Abortion:whose rights are at stake?

By Gus Bode

Pull quote:The pro-life movement is well justified, and the expected federal ban on partial birth abortion is one small step in the right direction.

Abortion activists have successfully fooled the country into thinking that the primary issue at stake when it comes to abortion is “women’s rights.” The rhetorical question consistently echoed is, “Do women have the right to govern their own bodies?”

This is cleverly concocted so that any person (in particular, a male) has to say, “Yes.” However, the question posed is misleading. Two bodies are involved:the woman’s and the unborn child’s. The real question behind abortion is, “Do women not only have the right to govern their own bodies but to govern the bodies of unborn children?” In other words, “Do unborn children have rights?” The abortion activists have clearly stated their position:unborn children do not have rights.


Why would abortion activists take this stand? Many claim the unborn child is not really a “person.” This frightening claim is absurd at best. Brain waves are detectable as early as week 7 of the pregnancy. By the end of the first trimester (approximately Week 10), the brain structure of the fetus is complete, and the face has taken on a distinctively human appearance.

Further, vocal cords have developed in the larynx, and the fetus is capable of making sounds. In addition, other organs are well into development, including the skin, pancreas, liver and various glands. To be technical, the fertilized egg is distinctively human because no other known species has 46 chromosomes. (More information on human embryology can be found at visembryo.com). The argument that the fetus is not human or a person is clearly not a viable one.

The number of unborn children that are killed each year is mind-boggling. According to a January 2001 CNN.com article, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated approximately 1.2 million abortions occur every year. That is 3,288 abortions per day in the United States alone.

What is perhaps even more disgusting and egregious is the fact that any slight effort by pro-life politicians to place restrictions on abortion has met the fiercest opposition. Pro-life medical doctors have cited (at physiciansforlife.org) that as many as 45 abortions per day are “late-term” abortions (or 16,500 per year). Given that over 1.2 million abortions occur each year, prohibiting 1.4 percent of them is only a negligible “infraction” on the so-called “right to choose.”

Even pro-choice organizations, like Planned Parenthood (plannedparenthood.org), admit there are three primary reasons women give for having an abortion:having a child would interfere with work, school or responsibilities; the mother cannot afford a child; or the mother does not want to be a single parent. According to the same organization, only 1.2 percent of abortions are due to rape. Other sources indicate only about 6 percent of abortions are due to health reasons.

How is it, then, that abortion activists justify the extinguishing of a human life? It is quite obvious the fetus is a person, and most abortions are not due to rape or health issues. So how is abortion justified? Convenience.

It is simply a fact that the vast majority of abortions (over 90 percent, according to the National Right to Life) are performed simply due to socioeconomic reasons. This is unconscionable. Simple lack of responsibility and moral relativism are the major contributors to this “American holocaust.” The pro-life movement is well-justified, and the expected federal ban on partial-birth abortion is one small step in the right direction.


No matter what position you take on abortion, I think we can all agree abortion is not a good thing. Why, then, do abortion activists make out pro-lifers to be the “bad guys?” Simply because they do not want to take responsibility for their actions, and they change the subject by making abortion a women’s rights issue. Clearly, this is not a women’s rights issue; it is a human rights issue.

The truth of the matter is no amount of intellectual debate will change anybody’s mind. What the issue boils down to is personal character. Are you the kind of person that is OK with extinguishing the life of an unborn child simply for the sake of a woman’s convenience? God help us if you are.

Political hot zone appears every Thursday. Alex is a senior in microbiology. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Egyptian.