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Charlotte Simpson is a writer and radio producer.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Culture wars

Facebook drew my attention to this blog posting:


It annoyed me and I dashed out a response. But then I had second thoughts about posting it . I'm not sure Facebook works very well as a forum for debate. I was about to delete it when I thought I might as well bung it up here. If nothing else it might spur me into writing some more blogs...

My response to Sam Isaacson:

I'm not sure many abortion proponents do say that embryos aren't human though. Don't they just believe that whereas vulnerable people in society do indeed need protection through the law, unborn foetuses aren't yet members of society in any meaningful sense and to try to protect their right to life from the moment of conception would necessarily be at the expense of their mothers' right of self-determination and, in some cases, her mental and physical health? The question of when it might be morally right to terminate a pregnancy is complex but whose decision should it be? Should politicians, law-enforcers and the voting public really be allowed to muscle in on conversations between a woman and her doctor? In practical terms do we want to see desperate women under prison guard to stop them self-harming to induce a miscarriage? Do we want to imprison women as murderers because, for whatever reason, they couldn't bear to be pregnant? The writer says "Abortion should be approached the same way that anyone would approach killing any other human being". Is not feeling able to go through the physical  challenges of pregnancy and childbirth; feeling unable to give a child the love and security it deserves but simultaneously unable go through the enormous emotional journey of pregnancy and birth only to give up a baby to the uncertainty of adoption really comparable to murdering a person? Is making a decision to end a physical process in your own body really the same as the crime of killing a person who breathes air through their own lungs rather than getting the oxygen you breathed through the placenta your body sustains?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Charlotte

    Thanks for your comment and for reading my blog...I think you've highlighted the key difference between our views.

    You start your post by saying that you think supporters of abortion actually do think that unborn children are humans, but I'm genuinely not convinced. At no other stage of human life do we give a mother the power to choose whether or not to kill their own children.

    There are clearly many effects that pregnancy has on the human body, but this isn't a reason to kill a child; having just become a Daddy I'm very aware that caring for my son who has now been born is draining on so many different levels for both of us but particularly his Mum...but would this justify killing him?

    I expect you would agree no, but that means that you've clearly introduced a line before which you don't see children as humans. I don't agree that this is a choice a mother should make on a case-by-case basis, because some mothers want to kill newborns or toddlers or teenagers for a whole variety of reasons; would they be justified?

    The suggestion made above seems to be to use 'breathing air' as the criterion but what about premature babies on a respirator? If he's born but the mother takes one look and chooses to kill him, would that be ok? How about an adult on a respirator?

    At the end of the day what I'm concerned with is God's view, and he seems to value human life very greatly, having become a man and dying so that there need be no more death. An unborn human is no less human than a baby or a teenager or an elderly person.