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The Slippery Slope Of Life: Abortion

By Tracey Stevens
Jan. 13, 2006

I’ve decided to ski down the slippery slope of life and give my views on the very controversial issue of abortion. To start with I think some definitions are in order.

    The first definition is life. As from Wikipedia the definition of life is- “The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.” So by that definition bacteria would be considered alive. Viruses would not be considered alive since they are not self-reproducing and they do not have their own metabolism.

     A second definition would be value. Value is slightly more difficult but in essence is the worth of an object usually decided on individual or societal bases.

     The last definition would be property. This would refer to an object that one refers to as one’s own to use as they desire.

     As some people might be aware of is that congress and state legislators have passed laws that make it illegal to kill a fetus while committing a crime. As an example I offer the California Penal Code; Section 187-199

  1. Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus,
    with malice aforethought.
  2. This section shall not apply to any person who commits an act
    that results in the death of a fetus if any of the following apply:
    1. The act complied with the Therapeutic Abortion Act, Article 2
      (commencing with Section 123400) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division
      106 of the Health and Safety Code.
    2. The act was committed by a holder of a physician's and surgeon's
      certificate, as defined in the Business and Professions Code, in a
      case where, to a medical certainty, the result of childbirth would be
      death of the mother of the fetus or where her death from childbirth,
      although not medically certain, would be substantially certain or
      more likely than not.
    3. The act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the
      mother of the fetus.
  3. Subdivision (b) shall not be construed to prohibit the
    prosecution of any person under any other provision of law.1

     As the argument from the pro-choice crowd usually goes it’s the woman’s body to do with as she wants. That argument would imply property and ownership.  Strangely enough, far back in U.S history, property was also used to describe another group of human beings. I’m of course referring to the slaves. There will be those that will say that the arguments regarding slavery and abortion are completely different, but are they? The arguments for slavery from the 1850’s were, “they’re not really people, they’re property, it’s a personal choice, and it’s a religious issue.”  All of these arguments are from Stephen Douglass in support of slavery and they sound familiar don’t they?  Do you actually believe that the slave owners actually believed that they weren’t people or human? The Australian government avoided that mistake by classifying the indigenous people as flora and fauna. Legally, killing the aborigines wasn’t murder either. “Where you headed with your rifle mate? I’m off to do some yard work.”

     Is it something about value then? Thomas Keyes attempted to put a dollar amount on individual human existence in his article, “The Prophet Elisha Destroyed $130,000,000 Worth Of Little Children.” How does one place a value on human life? Is it by his/her personal worth? That would make Bill Gates the most important person on the planet. Is it the amount of work someone does or the importance of what they do? Is the guy that picks up your trash less valuable then the CEO of a large corporation? When is human life valuable? So, according to the above law, it must be that the fetus has no value until some arbitrary point where it becomes wanted. To want is to desire and the funny thing about desire/want is that it rises and falls.  So, if you want the fetus early in the pregnancy, then its human but what happens if you change your mind? At what point can changing your mind not have an effect? Some arbitrary month in the pregnancy?

     Someone once gave me the argument that the fetus isn’t considered a human person until it’s able to survive outside of the womb. That brings up some interesting points. Can a newborn truly survive outside of the womb without a lot of help?  How about those infants that require medical help to survive? Are they not quite human yet? Those individuals that require respirators in order to survive, have they lost their right to be called human? How about someone stricken with Alzheimer’s?

     As you’ll notice from the law above, if you commit a crime and cause the death of a fetus, then you can be charged with murder, I.E the fetus has a value as a human life. By the same token however, if the mother doesn’t want the fetus, then suddenly the fetus isn’t human, has no value and can legally be killed. So, by this law the definition of being human is being wanted.

     So, what is to prevent this definition from being extended to other people, say the homeless or someone selling drugs on a street corner to kids? As a note, i’m definatly not advocating the eradication of these people. I asked this question of someone and it was explained that these people are human, so that would imply murder. Just hold the phone here, according to the law; a fetus is human unless it’s not wanted, so should we take a round them up, see if they have any family or close personal ties, and see if they’re wanted. “Well, sorry John, you don’t provide any value, you don’t have any family or friends, and actually people are tired of seeing you’re around, so you have to go. Nothing personal you understand.”

     Is there some magic portion of time or some magic portal that the fetus passes through when it suddenly becomes human? At conception the cell is genetically human and by the definition of life is alive.

     So, what is the reason for abortion? According to statistics, world wide, 91.8% of all abortions, have nothing to do with medical concerns to the mother/baby or rape/incest. In the United States this percentage is 89%.

     Yes, it’s true, I’m a man. I don’t know what its like to go through a pregnancy other then from the other side of the coin. I don’t know what its like to have my hormones raging out of balance, to put on 20-30 lbs, not being able to find a comfortable way to sit or sleep, to feel something inside of you using your bladder as a punching bag, or to go through hours of labor. I do know what its like to go out at 11:30 pm for ice cream, To come home and run out for Mexican food, to be on the receiving end of those hormonal surges, to have the house cold enough that penguins would be shivering and my wife to threaten my life is I so much as touch the thermostat. I know what its like to sit with my wife while she was in labor and seen the happy smile on my wife’s face when she got to hold her.  The absolutely helpless feeling while your child is in the NIC unit for 4 days.  I’ve woken up to feed and change diapers at 3am and sit and hold her for most of the night when she wasn’t feeling well. I’ve also seen a big smile when she learned to recognize who I was, seen her absolutely content while my wife reads her a book or holds her. Watched her crawl and take her first steps. Now is this an emotional argument against abortion?  Am I bragging that I’ve been there as much as possible?  Nope, none of the above. I’m just saying that I’m a daddy.

     I’m not saying that a woman’s body is not her own and she doesn’t have the right to do with it what she wants. I am saying that children are hard work. It takes about 18 years to get them ready to head out on their own. If I take a life, then I pay the price. Before you decide that you’re willing to do the deed, make sure that you’re ready for the responsibility for possibly starting one.

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Email Tracey Stevens: phoque62@hotmail.com

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