Abortion: We’re Having Two Different Conversations

Erin Evans

I’m staunchly pro-life.  I believe life begins at conception.  I’m Catholic, which certainly helped form my beliefs, but my position is based as much, if not more, on science and basic principles of liberty. That’s especially true when I make arguments in favor of the pro-life position: I’m religious, but if you’re not religious I know Biblical arguments aren’t the way to change your mind.

One of my favorite arguments is based on the Declaration of Independence, which states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that the are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

So, all men (people) are created equal with an unalienable Right to Life.  I only know of one way to (naturally) create a human being. (Hint: it starts with S and ends with X.)

I think the biggest problem with the abortion debate is that we’re actually having two different conversations. Pro-lifers are generally talking about the rights of the baby being aborted.  Pro-choicers are generally talking about the rights of the woman having the abortion.  We’re talking past each other, so the conversation gets angry and antagonistic instead of actually moving the discussion forward.  If I believe abortion is murder, you’re not going to convince me that it’s okay by arguing about the economic hardship an already-conceived baby is going to cause to the mother.  I can sympathize, but that hardship doesn’t trump the unborn baby’s right to life.

That’s why  arguments like ‘abortion is a private decision between a woman and her doctor’ and that ‘it doesn’t affect you personally when a woman has an abortion, so don’t worry about it’ don’t fly with me.  A lot of things don’t personally affect me – starving children in Africa, family separations at the border, a whole host of other human rights issues across the world.  That doesn’t mean we should just sit back and let them happen. 

You know what else doesn’t directly affect me? If your mom murders you, a fully grown adult human, tomorrow.  That doesn’t make the murder okay.  And if I’m not willing to speak out against the murder of the unborn, the most innocent among us, I have no right to speak out against any murders.

Also, for what it’s worth, as long as my tax dollars are being used to fund abortion, it DOES affect me.

Yes, women have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies – until someone else’s body is involved.  The reason it’s so hard to find middle ground in the abortion debate is that we fundamentally disagree about how many humans are involved in the transaction.  Either you believe there are two people involved – mother and baby – and the right of both of those human beings to continue existing trumps all.  Or, you believe there’s one person involved – the woman – who has the right to make decisions about the clump of cells growing in her womb, in which case abortion is no big deal.  

And until we can find some common ground on this, we’re not going to move the abortion discussion forward in any meaningful way.  The debate will just get worse.