Abortion: religion and logic - Frank Salt
The subject of abortion is a very difficult, delicate and a personal matter. I can never know or begin to understand what a woman goes through before making the decision to abort. But I do have my own opinions and I am free to voice them, so here goes.
My opinions are based on two things: religion and logic.
My religion states quite correctly that no one can take the life of another person, whether that person is still developing inside a mother’s womb, or whether that person is old and unable to look after themselves, needing full-time care and attention.
Logic tells me that no matter how people wish to argue, there is no doubt that a developing baby, no matter its stage of development, is a living, unique human being and therefore cannot be intentionally killed.
A woman has every right to do whatever she wants to with her body. It is hers. If she wants to cut off a leg she can do so because it is her leg. If she wants to have plastic surgery or tattoos on her face, she can do so because it is her face.
The very important question must be: is the new infant developing inside her, part of her natural body? Or is the infant just using the woman’s body to help it grow and to protect it, just like when the infant is born, it is helpless and needs the protection and food from its mother?
It’s the placenta and umbilical cord which separate the mother from the baby and prove that the foetus was never part of its mother’s body. They exist precisely because the baby has a different and separate circulatory system from the mother and their blood must not intermingle.
With today’s technology an egg from a woman can be fertilised by a male sperm outside the body and then put back inside a woman and it continues to grow. It uses the natural woman’s body to grow. It can even develop inside a different woman whose body is used to finalise the development procedure. That is not the norm, but with the huge advancement in medicine, it can be done.
A completely new person is developing and growing inside a woman. It uses her body, but the developing infant is a completely different person altogether, growing inside her, and relying on her to nourish it and protect it until it is born.
It is a different person, with different genes, possibly a different blood group, and could be a different sex. It is, as can be seen when it is born, a completely different and unique human being. When a new life has begun to develop inside a womb, that new life, whether wanted or not, has to be protected.
Women want abortions for many reasons, and this is a very delicate subject, but by far the greatest number of abortions are carried out for convenience. They feel getting pregnant was a mistake and they do not want a child or possibly another one.
All babies conceived must be given the chance of life. Their lives certainly must not be cut short by abortion
Sometimes women become pregnant as a consequence of rape. Some women are already aware in their first stages of pregnancy that if they carry the pregnancy to full term they will give birth to a child with severe physical or mental disabilities and who will only have a poor quality of life. Heart-breaking stories.
We can only imagine what these persons may go through but never really comprehend fully unless we experience such situations ourselves. So many things happen in life that we do not want, but the majority find the strength to face the difficult moments and cope. In these extreme cases it is difficult to make definitive judgements and decisions.
So many people want to adopt children. Some couples even adopt children with special needs. There can be solutions to all problems. But all babies conceived must be given the chance of life. Their lives certainly must not be cut short by abortion.
There are so many ways for women to avoid getting pregnant and if pregnancy occurs, then the conceived child should not be the one to suffer and have his/her life terminated.
There are so many cases where women feel justified to have an abortion. They feel that they are right to end the life growing in their womb. But a woman, whether she has religious beliefs or not, must surely think that it is wrong to rid herself of an infant, a human being, that is growing inside her.
Today abortions are carried out regularly throughout the world. Millions of children are being denied their right to live. It is such a normal thing; for the women to have their growing baby destroyed, and for the doctors who do this on a regular basis throughout the day. Throughout the week. Throughout the year. Every year.
What type of person can do that? Sometimes pulling the dead or dying infant out of their mother, in bits and pieces, and then throwing it away in a dustbin or even flushing it down the toilet.
The other day on television I saw and heard an American congressman stating quite emotionally that, in some cases, parts of the human infant which are aborted are then sold to research establishments. What on earth is the world coming to?
I followed another programme and heard a surgeon say that they are actually doing operations on unborn babies inside the womb. Operations on their hearts, their lungs, and blood transfusions. Saving the lives of unborn babies, while others are just doing the exact opposite.
We all look with horror at the photos of the gas chambers and the thousands of bodies of dead Jews piled up ready for disposal. Millions of people being killed out of convenience. I wonder what our reaction would be if all the millions of aborted little babies were piled up in one huge mound. Would we look at that mound with horror, or would we say that was a good, sensible and convenient thing to do?
Apart from religious reasons, there are human reasons why children should not be killed. It is not a practice that we should follow as many do in several other ‘civilised’ countries. We are talking of a life, a life of a growing and developing human being. And killing a human being is wrong whichever way you look at it.
It is a very difficult and delicate subject, but it will soon be discussed in Parliament and maybe a law is passed.
This is a Times of Malta print opinion piece