SANCTITY OF LIFE: A Restatement of the Obvious

Written by GR Bud West on January 19, 2015

Little doubt exists that abortion-on-demand remains one of the most contentious topics of debate, in the United States, today. Coined by the left as a matter of “choice” and representing a foundational platform of the women’s rights movement, the values and behaviors associated with the abortion-on-demand meme have seemed disingenuous, if not downright antithetical to the general concept of progressiveness — at least from a perspective that positions the definition of “progressive” as having something to do with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

However, their position doesn’t only appear disingenuous, but it appears confusing, as well. On the one hand, proponents of abortion-on-demand would have their audiences understand that they represent smart, responsible, and well-meaning individuals, only concerned with women’s “rights.” However, the parts that seem confusing include that a choice to intentionally abort children from wombs doesn’t represent any of those. The smart “choices” include abstinence or the use of effective means of birth control. The “responsible” time to select either of those, as one of the correct choices, includes any time before having intimate relations.

Additionally, anything that any groups or legislatures legalize because people “mean well,” arguably ought to mean well for everyone involved in the equation and not just the ones who argue the loudest and longest. Notwithstanding the rights of unborn children, whatever people allow to happen to any of the weakest and most vulnerable among them, they allow to happen to their collectively selves.

Furthermore, some of those who advocate abortion-on-demand have also argued that viability makes a difference in the argument. Children in the womb either exist as human beings or they don’t. Viability is functionally irrelevant. Consider that adults who need life support to exist, for whatever reasons, aren’t viable without it; and that care givers wouldn’t generally withhold life support from the nominal adult because his or her mother makes a choice.

For example, the recent case of Martin Pistorious represents such a case. In case you missed it, back in the 1980s, doctors diagnosed Mr. Pistorious with cryptococci meningitis and he entered into what they called a “vegetative state.” He remained in that condition for several years, during which time his mother had reportedly wished him dead. However, he did not die and he later made a dramatic recovery.

So, it seems strange to me (read: it presents as a fallacy) that people who have advocated the right to choose to abort unborn children, have done their best to justify this right and by extension, these choices, by claiming that non-viable fetuses aren’t really human beings, at all.

Consider, by April 2012, 38 states had enacted legislation that makes it illegal to kill children in the womb, by violent acts committed against pregnant women. In fact, 23 of these states have enacted “fetal homicide laws” that disregard the age of the children in the womb. That means that in almost half of the states in the United States, in violent acts against pregnant women, prosecutors can charge the killers of womb-bound children with homicide, up to and including murder; regardless of the ages of those children (read: from conception).

I have not read where any people who advocate abortion-on-demand have necessarily argued against these laws. However, on the other hand, those who advocate choice have contended that at least up until the age of viability, pregnant mothers should have the “right” (option/choice) to abort those children, on demand. Bottom line, in the U.S., it’s acceptable for mothers to “choose” to kill children in the womb; but it’s murder if those same mothers want to keep their children, yet others kill them. So, are children in the womb human beings or not?

Additionally, I don’t serve as an apologist for people who take the position that conception from rape serves as a representation of God’s perfect will. However, if life begins at conception, do the familial relationships that exist between fathers and mothers (or the lack thereof) or the circumstances surrounding given conceptions, really change the fact that children in wombs are still living human beings? Doesn’t killing those children amount to homicide, regardless of the names, sexes, or positions of, or the relationships between the people who make those choices to do the killings?

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GR Bud West
G. R. Bud West serves as a Professor of Leadership and Management at a leading, Christian university; and as a Principal Program Management Specialist in an international training and development company. He holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership and spends quite a bit of time thinking and writing about leadership, social power, and liberty, from a Biblical worldview perspective. He lives “on the road” in the United States of America, with his beautiful home-schooling wife and four sons. Find him on Twitter: @BudWest and on the web at: