by Jayson M. Brunelle
The legalization of the morally reprehensible act of abortion in the United States via Roe v. Wade was and continues to be among the most egregious acts of the United States Supreme Court. This author is convinced that one day, Americans will realize that legalized abortion, not unlike legalized slavery (another heinous act of act of legislation that divided our nation and which only recently has been recognized as a most hideous evil), was a grave moral, ethical and legal crime against humanity. In what follows, I would like to offer what I consider to be an effective pro-life argument by way of analogy.
Imagine, if you will, that a demolition crew has been employed to demolish or level an unsafe edifice. The explosives are all in place, the area surrounding the structure soon to be destroyed has been sufficiently marked off as entirely unsafe. Now imagine that ten minutes before the structure is about to be destroyed via explosives, the foreman thinks he may have seen a child in one of the windows. As it turns out, area children were fond of playing in and around the abandoned building. Yet the foreman is not 100% certain that it was a child in the window. Thus, there is at least a possibility that there is an innocent human life inside this structure which is about to be destroyed. If such were the case, the mere possibility of there being an innocent human life inside this building would force the foreman to call off the planned demolition. He and his crew would have a moral, ethical and legal obligation to not destroy the building even if there were only a possibility that there was a child in the building. Thus, the demolition would be called off.
What does this have to do with the abortion issue? Everything. When it comes to the abortion debate, we have individuals who believe that the life growing inside the mother is a human person, who should legally be afforded all of the rights of any innocent human person. The most fundamental of these rights is the right to life. On the other side of the aisle we have individuals who claim that a woman should have the right to make decisions concerning her own body, with the choice to terminate her pregnancy being considered one of these “rights.”
Ultimately, if we are to call ourselves a civilized society, we must accept that every innocent human life has, as it’s most fundamental right, the right to life. The abortion debate ultimately comes down to the issue of whether or not the life growing inside a mother’s womb is a human person. If the blastocyte, embryo or fetus is, in fact, a human person, then it, as an innocent human person, has a right to life. Now, hard science shows quite clearly and unequivocally that the blastocyte, embryo or fetus is absolutely a human person. It may not be fully developed, but it certainly possesses the full, active potential to develop and grow into a fully functioning, healthy baby. This, no one can deny. Yet, individuals on the pro-choice side of the abortion shift attention away from the individual life of the unborn child and onto the alleged “rights” of the woman carrying that child. As stated above, the issue ultimately boils down to whether or not this unborn human is truly a human person. Simply put, if it is a human person, then we, as a society, have a moral, ethical and legal obligation to ensure the safety of the child and to do no harm to this being whose most fundamental right is the right to life. And, going back to our analogy, if there is even a possibility that this unborn being is a human person, then society has a moral, ethical and legal obligation to ensure the safety of this being. Since society can’t agree on when human life begins, there remains, at the very least, the possibility that we’re dealing with innocent human life. And, according to our analogy, even if there is a possibility of innocent human life and personhood, there must exist a moral, ethical and legal obligation to not “demolish the building,” or destroy the unborn being.
Another similar example would run as follows: Say a man wants to use an old, cardboard refrigerator box as a target for target and shooting practice in his backyard. His wife informs him that their two-year old son has been using this very large, cardboard box as a play-house. Thus, there is a possibility that the child is playing inside the large cardboard box. The shooter, then, must refrain from using the box as a target until he is certain that his child is not playing inside of it. If, for some reason, he is not able to ascertain whether or not his child is playing inside the box, he has a moral and legal obligation to not use the box for target practice. The same holds true for unborn children in the womb. This is to say, even if there is a possibility that there is a human life in the mother’s womb, she has a moral obligation to not destroy the being in her womb. And even if a pro-choice individual believes this unborn entity is not a human person, he or she can not say with any certainty that it is not. Therefore, as a society, we do have an absolute obligation to do no harm to this unborn entity.