Abortion is No Act of Murder
Pro-life activists rely purely on religious dogma without even thinking from their own perspectives. Relying on such religious documents does not promote logical thinking and the religious people think that what is written in the Bible or any other religious scripture cannot be bent or broken. Others make very literal interpretations to the point that it sounds crazy and absurd. Abortion is just one of the those topics that have become controversial because of much intervention from the religious sector.
Many pro-life activists claim that life begins at the moment of conception but many doubt the credibility of this argument. Some claim that abortion is actually pro-life and some say that it should not be considered unconstitutional because abortion is not an act of murder. In certain medical cases, there is a need for abortion when the continuance of the pregnancy would result in a threat to the life of the mother or to the life of both the mother and the fetus. In such cases, abortion should be performed but these pro-life activists have closed their minds to the possible harsh outcomes of continuing with the pregnancy and still choose to advocate for their cause. Likewise, women that have pregnancies resulting from cases of rape or any other unfortunate circumstances should be given the option to have an abortion instead of being forced to continue with an unwanted pregnancy.
The arguments that abortion is murder because life begins at conception bears no ground for an embryo, prior to what pro-life activists believe, is not yet a human being, but rather a just a “lump of cells”. There is no scientific reason to refer to an embryo, which is basically just human tissue, as a human being. In comparison, an embryo is even more primitive than any other fully developed animal. Also, an embryo has not yet developed a brain which means that it still does not have a consciousness which is a characteristic of a human being. Technically, it is not yet a human being but has the potential to become one when it further develops (Beenfeldt, 2006).
Anti-abortion groups do not equate the importance of the life of the mother and the fetus. Having a blind ideology that the life of a fetus or even just an embryo is just as important as the life of the mother and choosing who between the two lives is a choice that should not be made by people. This kind of dilemma is faced regarding certain medical conditions when bearing a child provides a threat to the life of a woman (Beenfeldt, 2006).
These groups also disregard the fact that 90 percent of abortions happen on the first trimester of the pregnancy. They often show more graphic images of late stage abortions. This is the approach that pro-life supporters have been using (Beenfeldt, 2006).
According to the case of Roe v. Wade, a “person” does not pertain to an unborn and “a fetus does not have equal status with the mother until the point of viability, or when the fetus can exist outside of the mother’s womb”. The law also defines a “person” as “one who has been born alive”. On one argument, the embryo, having a completely unique genetic component may be considered a person which equates abortion to murder. This argument, however does not hold a strong footing because there still exists a clear “difference between an actual person and a potential or possible person” (Sobel, 1994).
Scriptures from taken from the Bible may not be considered ground enough to prove that abortion is murder since there are a number of religions existent in the world and there are even people who do not go by a religion. Since pro-life activists assert information from the Bible, the arguments that they claim may only apply to those who sincerely follows the religious teachings. For the Catholic Church, the orthodox church, protestants, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism, abortion is an act against the teachings of their religion. Buddhist, on the other hand, expressed support for abortion so as long as it is done for medical purposes. Atheists and agnostics do not believe in a god and consider abortion as a basic human right that should be granted to anyone who wants it (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children).
There also arose debates when doctors have allegedly confirmed that a fetus is capable of feeling pain but this may rather be a false apprehension since it takes a whole lot of time before an embryo develops a brain and nerves to actually feel and identify pain (Sobel, 1994).
On another point of view, abortion would actually saves the lives of many women who could have gone to a licensed physician to have a-not-completely-safe but safer than self-induced abortion or abortion done by an individual without proper health care skills and knowledge. A study done at the Guttmacher Institute in the United States indicated that abortion rates are generally the same in rich and poor countries and that half of all induced abortions worldwide are performed illegally. Abortion makes up of 13 percent of maternal deaths around the world. Seventy thousand women die from unsafe abortion on a yearly basis as five million are faced permanent and temporary injury. Even if abortion went down over the past years, the rate of unsafe abortion did not change. Most abortions were done in the developing countries but 97 percent of all unsafe abortions, or those abortions done by people without the skills necessary to comply with medical standards, were done in poor countries (Associated Press, 2007). To analyze, legalizing abortion would probably reduce the risks associated with it since the government would take part in a regulation and an assurance that safe abortion methods would be employed by qualified practitioners.
The opposing arguments does not state any empirical evidence which could relate abortion to murder. From this, it is safe to assume that abortion is not murder and definitely not a criminal act that should be deemed unconstitutional. The only arguments that they state compose of religious texts and scriptures but religion is not a universal concept. It does not govern everyone and people have a right to choose their religion or to be free from religion. Using scientific evidences, an embryo may not yet be considered a human but rather a potential human which still does not have the rights that a human being possesses.
Beenfeldt, Christian. 11 November 2006. Abortion is Not Murder: So-Called “Pro-Life Movement” is Anti-Human. Capitalism Magazine. Retrieved May 9, 2008, from http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4833
Sobel, Marlena. July 1994. Abortion Myths. Retrieved May 9, 2008, from http://www.publiceye.org/ifas/fw/9407/myths.html
Associated Press. 18 October 2007. Abortion rates same whether legal or not. MSNBC. Retrieved May 9, 2008, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21255186/
Religious Views on Abortion. Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. Retrieved May 9, 2008, from, http://www.spuc.org.uk/students/abortion/religion