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Abortion: A Study in Logic

A counselor for 10 years at a pregnancy crisis center, Hilary met many conflicted women who were glad they kept their baby.

A baby looks to his or her mother for complete protection

A baby looks to his or her mother for complete protection

A Conundrum

If a pregnant woman is murdered while entering an abortion clinic, should the killing still be treated as a double homicide? She was going to - lawfully - put her baby to death anyway.

Taking the life of an expectant woman is treated as murdering two people – the mother and the baby. Yet the separate slaughter of an infant in the womb is perfectly legal, because the mother ‘has the right to choose’ whether or not her child lives or dies.

Third parties do not have that right. If they kill the baby in the womb, it’s homicide.

Following the Logic

Since a mother’s ‘right to choose’ gives her the power of life and death over the baby in her womb, logically doesn't that 'right' extend to the same child outside her womb?

Let’s see where this line of thinking takes us, using three of the top reasons why women abort their babies, according to a 2004 study by the Guttmacher Institute as cited by Gudrun Schultz in The Real Reason Women Choose Abortion.

Timing Is Wrong/Not Ready for Another Child

Picture a pregnant mother who gives birth to a healthy baby boy, but after caring for him for three months, decides that the timing is wrong for another infant. She discovers that she isn’t yet ready to be bound to a needy baby day in and day out.

She would – and should – be tried for murder if she put an end to the child’s life at this stage.

But, she might argue, it was acceptable to kill her child before he was born because she wasn’t ready for another one, so why not now?

It is illogical to apply one standard to the human being inside the womb, and the opposite standard to the very same human being after birth.

I Can’t Afford a Baby Right Now

As Michael Spielman writes in Here Are the Real Reasons Women Have Abortions: “Not being able to afford a child” is a one of several “good reasons for not having a baby” and no one will argue with the decision to delay starting a family until finances improve. But many women use economic circumstances as a reason “for killing a baby that is already alive.”

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Yet what if a mother raises her daughter until the age of eight, then finds herself in dire financial straits? If she is within her legal rights to kill the baby for economic reasons before birth, logically those reasons apply when the child is older, too.

But she isn’t (and shouldn’t be) allowed to wield the power of life and death over her eight-year-old because of economic hardship. So why is it alright to use financial difficulties as a reason to kill that same daughter before she is born?

It defies logic.

I Don’t Want to Be a Single Parent

A couple has raised their son in a loving home for sixteen years. The husband then deserts the mother, who is left alone to deal with their difficult teenager at the very age when he needs the stability of both parents living at home.

If the father of the boy had abandoned the mother while she was pregnant, she would have been within her ‘rights’ to abort the baby inside her, because she didn’t want to raise him alone.

Now that she’s become the very thing she dreaded, namely a single mom, she could say that she should be allowed to apply the same reasoning to end the life of her teenager as she was entitled to use on him while in her womb.

Which, of course, is unconscionable, but also contrary to logic.

In Conclusion

If the murder of a pregnant woman is treated as a double homicide, why is the individual slaughter of an unborn baby not treated as a homicide?

We are horrified (or should be) at the thought of a mother murdering her newborn baby or older child. Yet it’s perfectly acceptable to kill that same son and daughter while they are defenseless human beings in their mother’s womb.

Even if you leave God and morality out of the equation, any rational person can see this state of affairs is illogical.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Hilary Walker

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