The amount of voyeurism in America is at startling heights, especially when one considers a recent website (down due to server traffic) allowing people to vote on whether or not a lady should have an abortion.
While there are a myriad of problems associated with this (such as, why would you let strangers help decide such a major issue?), the most notable is that this creates a coliseum mentality. In the ancient times, two Gladiators would duel it out and if one was defeated, but alive, the crowd would determine his fate.
In a more gruesome display of violence, an innocent child must battle selfish motives and the public gets to decide the fate of the child. Consider the reasonings for why the couple is considering the abortion:
“I wanted to wait longer because I was losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.”
In other words, the child risks the personal aspirations of the mother and therefore deserves to die. This means one of two things:
The mother is simply ignorant that the life growing inside of her is a human right, endowed with certain rights by his Creator, namely the right to live
The mother is well aware that the life inside of her is human, but she feels that because that life is located within her body she can terminate it.
In both cases we witness a gross ignorance of science and ethics. In the first case, any biologist or doctor worth his weight will admit that the fetus is a human being. Due to the law of biogenesis we can’t say that what is in the womb is non-life. The dictum omne vivum ex vivo (“all life is from life”) backs up the central thesis of biogensis, which is La génération spontanée est une chimére (“spontaneous generation is a dream”). The idea in option 1 is highly unscientific; obviously what is inside of her is alive. Likewise, we know that species produce the same-kind as they are, that is, a giraffe doesn’t give birth to a lion, nor does a calf eventually grow up to be an alligator. Species produce after their own kind. If this is the case, when we look at a human fetus or even an embryo, we have two things:
- A genetically distinct being, distinct from both the male and female involved in production
- A life produced by human parents
If the fetus isn’t a human being, then what is it? We know from looking at all other species that they produce after their own kind. In fact, scientifically we can’t argue that an infant isn’t a human being, but an adult is; such a distinction becomes arbitrary and therefore non-scientific. To argue that the fetus becomes a human during the process of growth is a case of special pleading – even if we say it becomes human, what was it before and how could humans have produced it? How could humans produce something non-human when there’s no reason to suspect such a thing is possible given what we know from science.
Furthermore, the ability to explain how humans can produce something non-human is outside of the explanatory power for those who wish to dehumanize the fetus. The reason being is genetics would dictate that the offspring is human. The genetic code that is passed along at conception is a human one and nothing else. It cannot allow for a split species genetic code. In light of this, the offspring – from the first moment of his existence – has to be human.
We are then left with the second choice, namely that the fetus is a human, but the mother just doesn’t care. This is far more disturbing than the first reason; the first clause can be forgiven due to ignorance. The second clause is far more sinister as it shows the depths to which individualism will go. The mother simply shucks off any ethical obligation she has to her child for the desire of a better body. If we admit the first clause – the fetus is human – but allow for the second, then we must do away with charges against neglect.
The argument in the first clause is that the mother holds the right to terminate a pregnancy because it inconveniences her and the child is located within her body; therefore the child has a physical impact on the mother, allowing the mother to kill the child. But such reasoning is arbitrary – if the child is truly a human being, then the mother has an obligation to that child. After all, she brought the child into the world and it’s not as though the child had a choice to be brought into the world, therefore the mother has an obligation to care for what she helped create until her creation can care for himself.
Another point, however, is in the case of neglect. Children outside of the womb provide physical problems to their mothers as well, just different types of physical problems. It could be by wearing the mother out, it could be by throwing things at the mom, or any number of things. Not to mention the psychological trauma that a mother can endure by having a child or even postpartum depression. If a mother is justified in killing her unborn child out of a desire for a better body, certainly she’s justified in killing her postpartum child out of a desire for psychological peace. But such an argument seems a priori wrong to us, as well as it should; we know it is wrong to kill humans for selfish motives, which is why all societies have rules regarding murder. “Murder is wrong” is an a priori ethic, we simply know it to be true. In cultures where slaves were killed or prisoners of war, there were always caveats to allow for the murder (i.e. the cultures would often dehumanize their victims in order to make the murderous actions more salable to the public).
In either case, the parents of this child are wrong for putting the life of their child to a public vote. More importantly, they’re wrong for even considering the abortion to begin with; the child is a human person and therefore entitled to certain rights, the base right being the right to live.