The abortion debate has recently taken an ugly and incredibly controversial turn. George F. Will reported in Newsweek this week that The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League believes that a woman should have the right to kill her baby if an abortion goes wrong.
Partial-birth abortion is a process by which a tube, placed in the baby’s head, sucks out the contents of the child’s brain, collapsing the head and killing the child. This type of abortion is administered in the third trimester, usually as a last resort. According to common law, partial-breech delivery is not considered birth, where passage of the head is essential.
NARAL believes that even if the baby slips out of the birth canal, as is possible in partial-birth abortion procedures), the mother has the right to have it killed.
The argument follows that if a woman purchases an abortion she has the right, as a consumer, to have her baby destroyed regardless of its birth status. This stems from the legalization of partial-birth abortions in some states. If aborting a half-born fetus is legal and safe for the mother, why not go the extra step and kill the child after giving birth to it?
NARAL wants it to be legal for mothers to have full birthed babies killed if an abortion goes wrong. Infanticide of this order, if lawful, could potentially allow for the murder of children up to a week or a month old. It allows for the wholesale genocide of “unwanted” children from society.
As Americans we value and love babies, but we hate the poor, the uneducated, the “lazy.” We hate helping people who can’t help themselves. By allowing mothers to kill their babies even a few days after birth, and for select reasons, we as a society may be creating a better world. One in which only “wanted” children exist.
Although the legality of infanticide might create a society in which adult lives are devalued and the disabled are disrespected, I doubt such a dystopia will ever come to fruition. The abortion question easily could be solved by modern medicine. Perhaps a pill that will make abortion quick, easy, private, and affordable will soon be legalized in the United States.
The hope, then, is that abortion will remain a private procedure–one that involves a woman’s personal decision and the enactment of that decision by her doctor. It should not be inferred that because doctors are allowed to make incisions in human beings, that everyone may do the same.
Nor should it be posited that if the government is given the right to kill, then murder is justified. Indeed, what all of us, including NARAL, must keep in perspective is that all killing–of the unborn or otherwise–must only occur legally, with the consent of the parties involved, and for the betterment of society. Also, designated officials, such as doctors, police, or the government, should be the only ones who are bestowed with licenses to kill.
For those who argue that if the fetus could speak it would make a great case for keeping it alive, the time has sadly passed. Unless you are born in America, you have no real rights. It follows, then, that if your mother didn’t want you born and you were born anyway, your rights are revoked. Just like your rights are revoked if you commit a crime.
It is time to realize that it is far better to snuff out an unwanted life in its infancy than to let a being grow in a state of abject poverty, violence, or terminal illness. By doing so we can better come to terms with abortion as a phenomenon. Indeed, what is left to contest is only when, not if, a mother’s reasons for aborting a child are valid. Philosophically speaking, if her reasons hold weight before a baby is born, why shouldn’t they hold weight after?