What is a woman worth?

Yesterday I wrote about the hypothetical moral question of what my position on abortion would be if a pregnancy could be terminated without harming the mother.

Today I’d like to pose a hypothetical question of my own: What if God descended from heaven and told us all that abortions in the first trimester weren’t “killing”; that the soul didn’t enter the fetus until sometime during the sixth month of pregnancy. Would it be justified to require that all pregnant women receiving public assistance, and all pregnant drug addicts, undergo the abortion procedure?

After all, an abortion, especially in the first trimester, is certainly less invasive than going through with the entire pregnancy, and we could avoid a whole array of social ills that would otherwise result. Or would someone who previously was “pro-life” now realize that the woman’s health was also part of the equation? After all, we can’t legislate what a woman does with her own body, regardless of the implications for the greater society.

And what about the moral perspective? Would former “pro-lifers” now decide that it’s morally preferable to terminate pregnancies conceived in sin? Or would they actually prefer that the product of illicit affairs be allowed to mature into impoverished children, most likely to be raised by their immoral parents, or in broken homes, even though there was no longer any moral baggage associated with the prospect of abortion?

What of hard-working families with high-school-age children? What if such a family’s middle-aged mother faced an “accident” pregnancy? Would it be morally preferable to spend the hard-won college savings for the teens on a new, unplanned infant child, or to end the pregnancy that no one planned or wished for? Would it be right to expect the family’s father to work hard into his retirement years, all for the sake of a fetus that God has already told us wasn’t a living thing?

Of course, many people can’t assign a zero moral value to terminating a fetus. So now reconsider those questions if the moral value of “killing” a fetus was equivalent to killing an ant. What about a butterfly? A rat? A turtle? A cow? A dog? Where would we draw the line? Some people might object to killing a butterfly. But how many would not kill a butterfly in order to send their kids to college? I suspect most people would have no problem escalating all the way up to a dog, especially if someone else did the dirty work for them. What would God say about that?

… to be continued.

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One Response to What is a woman worth?

  1. Pingback: Word Munger » What is a woman worth (part 2)?

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