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Abortion and the Concept of Choice

by Moe Morals

I remember in either 96’ or 97’ abortion was a hot-topic within the political realm. Not only that but the hardcore/punk rock scene seemed to be divided right down the middle on this issue. Now in 2001 it is not talked about as much. I’m not sure exactly why either. Maybe it is that there are not as many abortions as there were then. Maybe it is because of all the attention the topic received that we just got sick of talking about it. Or maybe it is just that we have accepted it now. I don’t know. But what I do know is that it still should be addressed.

On Jan. 22, 1973 the supreme court decision in Roe v. Wade gave women the “right” to choose whether or not to have an abortion. Many people now, support this by saying “I would not personally have an abortion, but I believe that a women should have the right to choose an abortion if they want to.” This is the argument for abortion that I want to deal with right now. I know there are plenty others, but this is the one that most people that I have come in contact with fall under.

It is the concept of choice, in defending abortion that I think is the most illogical. It is not that I am in any way against a women’s right to her own body. That is not an issue with me. There are many things a women can do that pertains to only her body that will prevent her from becoming pregnant. All these things she has the right to choose to do and that should not be held from her. What she should not have the “right” to do is to make a choice that affects and even takes away the life of another human being. This is exactly what happens in an abortion.

First lets talk about when it is morally right for an individual to choose to take away the life of another human being. If I punch my brother in the face, with no provocation before hand, does he have the right to kill me? Common sense tells us that he does not. If common sense alone does not work for you then consider this. Each human being, despite their status, position, disability, ability, or any other factor other than that they are a human being whom has the ability to experience happiness, or will in time be able to or may be able to experience happiness deserves the right to live. (That is unless they forfeit that right by sufficiently proving themselves to be an intentional danger to the rights of others to live, enjoy and experience happiness.) That is that the loss of one’s life is absolutely one of the greatest losses a human being can suffer. In the loss of life, individuals are as Don Marquis puts it in The Right Thing to Do, “deprived of all the experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments that would otherwise have constituted” their future. Therefore when we kill some one, what we are actually doing is robbing them of all their future goals, joys, triumphs and in the smallest sense happiness. We say, that all that they hoped for or could possibly in the future hope for will come to an end right now. You see, when I was 10, I never dreamed of marrying the woman that I’m engaged to. I never dreamed of her, or for that matter anyone. Does that mean that someone should have the moral right to rob me (us) of that relationship before it even happened. No, they most certainly do not. The same goes with an unborn child who is yet to think about their “future” and whatever that future may hold.

As you can see, with this logic in place, we do not have the right to kill someone for many reasons at all. Some may ask if we have that right under any circumstances. I think that we do. That is when we will die by the actions of another person and we have done all that we can to prevent them from carrying on. In this circumstance, either you, or your attacker will die. Someone is gong to be robbed of all the joys that come a long with living. In this case, if you by no other means can stop your attacker from taking your life, then it would be permissible for you to kill your attacker. This is self-defense and an acceptable reason to kill. Another situation that I believe would be a morally permissible time to kill is when the individual is accidentally or unintentionally doing something that will kill you. It would only be permissible to kill them after you tried every other option available to you to get them to stop. These are the two situations that I believe make it appropriate to kill (That pertain to the issue I’m talking about. If another issue was at hand, I may talk about defense of a neighbor, but that has no importance for this issue.)

Now, in the case of abortion, it is plain that the unborn child does nothing intentionally to inflict pain upon its mother. So that argument is gone. We have no right to kill based upon intent to kill by the unborn child. What their may be a case for is the unintentional argument. The unborn child means no harm, but if the situation is that the mother WILL die if she has the child, then it may be permissible for her to have an abortion. That is only though, if she WILL die. In this case it is not the matter of a morally right, or wrong thing. Someone is going to die either way.

This is the only case though, that it appears that an abortion could be a permissible option. In every other circumstance a women should not have the right to have an abortion

If I punch my brother, does he have the right to kill me? No. If I attempt to kill him, can he kill me? Yes. If I accidentally run him over with a truck, and do not kill him, but make his life so miserable for the next year, keeping him in and out of the hospital and unable to work, does he have the right to kill me? Absolutely not… He does not have the right to kill me.

Through this, we can see that a women does not have the right to kill her unborn child unless it WILL kill her if she does have the child. Therefore she should not be given the right to choose something that she has no moral right choosing.

My prayer is that those of you who just read through this will seriously think about why you believe what you do about this. On what basis? Is it because it is what is right, or because it is what is most convenient for you to believe. I do want to say, I in no way want to over look all the hardships that a women has to undergo in having a child. The physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy are something that I will never have to deal with. I don’t apologize for that fact, but I recognize it. Also, I believe that dealing with the consequences of our actions and not pushing them off on to someone else to deal with is incredibly important, but I also recognize some of the other options there are out there to help us to either deal with our consequences or prevent the situation all together.

Lastly, I do strongly believe that abortion in most cases is wrong. I will not sugar coat that. But, I do not want that to be mistaken as me saying I hate people who have had abortions or their doctors. At 13, with out any facts on the matter I would probably agree too. Even older and after receiving the facts, I can understand that put into incredibly tough situations people make decisions that they shouldn’t. The purpose of this is not to make anyone think that I’m out to get them, but rather just to rethink that which you believe on this.


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