More Emails that we have received
Abortion denies children the right to life:
Email: If I had decided to abort my children during the
first few weeks after conception they would not be alive today. I
would have denied them the right to live the life they are living today.
Response: This is certainly true. But let's look at this from
another perspective. A woman who does not use birth control,
abstinence and sterilization, might have something on the order of seven
children during her lifetime. But the average woman in North America bears
a little over two children. By using those techniques, she has denied five
potential children the right to live the life that they would otherwise
If a woman has an abortion to terminate a pregnancy before human
personhood begins, then she is not denying a person the right to live. The
person had not developed at the time that she had an abortion. She is
rather preventing a potential person from developing into a human person.
This is morally equivalent to using birth control to prevent an ovum from
being fertilized. Of course, the time when human personhood begins is a
personal belief over which there is no consensus. If she believes that
human personhood starts at conception, then any abortion kills a human
Can an abortion provider be charged with a crime?
Email: ... it physically sickened me to think that the doctor
gets away with murder every time he does this. Couldn't he/she be charged
with child abuse or endangerment?
Response: The physician certainly can be charged, both by the
courts who enforce state laws and by the state medical association that
grants medical licenses. Both have restrictions concerning when and under
what circumstances an abortion is permitted. But they generally only apply
to terminations of pregnancies that occur near or after the time that the
fetus becomes viable. A few states have parental notification or
permission laws that require under-age women to notify a parent or obtain
their permission before getting an abortion. If a physician violates these
rules, she or he can be charged.
Our web site defends abortion:
Email: ...you are sick for defending abortion. Your
fulltime job should be to dig 100s of 4 feet holes to bury their innocent
corpses. Cry for yourself, anti-life media, and pro-abortion
politicians. Please tolerate my religious view.
Response: Our web site does not defend abortion access; we
do not support the pro-life movement or the pro-choice position, or the
many points of view between pro-choice and pro-life. Our staff members
hold diverse views about abortion. We simply explain all
sides to the issue. As with many other moral issues, such as equal rights for
and lesbians, access to physician assisted
suicide, the death penalty, spanking
children etc., we explain all
sides to the issue and let our readers make up their mind.
You have apparently decided to never have an abortion yourself for
religious reasons. We respect that view and support you in your decision.
We would hope that you will respect the right of other people to hold
different religious views. That is what we mean by
the term "religious tolerance." Many people feel that women
should be allowed to make an informed choice on whether to have an
abortion. This is a right in the U.S., according to the U.S. Supreme
Court. It is also a right in Canada under their universal medicare system
-- in part because that country does not have a law regulating abortion.
All abortion is murder:
Email: I believe that personhood begins at conception. It might be
a small human being that is being killed in
the first trimester, but it's still human. What is your personal opinion?
I think that everyone will agree that, say, 1 week into pregnancy, we are dealing with a
human life. It is undeveloped; it is tiny;
it cannot be differentiated from a cow, dog
or cat embryo. But it is human. That is what
humans look like, at that stage of gestation.
It has a unique DNA.
The question is not whether it is human; it
is whether it is a person at the time of the abortion. This leads to a second question: "what
is a person?"
Suppose one were to give scientists unlimited funding and an assignment to create a doll
that looks and acts like a newborn baby. Their doll might appear alive to the average
person; it might even fool the doctors. It would cry, move its limbs, move its eyeballs,
make breathing motions, emit heart sounds, be warm to the
touch, etc. But it would not be a baby. What
is the difference? It would have no functioning
brain; it would have no self-awareness; it would not be "alive" in the full sense of the word. I personally believe that a fetus
up to about 25 weeks gestation has both the status of a doll and the potential of becoming
a human person. It has an undeveloped
brain. It cannot sense its environment; it
cannot hear; it cannot think; it cannot
dream; its cerebral cortex is not yet functioning; it
cannot feel pain. By about 26 weeks, its
brain is more fully developed; it is conscious; it can sense its surroundings;
it is no longer a doll. My personal belief is that it is now a person. Its life should be protected,
except under very unusual and extremely rare circumstances.
We can look at this issue from the other end of life.
Medical science defines death as the point where an EEG indicates that the
higher functions of brain are no longer
functioning and cannot be restored. Part of the "reptilian brain"
may still be working, causing the person to
breathe and their heart to beat. The body
may look like a person; they may be
breathing, heart beating, etc. But there is
no person at home. They are dead because
their cerebral cortex is no longer
functioning and has absolutely no chance to restart in the future. If the end of life
for the person is defined as the point at
which the cerebral cortex stops functioning, then it can be equally argued that the start of life
for the person is defined as the point at
which the cerebral cortex starts functioning...at 26 weeks gestation typically.
I would personally support a legal system
which defined 22 weeks or so as the cutoff
point beyond which abortions were prohibited,
except under very unusual circumstances. That
would give a month or so safety factor. But this is simply my personal
Bible passage about life:
Email: Please add the following pro-life Bible verse to your list of
abortion references in the Bible at abo_bibl.htm
Deuteronomy 30:19 - "I call Heaven and Earth to hold this day against you, that I have
set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both
thou and thy seed my live."
Response: Thanks for the suggestion. We will add this
However, by reading either the verses before
or the verses after this one, it is obvious
that Moses is talking not about abortion but
the decision by the Israelites whether to follow Jehovah or to follow the Pagan gods of the
Canaanites. Also, analyzing verse 19 itself,
if the ancient Israelites chose "death" then
it would be the Israelite adults and their
children that would die. If the passage
referred to abortion, and if the "seed"
referred to unborn fetuses, then only the
seed would die.
Fetuses can feel pain:
Email: Babies can still feel pain [during an abortion procedure]
even when they haven't been born yet. Just think about that and be one more
person to do a good thing.
Response: It is true that fetuses older than about 26 week
gestation can probably feel pain. However, fewer than 1% of all abortions
are performed at this stage in gestation. About 90% are done in the first
trimester when the embryonic brain's higher functions -- needed to feel pain
-- have not yet been turned on. About 9% are done in the second trimester
when the brain's higher functions still have not been turned on. Those rare
pregnancy terminations done at 26 weeks or later are almost inevitably done
because the fetus has a serious genetic malformation -- often one that
prevents it from living more than a few hours if they were born. Those
fetuses are generally anesthetized to prevent them from experiencing pain.
Copyright © 2000 and 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2000-OCT-22
Latest update: 2008-MAR-02
Author: B.A. Robinson