Is abortion wrong?
Defining whether something is right or wrong, can be hard. Especially when it comes to people from different cultural, religious and moral backgrounds.
Therefore: to declare that abortion is wrong, you have to start from a moral point on which (almost) everyone agrees.
At least everyone in South Africa agrees with this statement:
" It is wrong to kill a completely innocent human being. It is called murder. "
We will use the above premise as our starting point
Using this statement as our starting point, we can deduct that abortion is the same as murder, if the following statements are true:
- If abortion is the act of killing an unborn baby.
- If the aborted baby is innocent.
- If the aborted baby is a human being.
The first two questions are very easy and obvious to answer.
(1) Abortion is the act of killing and removing the unborn baby from his/her mothers womb.
(2) As a baby has never lived outside the womb, and has never consciously committed any crimes, the baby is completely innocent.
So the only point that remains, is this:
If a baby is a human being, abortion is murder.
We will now compare the differences between an unborn baby and a grown human being. If the baby is no less human than the latter, then abortion is the same as murder.
The unborn differ from the newborn in four ways that have disqualified them as persons (according to pro-abortion advocates). The acronym SLED is a helpful reminder of those differences.
- Size or physical appearance - the unborn is smaller and doesn't look like a person.
- Level of development - the unborn is less developed than real persons, physically and mentally.
- Environment - the unborn isn't located outside in the world, but in a womb.
- Dependency - the unborn is physically dependent on others and can't survive outside the womb.
But do any of these differences disqualify the unborn from being human?
- Size or Physical Appearance - Do humans lose value when they don't look right? Does size equal value? Men are generally larger than women. Does that mean men are more human than women? Human value transcends physical appearance. Therefore, "not looking right" cannot disqualify a human being from being valuable.
- Level of Development - Is a person's value defined by his abilities, by what he can or can't do? Do we forfeit our rights as human persons because we don't have the capabilities others have? Do stronger, more capable, more intelligent people have more rights than others? Do human beings become disposable simply because at their level of development they are helpless, defenseless, and dependent? Human value transcends abilities or the lack of abilities. Therefore, missing abilities cannot disqualify human value.
- Environment - Do humans forfeit their worth when they change locations? Are people who live in one town or province worth more than those who live in others? Are people who live in big houses worth more than people who live in shacks? Environment has no bearing on who we are or our value.
- Degree of Dependency - Is human value determined by our degree of dependency on others? The unborn's dependency on his/her mother for sustenance is irrelevant to the baby's value. No baby is "viable" if degree of dependency matters. All babies need their mothers for feeding whether via blood (an umbilical cord), breast, or bottle. Human beings may be dependent on others for their survival, but they aren't dependent on others for their value. All physically dependent people are at risk if degree of dependency determines their value - those dependent on kidney machines, pacemakers, and insulin would have to be declared non-persons. Dependency does not determine worth.
So in conclution:
We see that there is no difference between normal people and unborn babies. Thus there is no factor that would disqualify unborn babies from being human.
Therefore: Abortion is the killing of innocent humans, which is murder.