Abortion is badly affecting our society today. People in huge numbers feel it to be wrong as it kills an unborn child for no reason. However, others believe that it is a woman’s legal right to choose abortion especially in case of incest, rape, or health issues threatening the life of a mother. It is wrong to have an abortion because the ‘fetus’ is a person, it is alive, and it is innocent. When does a ‘fetus’ become viable and become considered a person? Legally, the fetus is considered viable when it is able to live apart from its mother’s body without any life-supporting interventions. Now, with the advancement of medicine, this age of viability is getting younger and younger even though the fetus is supposed to live without any lifesaving efforts. So, if a child is born at 22 weeks gestation and the only way it can survive is if medical interventions take place, when does it become a person? It is still alive but born before the end of gestation and needs life support, is this child considered a baby or still considered a fetus?
Would the doctor be considered morally wrong if he/she let this child die because it has not reached the 40th week of gestation? Would it be considered murder if the doctor let the child die? The measure of being a person is making sure the fetus reaches ‘age of viability’ so are we to believe then that a baby born at 22 weeks gestation would not be considered a person because it cannot survive without life-saving efforts and the doctor would be “morally” right to let the child die? No, we would not consider letting this child die because it has already been born. Why would we not consider a child that hasn’t been born yet as a person even though this child exhibits all signs of life?
By the laws of our great nation, it is illegal to ‘kill’ or ‘murder’ a fellow human being, even in cases of self-defence. Why is it wrong to ‘kill’ or ‘murder’? You would be taking to chance away from the person you kill to grow old, have a productive life with a family and children, etc. A person is a living being who has the ‘right’ to live his/her life without the interference or infringement of others. By killing or murdering that person, you have taken away one of the most basic rights granted by The Declaration of Independence, under the assumption that ‘all men are created equal, which is “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. This historical document does not state ‘all men BORN are created equal. The argument has been stated that a fetus is not alive and is not considered a person until a certain point in gestation. However, this ‘fetus’ moves, flinches at loud noises, stretches its tiny body, gets hiccups, etc. all during early gestation, beginning at 5weeks.
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Are we to believe that these are just reflexes or just biological functions that do not reflect life? If we do not consider the product of the uniting of sperm and egg as life, then how would this ‘zygote’ change and multiply to eventually become a baby. You can take a skin cell, hair cell, etc. and place them into a nurturing environment and they would not grow into more skin, more hair because they are not alive. You take this ‘zygote’ and place it in a nurturing environment and it splits into multiple cells that will eventually grow into a fully developed person. If this ‘clump of cells’ were not alive, this change in itself would not be possible. These clumps of cells will not turn into something else, such as an ear, an eye, another animal, etc…its end result, if left alone to grow and thrive, is a person.
The ‘fetus’ is an innocent being in the whole pregnancy. What does it mean to be innocent? Webster’s dictionary defines ‘innocent’ as 1) free from moral wrong, 2) free from legal or specific wrong, 3) not involving evil intent or motive, 4) not causing physical or moral injury; harmless, and 5) devoid. Let’s look at each of these definitions in relation to the fetus. In order to be considered innocent, you have to be free from moral wrong. As a newly conceived human, what could this human do that could be perceived as ‘morally wrong’? Considering the argument that the zygote or fetus is not a person, then how could it do anything morally wrong? In order to do something ‘morally wrong ’, that would indicate a conscience and of making a decision but if the fetus is not considered a person, how can it have a conscience or make a decision? If a person is considered innocent, they must be free from legal or specific wrong. Since this fetus has not yet been born, it could not have committed any act that could be considered legally wrong or specifically wrong because you cannot legally bring a lawsuit against an unborn person.
What would the grounds of the lawsuit be that the fetus infringed upon the legal rights of the mother to be a non-pregnant woman? Another stipulation for being considered innocent is ‘not involving evil intent or motive’. This also goes back to the first statement that the fetus is not considered a person and in order to have evil intent, there must be conscience and if it is not a person, it cannot have evil intent or motive, therefore it must be innocent. Another definition of innocence is ‘not causing physical or moral injury’. Now, one could argue that the effects of pregnancy on a woman’s body cause physical injury, however, a woman’s body is made to adapt to the pregnancy in order to nurture and sustain the life inside. This, in my opinion, is not an injury. An injury is “harm or damage that is sustained”. After a pregnancy, the woman’s body returns to normal, without sustaining any of the previous symptoms of the pregnancy. So, just looking at these definitions, it is easy to deduce that the unborn fetus is innocent.
In closing, abortion is wrong because it takes the life of an innocent person. This person, although in the very early stages of life, has a purpose and is completely innocent in the act that created its existence. Each one of us began as a zygote and grew into a fetus to be born a person. If every woman who had gotten pregnant in the history of humanity believed that at the beginning of their pregnancy was not pregnant with a live person who was innocent, then the human race, as a whole, would’ve been extinct millions of years ago. When you get up in the morning to start your day or go out with friends or just do something that makes you enjoy and appreciate your life, aren’t you glad that your mother felt that you were worth being given a chance to be born?