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Why take the chance?

Posted by – 9/19/08

I’ve been running a poll for the last several days asking folks about their certainty on when life begins, in the spirit of the question Rick Warren asked at the Saddleback Forum.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

The point here being that if you’re unsure about when life begins, why chance it? I wonder, what allows pro-choice people gloss over even the possibility that they’re killing a human being in favor of a woman’s desire to not have the baby? It seems that unless the person in favor of abortion can definitively say that life doesn’t begin until birth, that person’s argument could also be used to support post-birth abortion.

This is why Warren’s question was so important, and why Obama wriggled his way out of any kind of substantive answer (per the usual). Your stance on abortion should naturally flow from your answer to this question. If life begins at birth, then you can make the argument that abortion is ok. I’d definitely disagree with you, but my disagreement would be on the basis of when life begins, not on whether or not a woman should be able to “choose.” But if your answer is anything less absolute than “at birth,” you’re going to have a real hard time convincing most people that abortion isn’t murder.

Now, about my thoughts on when life begins. Me? I’m not absolutely positive when the soul enters. That certainly is beyond my current understanding. But because I’m not positive, I cannot support the act of extinguishing the life of a fetus. And there are a few more questions I would ask of a person that is positive life doesn’t begin until birth:

  1. If a fetus isn’t living, then why must a medical professional intervene in a somewhat violent manner to abort the child?
  2. If a fetus isn’t living, how can a doctor perform surgery on it and change the potential outcome of the fetus’s existence?
  3. If a fetus isn’t living, why is there a heart beat (as early as five weeks into the pregnancy mind you)?
  4. If a fetus isn’t living five minutes before birth, why is it suddenly living immediately after birth?
  5. If a fetus isn’t living, how is it that a mother’s actions during pregnancy, such as drug use, can have potentially disastrous effects to the unborn fetus for his or her entire life?
  6. If a fetus isn’t living, why do we charge a person who kills a pregnant woman with double homicide?

I know these aren’t big “gotcha” questions. They’re not meant to utterly stump anyone. But they are meant to make you think.

I’m not against women’s rights. But aborting a fetus isn’t a right. It’s been promoted as one, but that doesn’t make it so. It would be the same as me killing my (hypothetical) 3 year old child and saying that I did it because it was my right and, as it turned out, I just wasn’t ready to have a child. The rest of society would most likely disagree with me. So I’m not worried about being seen as rejecting a right which does not really exist.

I think the strong emotional support for abortion is indicative of a society that highly values selfish individualism and minimizes responsibility. Why do you want to stick a young girl with a child she’s not ready for? Well… I don’t want to. It’s just a natural consequence, and we can’t be making up rights just to alleviate ourselves of responsibility. Stuff happens, and just because the gravity of it is immense, that doesn’t mean we get a pass. If we’d realize that everything isn’t about us, and start accepting that sometimes life turns out differently than we’ve planned, we might be able to see things a little differently.

It’s amazing to read some on the left raking the Palin family over the coals for having a set of values and actually living up to them. But the same people would have just as easily derided the Palins as hypocrites had things gone differently. Some people are just so disgusted when Christians set high standards and then have the audacity to live up to them.

All in all, most reasonable people should be able to understand this. I’d much rather err on the side of caution than to discover one day that I’d been a proponent of killing the unborn simply because I could not see past a sophomoric demand for a self-contrived right. There is simply a much larger burden of proof required to be pro-choice than there is to be pro-life. Either that, or just a willful ignorance and an infantile, selfish demand that screams “mine!”

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1 Comment on Why take the chance?


  1. Jenny says:

    I realize that you may be in a different place right now, or be interested
    in other topics, but nonetheless I am responding to your questions in this
    post because I believe these opinions are founded in a misunderstanding of
    the pro-choice movement, and I am trying as politely as I can to explain my
    position. I hope you will take this in the spirit in which it was intended.


    Kevin, to answer your questions 1-5 above, I don’t think anyone argues
    that a fetus isn’t living. Sure it is, just like a virus or a chicken or a
    mushroom is living. The question is whether a fetus has an awareness or
    conscious of itself or has a soul.

    We KNOW through science and observation that living, breathing babies, and
    adults, and VIABLE fetuses have a separate awareness and consciousness.
    Which is why infanticide and murder are crimes.

    But I don’t think anyone can argue reasonably or prove that a clump of
    cells the size of a thumbnail (heartbeat or no) can have a consciousness or
    self-awareness of any degree.

    If you want to argue that a clump has a soul, that is fine, but you cannot
    legislate that I believe it has one, and you cannot require that I submit my
    body to any religious theory whatever. You cannot require that I nurture a
    clump of cells that I do not believe to have consciousness until it is able
    to live on its own.

    It’s as if I required you to grow a tumor for a year in order to serve my
    spiritual needs. Imagine that I believe a great God, Tumora, exists, and
    that in order to serve him, I need you not to treat a cancer you’ve
    discovered in your lungs.

    I don’t care if it is in your best interests or not; Tumora needs you to
    nurture this tumor.

    I don’t care if you don’t believe in Tumora or not; I believe that your
    tumor is sacred to Tumora and that you’re committing a crime by getting

    I don’t care whether you believe the tumor has a soul or not; Tumora needs

    AND I don’t care about your ability to make a decision to believe in
    Tumora or not — I believe in Tumora, and to use your own words, “if
    you’re unsure about when life begins, why chance it?” If you’re not sure
    Tumora exists, why chance it?

    I am worried enough about your IMMORTAL SOUL and your chance to go to
    Tumora’s heaven, that I will take away utterly your options to rid yourself
    of this tumor, and make sure that you obey His will.

    Can you see where I am coming from on this? Murder is different from
    abortion because the first takes away a consciousness that can be seen and
    be proven to exist. The second takes away a consciousness that may or may
    not exist according to various religious opinions and theorys.

    I’m not talking about 3rd trimester abortion, which contrary to the belief
    of many, is rare and undesirable for 99.9999999% of all mothers who get that
    far. No woman who gets that far in a pregnancy has a (very dangerous,
    expensive, painful) operation for a frivolous reason — these are the
    fetuses that have no brain or no spinal cord and will die within minutes of
    being born.

    And I don’t believe children are cancerous tumors, in case that isn’t

    I simply believe that unless you can make a PROVABLE case that a nine-week
    old fetus has consciousness and viability, you are in the realm of personal
    spiritual choice and responsibility, and that that must be left up to the
    person within whom the clump is growing. If you can’t trust her to make her
    own personal choices and deal with God or Tumora in her own way, how can you
    trust her at all?

    Hope this all makes sense. Best wishes to you.