Saturday, November 6, 2010

The abortion question

One of the most divisive topics today is abortion. According to one survey a little over half of the U.S. population supports abortion. About 80% of all women who have an abortion are unmarried, with teens making up around 17% of all abortions. When looking at the statistics, given that abortions are legal, the question that has to be asked is when does life start? If abortions (at any time after conception) are non-life, then it doesn't matter what we do.

According to many scientists, life starts at conception. Medical doctor, Dr. Hymie Gordon of the Mayo Clinic states, "By all criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception." [1] Also, Dr. Micheline Matthews-Roth of Harvard University says, :"It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception" [2] If life does start at conception, then the game is over, for abortion would represent the taking of life. The real question of abortion is ethical.

The national debate is split in what question to ask. On the liberal side of the debate the question is usually phrased around a woman's right to chose - the pro choice camp. On the conservative side the question is phrased by way of life - the pro life camp. A slight advantage falls in line with the pro choice camp as mentioned above, but is this how we are to decide a possible ethical issue with the implications of life and death? How can someone ardently support the question of a women's choice? In order to do so, one has to believe that life does not start at conception. It seems that the question of life trumps all consideration of choice, if life does begin at conception. At the very least, the potential for human life is destroyed during abortion, which raises another ethical question: Is it OK to kill potential human life? The abortion debate only makes sense if the question of when life starts is addressed first.

[2] Ibid
[3] Useful site giving statistics of abortion

No comments: