On Abortion

If morality is the point here, and if it’s right or wrong, not just a political question, then you can’t have 50 different versions of what’s right and what’s wrong” Mike Huckabee

Going to a humanistic but practical definition of the Moral Good outlined by a Philosophy professor I took a class with:

Moral good is a quality of the action or intention of a free and knowing agent, which action/intention adds/preserves the physical i.e.biological, psychological, economic, etc–whatever is “natural”(to the object) good of some natural whole such as humans and other species in some rational subordination to human and with keeping in mind the distinction between essential goods and incidental (trivial) goods.

In the issue of Abortion, are there some benefits which are essential and some which are trivial? In a relative scale, a continuum, are there some benefits which are better than others?

What are the benefits of Abortion as defined by it’s supporters?

  • Health of the mother.
  • Protection of the victim in cases of rape and/or incest.
  • Protection from abuse of the mother and/or an unwanted child.
  • Protection of those who are going to abort anyways by providing safe/legal environment to have it performed.
  • Preventing deformed and handicapped children from having a less worthwhile life.
  • Quality of life of the rest of the family.
  • Happiness.

To these I would add protection of the perpetrators of rape and incest.

What are a few of the problems with Abortion? The anti-goods. This list is very short. I wanted general categories rather than specifics.

  • Abortion kills human life.
  • Abortion causes physical and emotional issues in the mothers.
  • Abortion destroys potential.

Now, compare any other these items in these two lists, the “goods” against the “bads”, and is there a case where the “goods” are morally superior to the “bads”? For the sake of our discussion, how do the list of “goods” and “bads” line up on the continuum from essential to trivial?

In the extreme case, perhaps the strongest, most emotionally charged arguments for Abortion are those involving rape and incest and the life of the mother. How do these cases compare in the essential to trivial continuum with those against Abortion?

I would submit that killing a human to resolve an ugly, evil situation such as rape or incest does not mitigate the evil of the original situation nor the lasting consequences of it. If anything, adding the guilt of murder to an already traumatized victim cannot be a safe course of action.

And what of the child? The child has no say in the circumstances of it’s conception. The child could well be a prodigy, it could be special needs, it could be normal and unique like all other children. With special needs children, any person who can look at such a child and not be struck both the intense love such a child needs and is capable of reciprocating, is sorely lacking in humanity. The point is, to unjustly cut off the potential of any child at any point is a grave mistake and a crime with few equals.

Therefore, comparing the competing cases, we see that on the continuum, any benefit to the mother to be attained by killing her child would be trivial compared to the essential goods to be attained in the potential of that child.

And what of the idea that another child could rob the older children of some of their owed love from their parents? Is love a zero-sum game, where there is a set and finite amount of love contained in this world, that to add to those who need love we subtract from the total available to any other? To believe that is to believe a lie, an obvious and tawdry lie. A child both receives love and gives love, adding to the total love in a family. Love is not, cannot be, selfish. We experience love when we are not even the direct or intended recipients of it. To witness love is to feel love and experience it. As older children observe their parents giving of themselves, selflessly, to a new and dependent child, they can understand true love as it is modeled for them.

Finally, what of happiness? Is a smaller family a happier family? Are children likely to be aborted more likely to experience unhappy lives? It is true that abortion primarily appeals to poor and minority families (Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was a documented White Supremacist and supported eugenics and abortion as methods of controlling what she deemed to be unworthy aspects of society), but are these necessarily unhappy families? If even one of the children may experience a happy family, basic decency demands we give that child the chance to experience that life. And not every child who experiences an unhappy child will necessarily experience an unhappy adulthood. We are not automatons completely dependent on our situations and histories. Instead, we have choice in how we respond and react to each of our situations. To deny the chance that child may grow up to use their troubled history as a springboard to launch them into the far reaches of achievement in society and culture. Or do you have so little faith in humanity?

Abortion is wrong, evil, hateful, arrogant, stupid, and blind.

2 thoughts on “On Abortion”

Leave a Reply