Thursday, February 08, 2007

Answering the Progressive Conservative

Progressive Conservative decided to take up the abortion issue on his blog.

I was going to comment on his blog, but I was getting so wordy, I decided to just blog it here, and expand it. He writes:

I really don't know whether God considers a fetus life as such and whether having an abortion will result in criminal charges for murder in the afterlife.

Objectively speaking, the fetus is a human being. That's an empirical fact. The fetus is an organism who is a homo sapiens. All the laws of biology point to that fact, and none contradict it.

The issue becomes: does the fetus have rights? Does his right to life trump a woman's right to bodily autonomy. Is her temporary suffering a greater evil than the permanent loss of the fetus' life?

From a philosophical point of view, the intrinsic nature of humanity is such that once you exist, you have rights. Human nature is not something you are attributed; it is not something that "grows" in you. You either possess human nature, or you don't.

From a religious view, that the fetus is a human being is evident in the Bible. Just look at Luke 1. The unborn Christ is "the Lord", and John the Baptist is a prophet announcing the coming of Mary and Jesus.

Since a fetus is a human being, the question becomes: does the mother have the right to take the life of this fetus in the name of her bodily autonomy?

The fetus never asked to be on that woman's body. He is not an invader. He is also a vulnerable human being, in need of protection. That his existence may be burdensome does not signify that he should be killed.

If the fetus is an equal human being in the eyes of God, then by supporting legal abortion, you will effectively be saying that it's morally acceptable to kill fellow human beings. To not kill innocents is one of the Ten Commandments.

You say that your religion is not right on everything.

However, one common belief of the three great monotheistic religions is that unlimited abortion is wrong. Traditional Islam and Judaism will not allow abortion except under strict circumstances. The vast majority of abortions today in Canada are not performed for health reasons. They're simply abortions of convenience.

And to address your philosophical issue about the uncertain nature of beliefs: what about beliefs about born human beings? Are you certain that all born human beings are equal? Isn't that a religious belief? If you're not sure that born human beings are equal, would that mean it would be okay to pass a law to legalize killing of people of a given group?

If someone is not sure whether a fetus is a human being, he shouldn't be saying it's okay to allow for him to be killed. He should find out first. Otherwise, he might be advocating that a person with rights be killed. That would be wrong.

The "uncertainty" probably has more to do with conflicting emotions than a close examination. I would also suggest it has to do with the prospect of going against the tide.