Hot topic coming up! Abortion, is it something we need, is it bad, is it murder, is it sometimes a good thing? I’ll add my thoughts to the debate, and see what happens.
First of all, to me abortion is a choice that should be avilable, because if it’s illegal people will sometimes try to force a miscarriage, and that can be really dangerous. Yes, I mean dangerous to the woman.
So, with that off the chest, let’s get down to business. Is abortion murder?
I know that a lot of people say yes, and a lot of people say no to this question, and I’m sure there are some fence-sitters hanging around at the back watching the fight – as there always are when the big questions are asked. The anti-abortionists (or pro-lifers as that sounds more positive) might say things like: “Even first-trimester fetuses can feel pain.”, or “Fetuses become conscious at 8 weeks.”, or even “Human life begins at conception.” I’m sorry, but the three statements here are false.
When does human life begin? Human life actually begins prior to conception, because each sperm and egg cell is a living thing. It is more relevant to discuss when sentience, or self-awareness, begins. In 2000, the British House of Lords established a Commission of Inquiry into Fetal Sentience, which estimated that higher-level brain development begins to commence at about 23 weeks. In other words, it’s not really a human at conception, but it is a living organism. (Granted, it’s smaller than a gnat, but it is alive.) It is more a lump of cells than anything resembling a human being though, and the body itself will miscarriage if there’s something really bad happening as the cells divide. Spontanious abortions are both common and natural in the first trimester.
About conciousness: Fetuses begin to develop a minimal brain stem at 7 weeks, but are not capable of consciousness until the third trimester and most likely remain unconscious until birth. As one brain scientist puts it: “the fetus and neonate appears incapable of […] experiencing or generating ‘true’ emotion or any semblance of higher order, forebrain mediated cognitive activity.”
As for the first-trimester fetuses, fetal nerve cells can react to trauma, but pain reception requires a neocortex–which is not formed until early in the third trimester. This means that a fetus that’s less than six months most probably will not feel pain because their nerves haven’t started working yet.
Thus, as the fetus can’t feel, hasn’t got any conciousness, and is at risk of an spontanious abortion for more than the first trimester, I cannot classify it as a human. In the last part of the third trimester though, I’d say it’s starting to be more and more a human. And yet the body might shut down right before birth, and the child is stillborn. (Maybe because it wouldn’t be able to live outside the womb.) And by that, I’d say No, having an abortion is not murder.
Is an abortion always a bad choice? Well, this one is a bit less tricky to me. If the woman get pregnant from a rape, I think she should be allowed to get an abortion if she wants it. If the woman learns that she most likely will die from giving birth, I also think an abortion is right. Heck, even if it’s interfering with her career, I think she should be allowed an abortion, because as I sated above – the fetus isn’t human.
My last thought on the matter is this. The world is over populated, and the resources are getting harder to divide. Is it a bad thing not to bring even more children into the world? I don’t know.