The Abortion Paradox

by July 25, 2013
filed under Activism

In the struggle for power, human competition is a cutthroat industry. A key element of power is that of persuasion and when it comes to the perpetual abortion controversy, persuasion is the goal. People are willing to fight dirty to be “right” and angry warriors for either stance have failed to realize what a wasteful power struggle the abortion debate is. In general, it is the pro-life advocates (pro-lifers) that set the stage for inter-viewpoint strife. They take a stance of morality: all humans deserve a chance to live. If you aren’t pro-life, you are inherently against pro-life, and are part of the problem. The pro-choice advocates (pro-choicers) believe that abortion is not black or white, but an individual’s prerogative. It’s essentially the Conservatives versus the Liberals and an unwinnable war of the pro-lifers’ enraged protests against the pro-choicers’ furious rebuttals.

She could choose adoption. People tend to simplify concepts until they’re faced with them themselves. Adoption outwardly looks like a generous, symbiotic arrangement. A woman, unprepared for motherhood, hands her healthy newborn to a couple longing for a child and they live happily ever after. The reality of adoption is often fraught with heartbreak, regret, and guilt, and even possible legal troubles – not to mention a child who statistically may end up shuffled around the foster care system until adulthood.

She shouldn’t have opened her legs. Humans are animals, and animals are not designed to mate for life. The idea that people meet, marry, and reproduce is an archaic societal norm that is disintegrating with each passing day. Our media is highly sexualized and our modern society is built upon lust and sex appeal. The days of equating sex with shame are behind us. The numerous forms of birth control flooding the market allow us to protect ourselves against STIs and pregnancy without forgoing sexual pleasure. Unfortunately, these methods can fail. This argument also fails to acknowledge the male who sowed his seed. Perhaps he is in solidarity with the woman’s decision to abort, but he may be long gone from all accountability. If he is not considered equally responsible, then such a sexist precedent opens the door to an entirely different controversy.

Life begins at conception. This claim is easier said than validated and has been opposed by both pro-choicers and the power of science. Monozygotic (identical) twins begin as 1 zygote and split into two during the embryonic phase. Should identical twins have to share the one life they had at conception? Of course not. Tetragametic chimaeras begin as 2 zygotes (dizygotic [fraternal] twins) and merge into 1 embryo, forming one being out of 2 original cell structures. Does this a chimaera’s life twice as valuable? Of course not. It is impossible to define what constitutes the point of conception, or when a bundle of cells becomes a baby – it is an eternally circular argument.

No abortion…unless it’s necessary. No abortion…unless a birth defect was detected. But many people live full lives with disabilities. To what extent does an embryo have to be afflicted to green-light a merciful termination? No abortion…unless she was raped. But the embryo wasn’t a rapist – how is the abortion considered justifiable? No abortion…unless it threatens the mother’s health. But what if a doctor could guarantee safe delivery of the baby at the cost of his or her mother’s life? Whose life is more valuable? This is the grey area of the debate – a pro-lifer may specify when abortion is deemed acceptable, but where did they get the right to play God?

Abortion is murder. This is the trump card that may give the staunchest pro-choicer a twinge of unease. This is the cornerstone of the pro-life stance. An embryo is a living thing! It has a sex, a brain, a beating heart! This relates to the “life begins at conception” conundrum – where do we draw the line? If aborting a 4-week-old shapeless embryo is murder, then what is hormonal birth control? If a woman takes the morning-after pill to prevent a blastocyst’s implantation, is she a murderer? How do we humans quantify our worth as greater than other mammals? If all living things are equal, where are the pro-life protesters outside of shelters that euthanize elderly dogs? Scientifically, humans resemble pigs, but how many pro-lifers would stuff down a bacon cheeseburger on the way to an anti-abortion rally?

Someday, a pro-lifer may face an unexpected pregnancy and make the decision to terminate it for any number of complex personal reasons. Someday, a pro-choicer may go in for a pre-abortion ultrasound, hear her embryo’s beating heart, and realize she could never end the life she created. Either way, neither decision will have been made by virtue of the preaching of abortion debaters, but rather by what each woman chooses – for her, and only her.

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