A Non-sectarian View on Abortion

Sonogram of a 20-week-old fetus

Let’s look at the abortion debate from a non-religious point of view. I have my religious beliefs, and you may or may not. Let’s set those aside for the sake of argument and look at this debate based on ethical principles.

Let’s say that you have two legitimate rights—the women’s right to control her body and the right to the life in the mother’s womb to live. What happens when you have two legitimate rights that clash, and fulfillment of one negates the realization of the other?

Classically, when you have two conflicting and competing rights, ethical solutions have tried to determine two things—who is the most responsible and who is most damaged by the outcome.

Let’s apply these two principles to the emotional abortion debate. First, who is most responsible for the dilemma we face? Is it the baby in the womb or the mother? The woman has chosen to have sexual intercourse, except for rape or incest. The baby is in this situation without any responsibility for their predicament. About whom is most damaged, women will lose a measure of their rights in bringing the baby to birth if the rights of the life in the womb are primary. Compare that to the loss of the baby’s very life if the mother’s rights take precedence.

Regarding abortion, who is the most responsible and most damaged, excluding when women’s lives are in jeopardy, or there is rape or incest, where we make decisions on a case-by-case basis? I think reasonable thinking people can only come up with one conclusion. The life in the womb is most innocent and most damaged by abortion and, therefore, should receive priority of protection under our system of justice.






Leave a Reply