I’ve just been reading through the comments on this post. Clearly there are lots of people who believe abortion is murder. How can it not be, one commenter asks, if you’re destroying a person with brainwaves and a beating heart?
Well, what if you’re not?
According to Medline Plus, the heart doesn’t start beating until week 4 of gestation. So if a beating heart is the criterion, then some abortions, using this logic, are okay. But since no pro-life group supports contraception, on the off chance that a fertilized egg might be prevented from implanting, clearly they think life begins a little earlier than week 4.
So what’s with the beating heart and brainwaves argument? Is there really some subset of pro-lifers that would be okay with abortions up to week 4 of pregnancy? If not, why use that argument? Why not have a massive educational campaign for early detection of pregnancy so we can abort fetuses before they’re alive? We could prevent millions of murders that way!
The reason, of course, can be found in Justin’s comment: his disgust at middle-schooler’s suggestive dancing is what spurred him to become a pro-lifer. You see, he implies, the only reason for the lascivious behavior of these kids is the knowledge that if a girl gets knocked up, she can easily abort the baby. If only abortion were illegal, our urban youth would be models of decorum, just like they were in the good old days.
But if what we really want to prevent is the lascivious behavior, why not outlaw that directly? Don’t all the pro-lifers argue that we have no right to privacy anyway? We could just implant surveillance devices in every child, and if the central monitoring computer detected them getting too close together, it could administer a painful electric shock. After all, many sexual activities, such as oral or anal sex (not to mention homosexuality), offer no chance of conception. Vast quantities of sexual behavior are going unpunished! Isn’t this the real tragedy?