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Explaining in a factual way why abortion is wrong Print
Guest column
Thursday, Mar. 10, 2011 -- 1:00 AM

Perhaps one of the most hotly contested issues of the Church, the topic of abortion, often arises when somebody finds out we don’t condone it.

The Church has taught from early times that life is to be protected in all forms and time periods. We’re often asked: Why is it wrong? How can you discriminate against mothers?

Here are a few ways to explain the moral evil of abortion in a completely secular way, that will make sense to any reasonable citizen.

Definition of when life begins

To properly show the wrong and disorder of abortion, one must first define that life begins when egg and sperm meet. If someone can understand this, half the battle of understanding is already won.

Many contend that without a fully developed brain or with only a clump of cells, a baby has no mental capacity and therefore should not be considered life.

Authors Patrick Lee and Robert P. George refute this argument: “Like sex cells, a somatic cell is functionally only a part of a larger organism. The human embryo, by contrast, possesses from the beginning the internal resources and active disposition to develop himself or herself to full maturity” (Lee and George, 14).

By simply being an embryo, a child has all it needs to develop and grow. Thus it is not part of a whole, but a whole life. This is why the embryo is a self-integrating organism from the meeting of sperm and egg.

Hurting an innocent

Abortion hurts an innocent person. Our human entities, “the things we are, not our properties or experiences, are intrinsically valuable” (Lee and George 17).

Our human lives have infinite value. Others against this proposition contend that it is unfair to force a mother to keep a child she cannot support and that our tax dollars should not fund her struggle to raise that child.

Saving government money does not constitute the right to murder an innocent child. Adoption presents an option for mothers neither financially nor emotionally equipped for raising a child.

Well, what about rape?

The issue of rape often contributes to this hot debate as well. Author Francis Beckwith uses logical reasoning to erase the myths that high percentages of rape crimes result in pregnancy.

To start, he uses the figure of 200,000 women who have been raped, factors in how long it takes for the average couple to conceive, the percent of sterile men and women, the number of days a women can become pregnant in the month, and the number of women on birth control. This leaves 450 out of that 200,000 becoming pregnant after rape, equating to less than half of a percent.

However, if a mother is raped, it is not realistic to expect her to keep the child, reminding her of the terrible injustice she experienced. While rape is a terrible injustice, to make two victims out of one crime makes the injustice far greater.

However, allowing children of rape victims to be adopted is perfectly ethical and responsible. Since so few rape victims conceive children from the crime, it does not add drastically to the population of children waiting to be adopted, as some pro-choice citizens contend.

Children with birth defects

When children are going to be born with birth defects, why should we put them through short, painful lives? Many pro-choicers maintain that birth-defected children are to be executed before birth.

While the child may suffer with birth defects, the possibility remains that these children can overcome or improve these defects and go on to lead relatively normal lives. It is unnatural to test the fate that no human doctor can determine with complete accuracy.

Irresponsibility in sex

Abortion’s prevalence in America adds to our male-dominant culture contending that success is defined by irresponsibility or “fun” (having promiscuous sex) but remaining like a man (not pregnant).

It desensitizes citizens to the beauty and fruitfulness of femininity. Abortion stops a beautiful life which has already begun developing.

Give children a chance

Lastly, these children are human just as any person outside the womb and justice should serve to give these children the same opportunities anyone else receives. We do not know what they will add to the world, what they will create, invent, or establish to better society as a whole. Every child deserves that opportunity to pursue their intelligence and talents.

Life deserves human respect in any form and abortion is not conducive to this ideal.

This is how to explain why abortion is wrong in a completely natural, reasonable manner.

Olivia Knier is a senior at Waunakee High School. She enjoys running, singing, writing for her high school newspaper, The Purple Sage, spending time with her family, and learning about her Catholic faith.