate human being with her own unique DNA. If what’s in the womb is a human being, should another person have the right to kill her?

“Well, nobody can use someone else’s body without consent.”

An unplanned pregnancy can be difficult but there’s no other place for this new human being to grow and survive. Is it justified to end someone’s entire existence to avoid nine months of  inconvenience? There’s no neutral option in pregnancy. Killing another human should not be the answer.

“But a fetus isn’t a human—it’s just a clump of cells.”

Simple tissue doesn’t have a beating heart or brain waves.  Twelve weeks after fertilization, every system of a child’s body is in place and functioning.1 Nothing new is added except oxygen, nutrition and time.

“But if abortion is made illegal, women will die through unsafe, illegal abortions.”

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL, admitted he exaggerated the numbers. “I confess that I knew the figures were totally false.”2 In 1973 more women died from legal abortions (25) than illegal abortions (19).3 Just because some people break laws doesn’t mean laws shouldn’t exist to protect the vulnerable.

“Okay maybe it’s a human, but it’s definitely not a person.”

The worldview that led to the acceptance of slavery and genocide began with stripping away personhood from some humans for convenience. Isn’t it discriminatory to say some human beings are not people?

“I’m personally opposed but I won’t take away someone else’s right to an abortion.”

The same reasoning applied elsewhere sounds like, “I’m personally opposed to child abuse but I won’t take away someone else’s right to beat their child.” There should be no such thing as the freedom to kill a child.

“Well, the world is overpopulated anyway.”

Every person on earth could live in their own home fitting on a landmass the size of Texas.4,5 People suffering from hunger could be lifted out of malnourishment on less than a quarter of the wasted food from the US, UK and Europe. We can solve distribution problems without killing human beings.6

The Argument is Simply...

  • All humans should get human rights.
  • Human rights start when a human’s life begins.
  • Science tells us when a human’s life begins.
  • Abortion kills an innocent human being.
  • Abortion is a human rights violation

1 Sadler, T.W, Langman, Jan. Langman’s Medical Embryology; Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1995. Edition: English: 7th ed., international ed. Print.

2 Houghton, Mark. “How the Abortion Movement Started with Deceit and Lies—Dr Nathanson.” The British Medical Journal, 2 Mar. 2011, www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/03/how-abortion-movement-started-deceit-and-lies-dr-nathanson.

3 Koonin, Lisa M. “Abortion Surveillance -- United States, 1992.” MMWR Surveillance Summaries, Center for Disease Control, 19 Sept. 1998, www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00041486.htm#00001660.htm. Table 17

4 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017). World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, https://population.un.org/wpp/Download/Standard/Population/.

5 Environment Texas Almanac, 19 Nov. 2017, texasalmanac.com/topics/environment/environment.

6 Skidelsky, William. “My crash course in food waste with Tristram Stuart,” The Guardian. 17 July 2009. Guardian News and Media. 05 Sept. 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ethicallivingblog/2009/jul/17/food-waste-tristram-stuart.