We generally agree, as humans, that human life is sacrosanct. It is one of the greatest cultural condemnations we can deliver, that ‘human life has no value’. Yet abortion does precisely that: it places the value of human life at zero.
I spent much of my life as a classical liberal who would have agreed that, within the precinct of one’s own body, the right of self-determination is absolute. And in general, I still hold this to be true. Across a swathe of issues from transsexualism to tattooing to more extreme forms of ‘body art’, as long as it harms no other, then the individual does indeed have sovereignty over his or her own body. Yes there is a responsibility towards whatever collective that nurtured the child and made the adult, be that family, city or State; but we repay these in our love for those who raised us, in our love for those we in turn raise and, should that not be enough to persuade the most flinty-hearted, in the taxes and services we render. Within our own bodies and minds, we are sovereign.
This is the basis of Western culture, which is based entirely on the individual. It has its roots in the Renaissance and then the Enlightenment, in which the essential principle of individual equality and accountability before law was laid down as the foundation of our culture; and after that, we decided that the logical extension was that all individuals had sovereignty and thus should have an equal say in the election of those who govern them and, critically, in the formation of the laws they would live under. No longer was sovereignty the fiat of the Pope or of hereditary monarchs, but belonged to the people, who elect representatives to make law on their behalf. Sovereignty, in our system, resides with the people.
This depends on the recognition of a set of fundamental rights that we all have, as individuals. Neither State, Church nor individual may take these away and when they are suspended it can only be as a result of grievous offence against others, and then, such suspension or even complete removal, must only be after due and transparent process in accordance with the laws that our representatives set. This is the foundation of Western democracy and it can be reduced to this: the right of the individual to sovereignty over mind and body and in his personal affairs is absolute and must be protected, save in those cases where his exercise of that sovereignty may cause, or has caused, injury or damage to another person also so protected, or has wilfully interfered with the right of another to individual sovereignty.
The question is, ‘What is an individual?’
Religion on Abortion
There are many theological arguments against abortion and these are conclusive, within their own terms. The Catholic Church’s position is clear:
This is unequivocal and absolute: we are humans from the moment of conception and to us is due the protections afforded to all humans, even as unborn babies.
Other Christian churches take the view that abortion might be forgivable in cases were carrying to term might endanger the life of the mother; here, the decision is essentially whether the sacrifice of one life to save another is justified.
‘Aborting the pregnancy becomes categorically forbidden … as the embryo is now a fully sanctified human life. Islamically speaking, this would be murder – unless a physician determines that continuing the pregnancy would truly endanger the mother’s life.’
‘The Dharmashastras (law books) clearly affirm that killing a human embryo (bhruna-hatya) is a mortal sin equal to the killing of a Brahmana. It is fraught with grave consequences… (Abortion is) a direct attack on Prakriti (Nature) or Mother Goddess who is responsible for the unfolding of life and evolution of forms upon earth according to the karma of beings and the will of God.’
Without going into the subtle points of variation between these doctrines it is clear that all expressly condemn abortion in all cases except where the mother’s life is seriously endangered by carrying to term and for some, even this is not enough to justify it.
These concerns are based in the sanctity of human life, something that Enlightened, Post-Renaissance European culture also holds central, although for more secular reasons. These are to do, as we explained above, with the idea that individual human beings have equal right to protection, especially of life, under law.
In the West over the last century we have seen a decline in religiosity, which has by no means been the case elsewhere. The West’s increasing secularism might seem to be inevitable but the lie is given to this by cultures like Poland, the Czech republic and others within Europe itself, which are both secular democracies and strongly religious. Across the world, religiosity shows no sign of decreasing and, indeed, in many areas is becoming stronger. Where this is strongest, abortion is simply illegal and there is no will to change that. Where jurisdictions do permit it, this is heavily restricted, either by length of gestation, an arbitrary measure, or by the ‘mother’s health’ parameter, the saving of one life at the cost of another. This last, of course, has long been abused by medical practitioners exaggerating the risk to the mother in order to facilitate the abortion and we should be fools not to recognise that.
For those of faith, the situation is quite clear: abortion is either proscribed entirely, or permissible only under very specific circumstances, in those religions that have by far the most followers globally; we should remember that Hinduism directly informs other important religions like Sikhism and Buddhism, increasing the reach of its injunctions.
The secular West has allowed the debate to be hijacked.
The argument in the West is between the individual woman’s sovereignty over her own body and the individual baby’s right to protection and, specifically, his right not to have his life taken without due process. Both are recognised as core principles of Western democracy, but here they are in opposition.
It is fundamental to all Western jurisprudence that the law must protect the innocent and that those who cannot speak for themselves must be given voice. This is why, if you are arrested and unable to afford a lawyer to defend you, in almost all Western jurisdictions, one will be appointed, paid for by the State — so the State, in this case, is both your accuser and your defender.
Further, children who are unable to understand the process of law and so, cannot speak for themselves, have special protections under law such that, effectively, they are privileged under it, in compensation.
So why, then, would an unborn baby, surely the most innocent and most voiceless of all, have no such protection? Why would it not be the case that every application, by a woman, for abortion, should be heard in court with a qualified professional speaking for the innocent, voiceless individual, the unborn baby who is de facto on trial for her life? Why should that life just be snuffed out, scraped out and thrown in the trash?
The answer is that unborn babies are simply not recognised as individuals at all. They are not human, not persons, not worthy of the consideration we give, without second thought, to everyone else. Everyone who can express their opinion and has a voice with which to claim the rights that are theirs. To call this moral turpitude would be an understatement.
The very same people who cry crocodile tears over dead babies in the Mediterranean, dead Rohingya babies in Rakhine, dead Palestinian babies in Gaza, care not one iota about the literal reality of tens of millions of dead babies in the USA alone, since that country betrayed the innocent in 1973 and exposed its own hypocrisy in pretending to be a guardian of morality and defender of the weak. Everywhere else that this abomination has been permitted, the bodies are piled up similarly, not even being afforded a proper burial. The death tolls of Syrians, Rohingya and Palestinian children, while tragic, pale into insignificance in comparison to this legally sanctioned slaughter; and yet the ‘liberals’ who defend these killings have nothing to say.
Worse, they condemn these babies; their lives have no value, they can be terminated at a woman’s whim. Women who actively protest the killing of babies in a far-away foreign land about which they know nothing, actually defend the killing of babies right here, right now, in their own countries and seek to make it easier — indeed, many of them will have killed babies of their own. The hypocrisy is nauseating.
Marie Stopes UK, a leading abortionist organisation there, says:
Why the specific age limit? Because in 1967, twenty-four weeks was considered to be the absolute lowest age at which a baby could survive outside the womb. Today, however, that is no longer the case. The Royal College of Gynaecologists recently said:
‘[t]here is international consensus that at 22 weeks of gestation there is no hope of survival, and that up to 22 (weeks) +6 (days) is considered to be the cut-off of human viability.’
What a difference a week makes! And this is not a laughing matter: it is the difference between life and death. In plain English, babies born today at twenty-three weeks have a good chance of surviving. Who is betting against this ‘age of viability’ further reducing?
But this whole ‘age of viability’ argument is a red herring, firstly because if the deciding factor in whether an individual should be allowed to live or not is ‘viability’, then why don’t we just euthenise everyone with a terminal disease? What about the mentally ill who cannot look after themselves? Why not just line them up and shoot them? After all, they’re not viable, are they? These individuals are not capable of surviving alone: they are not ‘viable’. This is all we need to say about this despicable, glib convenience.
Women are evolved to fertilise ova inside them and to carry the fertilised ovum, now an unborn baby, to term. Indeed the entirety of human culture has been based on the survival of babies, throughout our species’ existence. Just like every other species, our purpose in life is procreation.
Women who kill their unborn babies, or who persuade others to kill them, are thus in denial of the very reason for their existence. Even more, they are flagrantly thumbing their noses at the cultures they live in, which exist to protect them in their role as mothers. And for what reason do they do this? Pure hedonism.
Women are smaller and weaker than men. They can’t run as quickly and they are less capable at throwing — an essential skill for humans. They are far less aggressive and make poor fighters. They have less developed spatial cognition and are less creative. While they are pregnant, they have to be supported by other humans.
Why? Because human evolution traded off these abilities to make women more successful mothers. Men and women are different by design, such that men are the strong, aggressive, crafty hunters and warriors who provide for and defend the women. Men have, for tens of thousands of years, modified their own lifestyles to provide the security women need to carry and raise babies. This is not a passing phase. It is why we are here. Women can’t just abandon their evolutionary function because they’d rather be having fun.
Killing unborn babies is therefore, socially unacceptable.
The mantra of amorality
Ah, you say, but a foetus is not a baby. This has been the mantra of many, even Professor Richard Dawkins, the beloved of the atheist left. A foetus is not a baby, they claim. It is but an amorphous collection of cells.
The question then becomes, ‘When does such a collection of cells become an individual?’ And this is the hook upon which the baby-killers attempt to hang their justification for slaughtering the innocent.
In fact, the unborn baby has ceased to be ‘an amorphous clump of cells’ by the end of the first week of pregnancy. While it might not look much like a human at this stage, the blastocyst, it is nevertheless obviously a living thing. Note that: it is alive. And the life that animates it is human. So we can say, even one week after conception, at which point the mother will likely not even be aware that she has fallen pregnant, that a new human life has begun. The religious points of view we referred to earlier are corroborated by the science: life begins at conception.
Human babies go through three stages before they are born. The first, which lasts about ten days, is called the germinal stage. This occurs after the ovum has been fertilised and the new baby has been implanted in the lining of the womb. Many do not make it:
Researchers estimate that approximately 60 percent of all natural conceptions never become properly implanted in the uterus, which results in the new life ending before the mother is ever aware she is pregnant.
However, if implantation is successful, the baby has a high chance of developing to term. The next phase is called the embryonic and from nine weeks the unborn baby is called a foetus.
By eighteen days, the baby’s heartbeat will begin. Around the same time the structures that will form the head, arms and legs become visible. By twenty-eight days, or four weeks, a face can be discerned: a recognisably human one.
Can unborn babies feel pain?
Dr Maureen Condic, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah. She explained,
“The overall organization of the nervous system is established by four weeks… Like all embryonic organs, the structure of the early brain “anticipates” the function of the mature system…The neural circuitry responsible for the most primitive response to pain, the spinal reflex, is in place by 8 weeks of development…This is the earliest point at which the fetus experiences pain in any capacity…a fetus responds just as humans at later stages of development respond; by withdrawing from the painful stimulus.
Imposing pain on any pain-capable living creature is cruelty. And ignoring the pain experienced by another human individual for any reason is barbaric. We don’t need to know if a human fetus is self- reflective or even self- aware to afford it the same consideration we currently afford other pain – capable species. We simply have to decide whether we will choose to ignore the pain of the fetus or not. ”
When we consider whether women should be allowed to kill unborn babies without sanction we have to be aware of all of the above. We are not talking about ‘an amorphous clump of cells’ but about a human life. Why should that life not be given the same protection as we afford to other human lives? Why should we allow that life to be ended, without even judicial review, on the whim of a woman?
Rape: another red herring
The incidence of rape is extremely low, despite feminist attempts to expand its definition to include almost any sex act. The fact is, in the overwhelming majority of pregnancies, the mother chose to have sex and if she did not use appropriate contraception, then she accepted the moral responsibility placed on her by doing so: to carry the resulting baby to term to the best of her abilities. The baby did nothing wrong: she is the victim here and for once, feminists must accept that women who choose to kill their unborn babies are the monsters, the killers of the innocent, the betrayers of those who have a right to depend on them.
Men are culpable too
Men too, are culpable. Men have not risen up to fight this atrocity. They have not protested the millions upon millions of dead, more than even Hitler managed and which we fought wars, ostensibly to prevent ever happening again. No, whipped like curs and browbeaten by the gynocracy and its fifth-columnists, they shrink from the field, afraid to challenge women even on such an egregious crime as fifty million murdered babies in the USA alone, between 1973 and 2011.
Abortion is literally the murder of the innocent and it must be stopped. Decent women, if there are any left, and men must come together to end it, forever.