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Does abortion kill babies?

This is an unbelievably important question! And if a tangible answer can be found, I think we will have a basis by which we can solve all our other issues about abortion. That is why I am going to begin by addressing this dilemma first. We can't ignore the voices raised against abortion, and neither should we avoid those who defend this legal procedure. So let's start the dissection of this debate straightaway by seeing what both sides have say!

Many Pro-Abortion (Pro-Choice) advocates say:
No, abortion doesn't kill a baby. It just ends a pregnancy.
Image Attribution: by romytetue (This photo is under a Creative Commons License.)

Many Anti-Abortion (Pro-Life) advocates say:
Yes, abortion is murder. Ending a pregnancy kills a baby.
Image Attribution: by utsfl (This photo is under a Creative Commons License.)

We've got ALMOST completely opposite reports here. The only thing both sides agree on is the fact that abortion ends a pregnancy. Let's take a moment to study the definitions of a few words:
  • kill: "To put to death; to extinguish the life of."
  • murder: "An act of deliberate killing of another human being."
  • baby: "A very young human, particularly from birth to a couple of years old or until walking is fully mastered."
  • pregnant: "Carrying developing offspring within the body."
  • abortion: "The cessation of pregnancy or fetal development;"
Okay, so only one thing is clear at this point: abortion is the ending of a pregnancy. Everyone seems to agree with that. It would also appear that "baby" is a formal label for a human AFTER birth. In that respect, the Pro-Abortion (Pro-Choice) community is right in saying that abortion does not kill a "baby" according to the formal definition. The Anti-Abortion (Pro-Life) community is obviously not using this formal definition though. They are using the term "baby" to refer to human offspring in the earliest stages of development. What they are implying is that no matter what formal labels you use, abortion kills a very young human. Since we know what abortion is in simple terms, we're not going to discuss the specific procedures used to end a pregnancy right now. I'm just going to jot down what we are sure of so far:

  1. ABORTION IS THE TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY.

Now my question is: When a pregnancy is deliberately ended, is the life of a human ended too?

To figure this out, we need to discern when a human life begins so we can determine if abortion is a form of killing because killing is extinguishing life and and extinguishing a human life is murder.

Many Pro-Abortion (Pro-Choice) advocates say:
It is impossible to know when human life begins. That is a religious question. It can't be proven.

Many Anti-Abortion (Pro-Life) advocates say:
The life of a human being begins at the moment of conception. The Bible supports this conclusion.

Is this a religious question? We certainly could use a religion as a basis for our arguments. But be warned: Christianity resolves the issue. Remember this: we're talking about a process which is categorized as a legal form of health care. We're talking about abortion, and although we could discuss the religious implications, I wasn't planning on getting into that today. Let's see if it's possible to figure out when a human life begins without bringing up religion. (In case you are interested in reading several Bible verses concerning the issue of abortion, click here. In short, the Bible says that children are gift from God, God knows everything about us before we are born, becoming pregnant is a blessing, murder is sin, a person who causes the death of an unborn child deserves death, and yet God will forgive those who repent of their mistakes.)

Some people say abortion is justifiable; others believe it is not. Here's a thought: if we are unsure about something, wouldn't it be best to be on the safe side? Since there is uncertainty about whether abortion ends a human life or not, doesn't it make sense for us to give the benefit of the doubt to the sanctity of life instead of just brushing away the issue by saying it's impossible to prove one way or the other? What is your opinion? Which side would you choose if you were to choose the side of caution? If we are murdering 4000 human lives through abortion everyday in America, we must not continue. We need to slow down and think this out, and then maybe we can figure out once and for all if abortion should or should not be legal.

I want the truth! When does a human life begin? Do you believe what the Bible says? Would you be interested in hearing some scientific facts?

New humans do not come into the world by being delivered by a stork or by being zapped here by means of magic. Naive people might believe these stories, but the truth is that new humans come into the world by a natural part of the human life cycle - reproduction. It takes two humans to initiate a new being and start a pregnancy. But it is the female's body which has a special place for protecting offspring before birth. This is the same pattern the majority of mammalian reproduction systems follow.

But don't take my word for it. Please look this stuff up. (And not just on Wikipedia!)
In fact, look up anything and everything that I say! I am confident that what I am telling you is the truth, so please inform me if I am mistaken. Thanks.

During a pregnancy, a female's body goes through a series seemingly well-rehearsed preparations necessary for bearing a child. Not every female becomes pregnant in their lifetime, and there are a multitude of reasons why, but for the human race to endure, just like any species of animal, it is essential for us produce offspring.

Let's see what we know so far:

  1. ABORTION IS THE TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY.
  2. PREGNANCY IS THE MEANS BY WHICH HUMANS PRODUCE OFFSPRING.

Before we go on, I have a few awkward questions to ask you.
Please give each question some earnest thought:
  • Excluding humans, which mammals utilize birth-control or perform abortions on their young? 
  • Yes, some male carnivores eat the young of another male, and some animals eat stillborns or dying members of their own species, but they don't purposely kill their unborn, do they?
  • We are human beings, the most sophisticated of all beings on this planet. Why don't we give all our young a chance to live?

You'll never see a chimp at a zoo trying to terminate the pregnancy of another chimp. That is not only a repulsive thought, it is just plain ridiculous. A chimp would never try to poison, burn, or mutilate its unborn offspring. That is villainous. But for some reason, the highly-intelligent human race has legalized the annihilation of our offspring. Why have we done this? Certainly there is a reason, is there not? What do you think?

Time out. We'll come back to the reasoning behind abortion later.

We all know how people get pregnant, right? Basically, a female egg is fertilized by a male spermatozoon. That's how it's done. Fertilization takes place when the male sperm cell merges with the female egg. This is the way human reproduction works. Scientists call this combination of female and male reproductive cells a "zygote", and this zygote has ALL the genetic code determining the traits of the child which it will become. At the moment of fertilization, even the GENDER of the new being is determined. From here, the zygote needs to implant itself into the lining of the female's uterus (also called a womb) where it will grow. Once this implantation takes place, the female is "pregnant" by scientific standards. The pregnancy ends when this entity leaves the womb.

There is now something growing inside of this pregnant female. Is this a human child?

Many Pro-Abortion (Pro-Choice) advocates say:
A woman has a right to choose what grows inside her body.

Many Anti-Abortion (Pro-Life) advocates say:
The child growing inside a pregnant woman has a right to live.

I just want to clear something up. A "zygote" is not a piece of a woman's body. It never will be. And it wouldn't even be there without the help of a male. This pregnant woman probably (but not necessarily) chose to let a man into her body. In my opinion, BEFORE you let another human being into your body, you should thoroughly evaluate all the possible consequences of intercourse! A pregnancy can initiate when a man and a woman essentially share their bodies with each other. Although the female egg and male spermatozoon were two separate cells from two completely different sources, they are one entity at this point - a unique entity. In our evaluative eyes, the zygote seems totally insignificant, right? So would it be a stretch to say our developing offspring has rights? It seems like a stretch until I remember that I was a zygote once. Everyone else was too. In a matter of speaking, I STILL am a human zygote - an old, developed zygote. Maybe that sounds silly, but it's true, and I am going to take this into consideration. We also should note that if the unborn offspring of a human is a new human in the earliest stage of development, than ending his/her life would be murder. A legalized form of murder sets my teeth on edge. In my opinion, murder of innocent human life is intolerable, unlawful, and immoral. In fact, the first inalienable right found in the Declaration of Independence is the right to life, and I believe innocent people should be protected not murdered.

So is a zygote a human being or not?

Immediately after fertilization, a zygote begins growing by dividing and redividing. was in the fetus stage once. And so were you. "Fetus" is just a label though. It's not like we were something completely different. Appearances and inabilities do not make us something other than what we are. A caterpillar does not look a butterfly, but after its metamorphosis, it is still the SAME entity. Humans never go through a real metamorphosis, but our bodies do change as we mature by growing taller and getting older. There is usually a big difference between the way we look when we are conceived and when we take our last breath. Yet, I always was, am, and will be me. I just had a lot less mass when I was young. This is a unique, living entity. As soon 
as the zygote is multicellular, it can be referred to as an embryo. When nine weeks have passed since fertilization, the growing zygote is dubbed a fetus. The picture above is a human fetus. Zygote, embryo, fetus - these are all names for the same entity at different stages. During a pregnancy, the female will also undergo changes, but she will still be called a female and she will still be the same person as she was before the pregnancy. That goes without saying. We all undergo changes. In fact, we are constantly changing no matter what stage of life we are in. Whether we are becoming taller or wider or stronger or wrinklier, we are still the same person as we always were. Is this not true?

Many Pro-Abortion (Pro-Choice) advocates say:
Like a zygote or embryo, a fetus is just a blob of tissue.

Many Anti-Abortion (Pro-Life) advocates say:
An unborn baby is a human in the earliest stages of life.

Now my question is: Does your appearance and abilities change your humanity?

Abraham Lincoln once asked how many legs a sheep have.
The answer was, "Four, of course."
Lincoln replied, "What if I called his tail a leg, then how many legs would that sheep have?"
"Then it would have five legs."
"No!" Lincoln thundered. "He'd still have just four legs. Calling his tail a leg won't make it a leg."

Similarly, "just a blob of tissue" is just a label, and labels do not change the truth. Calling a newly conceived human "just a blob of tissue" doesn't make him/her less human. If people give you titles or call you names, you are still a human. It would be ridiculous to say that someone different than you is less human than yourself, but that's what happened in Word War II. Everyone is unique. Whether someone has a different skin color or a different hair color, or whether someone is smaller or younger or weaker than you does not make them inhuman. Humanness is not measured in degrees. Either you are human or you are not. You were always one or the other, no matter what stage of life you are in. I can whistle, but my dad can't. Is one of us more human than the other? Abilities and inabilities cannot define our humanity any more than the superficiality of appearances.

When were you NOT a human? When was I NOT a human? Let's play True and False to find out.
  • An adult is a human. True.
  • An unhealthy adult is a human. True.
  • A teenager is a human. True.
  • A teenager from another country is a human. True.
  • An adolescent is a human. True.
  • An adolescent who has lost his/her limbs is a human. True.
  • A child is a human. True. (I am starting to notice a pattern.)
  • A deaf and mute child is a human. True.
  • A baby is a human. True.
  • A crying baby is a human. True.
  • An infant is a human one second AFTER he/she is born. Of course an infant is a human!
  • A fetus is a human one second BEFORE he/she is born. Isn't "fetus" just a different name for an unborn infant? This "fetus" which is about to be born is the same entity as the "baby" he/she is after birth. So, yes, "fetus" must be just another name for a small human - a small human in the womb which exactly were this human should be at this stage of life.
  • An embryo is a human. Well, if a "fetus" is a human, and this embryo is a "fetus" in the previous stage of development, then an "embryo" is a human because size does not define humanity.
  • A zygote is a human. The word "zygote" is simply a title for a fertilized egg, the very beginning of a new person. It's you. It's me. Before we were recognizable as the people we are today, we were the result of a spermatozoon merging with an egg. That was our initiation. Look at how far we have come since our conception.
From these answers, I think it is accurate to infer that conditions and labels do not change our humanity.

Allow me to tell you a story - a true story. When I was in my mother, I was in her womb longer than a normal developing baby. By the time the doctors cut Mom open to get me out, I should have been born weeks ago. I may never have been born if it weren't for the doctors. Imagine me living inside my mother for my whole life. Imagine my mother! Impossible as it sounds, I would still be a "fetus" for as long as I was inside my mother. Other babies who were born on their due date, were enjoying their freedom. They were being held and kissed and fed and photographed. But by the formal definition, I wasn't a baby. I was still a "fetus", and if my mom believed I was not a human, she could have attempted to abort me. Thank you, Momma, for letting me live.

I have a sister who was born in almost the opposite situation. She came out two months prematurely. My precious sister was so tiny! Everyone was anxious about whether she would live. Thankfully, she is in perfect condition today. Although most people would have grown as "fetuses" in their mothers for two more months, my sister proved that you don't have to. A fetus can be born early and still grow into a beautiful child. I am so glad you were born safely, sis.

When people do not believe that a "fetus" is a human being, they deem every unborn baby a worthless "blob". Whether you like it or not, this "blob" grows and thinks and moves and responds to light, touch, sound, and smell. That's right. This "blob" is alive. Unborn babies have been observed to shield their eyes when a bright light is shone on the pregnant mother's belly, and they will cover their ears if loud music is played. They can even recognize their mother's voice. From the moment of conception, this "blob" is special, but in all honesty, it is not "just a blob". It is a human life. (And even if the unborn baby was not responding to light or music, the unborn child would still be an individual human life despite his or her actions or abilities.)

We now know:

  1. ABORTION IS THE TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY.
  2. PREGNANCY IS THE MEANS BY WHICH HUMANS PRODUCE OFFSPRING.
  3. THE LIFE OF A NEW HUMAN BEGINS AT CONCEPTION.

So what are you thinking so far? If I have been unfair, please tell me. I only want the truth.

Earlier, I said we would talk about reasons for abortions. Since abortion ends the life of an innocent human child, in my mind, there is no justifiable reason for it. Some people argue that an abortion MIGHT preserve a woman's mental health. How does that give women the right to end their baby's life? I could say that killing a certain person who might preserve my mental health. That doesn't mean it should be legal for me to kill people just so I can be comfortable. Besides, I would feel full of guilt afterwards. Similarly, after an abortion, many women are haunted by their choice. This certainly does not preserve a woman's mental health. If we say it's okay to murder our children before they are born, we might as well say it is okay to murder them after they're born. It does not help the situation to realize we are our parent's children. Another reason that people consider abortion is if their unborn child has a deformity. They think it is merciful to end their child's life. Instead, they are participating in the cruelest form of child abuse by giving up on the son or daughter who needs the love and support of their parents the most. No one could get away with killing their disabled child after they were born. There are so many amazing people like Helen Keller who have accomplished inspiring feats despite their "deformities".

If it became legalize to murder people because of their potential problems, we could start calling anything a problem, even someone's beliefs. This is what happened in Nazi Germany. I am sure you will agree that we must not let this happen ever again. In the Holocaust, an estimated 11 million people were mercilessly slaughtered. Since the legalization of abortion in the United States of America, there have been over 56 million American babies poisoned, burned, and torn apart by legal abortion.

At this point, you probably have a lot on your mind and probably a lot of questions and comments. Feel free to send them in. I want to know what you're thinking.

I have something important to add before I finish. As I am sure you know, there are women who realize they are pregnant and do not want this responsibility. But to abort a life would be to end it. The only choice in this situation was already made. The choice to have sex. And if that wasn't a choice, what choice is there now? The "choice" between the life and death of a brand new human? Would YOU allow your life's worth to be judged by a woman who doesn't even know you, whose never seen you or heard your aspirations? Unborn babies aren't given a choice, they are at the mercy of their mothers or whoever is making the decision about having an abortion. The fate of these children will be decided before they see the light of day, before they know the feeling of a hug, before they enjoy the pleasures of life. They may receive a death sentence without a hearing. No lawyer was appointed for them. The judge in this case is the mother who may decide that if her child is unwanted, he or she would be better off dead. I shudder at this thought because it is not the innocent child who is unwanted, it is selfish parent who does not want a baby. Every child IS wanted and will be loved by someone. There are a great number of couples who want to adopt children, but the child they could have called "son" or "daughter" is now rotting in bio-hazardous waste. Never forget the option of adoption.

I have covered a lot of ground in this article - much more than I was planning on. We now know the answer to our original question, "Does abortion kill?". I have to tell you, I was hoping to uncover more uplifting facts than we did. I hope you have found this page informative and thought-provoking. To close, I would like to ask you to consider looking up descriptions, photographs, and even videos of abortion procedures so you gain a better understanding of what abortion really is because I believe we should have a clear picture of what we are debating.

Regretfully,

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