NATHANIEL BEACH, ’20, Sports Editor– As a Republican, it’s common to be called pretty much every pejorative in the book. However, this occurs on both sides as well. It seems within society today, that this is the result of political conversations. When a rational political conversation arises, it is often suppressed by emotional attacks on one another. No, just because I’m pro-life doesn’t mean I’m a sexist who wants women to be in servitude to men. This overreaction that so many people have nowadays is dangerous and leads to division.
Why does this happen? Well, it’s simple. The only time people have these discussions anymore is during emotional times. Abortion hasn’t been discussed by hardly anyone until numerous states started adopting “heartbeat bills” to restrict abortions within their states. Now, it is an emotionally charged and reactionary discussion to legislation polarized bodies passed.
For this article, I really hope that the overzealous and reactionary name calling can be obsolete. The best way to engage with one another is by listening and being mature and respectful. I personally hate when Leftists try to bring race and gender into every discussion and utilize identity politics to forward their agendas. However, I’m not calling them out for their arguments, but rather listening to what they actually believe, so that I can have a better and more constructive conversation with them. While I go in depth about the pro-life position and why I support the abolishment of abortion, keep in mind that my stance along with everyone else’s do not follow some sort of generalization, but rather are a collection of ideas, experiences, and who we are as people. They do not make us inherently bad, but rather offer a contrary perspective to the world we live in.
When the abortion debate is brought up, it is often reliant on populist terms to gain traction for the pro-life or pro-choice side. People in support of abortion generally throw around phrases such as “my body, my choice” or they’ll go to the extreme and actually suggest that men should have zero input on the discussion, as Twitter has happily showered my timeline with. This is contrast to the pro-life position who will try to use fear and scare people into support with heinous pictures of actual dead babies on picket signs outside government buildings (or if you’re from my town, they’ll stand outside your elementary school).
Both of these solutions are asinine and unproductive ways of going about the discussion. For the sake of this article I will refrain from using any and all populist pro-life taglines and instead give a real explanation of what being pro-life is to me.
I was a junior in high school when I tweeted that life begins at conception. It became so controversial that my teachers were even discussing it in their classes. I’m sitting in AP Economics and my teacher comes up to me at the start of class and has me explain to everyone why I’m pro-life. While being put on the spot to give a sound answer to an extremely complicated political issue in front of a large group as a 16 year old was nerve-wracking, I nonetheless obliged and explained.
I explained how I fundamentally believe that life begins at conception because of basic biology. Humans are unique because of our DNA. We’re taught in school that DNA is the biological fingerprint and no two living organisms have the same DNA. This is a known fact. Now, when conception occurs, the DNA of the two parents combine and create a completely new and unique strain of DNA. This strain is unique and will only exist for that one organism. Now, this organism, with its DNA, rapidly evolves and develops. At a mere 6 weeks from conception, a human heartbeat can be detected. That is how fast the human being develops. So with this, you have a unique set of human DNA inside a developing life form. This is a human being.
I will go out on a limb and make the assumption that there is no point in any of our existence that we were not a human being. Meaning, from the point we were conceived until now, we were always human. While inside the womb we were developing and were not fully functioning beings, but nonetheless we were still human. There was never a time we were something besides human. An embryo is a human being at a different stage of development. This is scientific fact. The location of the body does not dictate whether or not I’m a human. Regardless of whether or not I’m in the womb or out the womb doesn’t matter.
Now, moving forward we have established that life does in fact begin at conception. This still doesn’t show that abortion is wrong. I mean, the unborn children don’t have fully functioning minds and are incapable of living on their own, while the mothers’ are and could easily be hurt with childbirth – whether physically or emotionally.
In order to truly explain why abortion is wrong, I have to discredit most of the pro-choice arguments to really make sense.
The child not being able to live outside the womb is an ignorant line of thinking to use to promote the legality of abortion. First off, literally no child can survive on their own outside of the womb regardless of how developed they are. Right after childbirth, the babies are directly given to the medical staff to ensure they are treated properly and are often cared for for days before the parents can take them home. Even at home, babies must be nurtured – fed, burped, put to sleep, etc. The child, regardless of what stage of development, is not capable of living outside the womb until roughly four to six months after childbirth, when they can start doing things on their own, such as eating “hard” food, no longer needing to be burped, and are starting to make coherent sounds/words. Using the rationale that since the child can not function outside of the womb is credible reason to abort a child, is barbaric. While the conditions to live are obviously much different between a child at 6 weeks versus 6 months in development, they are nonetheless both incapable of living outside the womb on their own.
The child being just a “bundle of cells” is another line of thinking that is problematic. This often translates to “the child isn’t as developed as me.” You’re right, an embryo is not as developed as you are. However, this is actually a relatively illegal argument to make for abortion. Development can not play a factor into the debate as a result of the Disabilities Rights Act of 1990. This law was passed by Congress to ban the discrimination of all human beings on the basis of their development. Originally lobbied by a Down Syndrome Right’s group, this has been expanded to include all disabilities, both physical and mental. An individual with Acrodysostosis is born without arms and legs. However, they are just as much of a human as I am. Someone inside the womb is just as much of a human as I am, even if they aren’t fully developed.
Ultimately, the abortion argument almost never relies on science and reason when discussing, but it generally turns into a matter of rights. While supporters of abortion rarely if ever cite science for their arguments, they nonetheless make this a women’s rights issue – understandably so. Now, in explaining this aspect of the argument, the beginning of this article will play a huge factor into this. Just because I’m pro-life doesn’t make me a sexist, it makes me a proud supporter of all life.
Now, much of the social justice arguments the pro-choice crowd make are wrong and have little to no basis behind them. Generally, these arguments are found either on the news or all over social media. The amount of times I saw the same few pictures on people’s Instagram stories with buzzwords was way too high.
Most pro-choice advocates relate abortion to a women’s rights issue. As the anger that has engulfed American society will dictate, the pro-lifers are all sexist men who want to control women’s bodies. Let’s take a look at that…
The majority of abortions (64%) are performed simply because the father does not want the baby or the woman is coerced by others. The reasons vary, but the end result is the same. The life of an innocent child is ended. In 95% of all cases, the male partner plays a central role in the decision. Of men interviewed at abortion clinics 45% recalled urging abortion, including 37% of married men. Many of these men reported being justified in being the primary decision maker in the decision to have the abortion.
If anything, the sexism in the abortion debate can be found on the pro-choice side if name calling and pejoratives are to be thrown around.
However, there is even greater cause to be concerned. Abortion does not kill only children; it also kills women. Women have died of legal and illegal abortions. For the most part, abortions today are medically “safe” for women. However, these procedures do have the potential to cause great trauma to the woman. Many women who have had abortions say they regret them and suffer from Post-Abortion Syndrome. This is a mental health disorder that actually causes the woman much psychological trauma. This generally occurs as the result of having their child murdered and pulled from their bodies.
Regardless of safety and legality, abortions are always deadly for the child.
Abortion is not a women’s rights or reproductive rights issue.
It is a human rights issue.
This issue challenges our society to determine the values and rights of the most vulnerable among us. When we recognize abortion as a social justice issue, the discussion boils down to one question: Does a preborn human being have the right to be born or not?
Ultimately, this article will do little to change people’s minds. That wasn’t the intention. The intention was to explain my pro-life argument. I’m sure those who read this will be focussing on the holes in my explanation, so as to combat my argument with why I’m wrong.
The hope I have with this is that my words aren’t twisted around and that just because I’m a guy who’s pro-life does not automatically classify me as a sexist. My hope is that this article can maybe highlight an alternative perspective, to allow you to think about your own stances on the argument, and maybe even give you a want to learn more.
Now, this is why I’m personally against abortion. The entire article is explaining why I’m against it on a broad scale.
Something I’m sure I’d get heat for if I didn’t mention is abortion in regards to rape and incest. The woman is forcefully impregnated and forced to raise a child. In theory, this should be illegal. That is inherently wrong. I want that to be known now, that I do in fact believe this should be an exception to the rule.
However, it also doesn’t make sense in reality. Abortion has to be an all or nothing decision. When exceptions start being brought up it makes it a really muddy and complicated mess. How would it be determined if the woman was raped? In order to get an abortion does the rapist have to be convicted? Or will abortion clinics rely on the woman’s word? In this case, what’s to stop all women who want an abortion from claiming rape was the reason why, if this is the only exception to the law? If the woman does need a conviction from the rapist, how can society honestly put a woman through so much pain – first an entire court case (which could last longer than the woman’s pregnancy), then the abortion of her child she had with her attacker. In terms of incest, would a paternity test need to be done to prove it was incest before an abortion would take place? What if the father isn’t present?
Rape and incest are evil. The forceful impregnation of a woman should be punished to the highest degree. Women should be able to receive help to heal from the trauma. Abortion just isn’t the answer. The exceptions to the rule argument is asinine. It is all or nothing.
Instead, Planned Parenthood should be funded to allow for contraceptives to be free. Plan B should be free for women – and especially survivors of sexual assault. For all of the trauma the survivors have been through, a healthy and less intrusive alternative to a full-blown abortion is best. Though the best course of action is ending the patriarchal power dynamic that allows for men to think it is an okay thing to do, or for politicians to sympathize with them. However, that is a different discussion.
I wrote, rewrote, deleted, and wrote some more for this section of the article. The issue many pro-life supporters have is radicalized Leftists will target the rape and incest exception to try to paint pro-lifers as rape sympathizers, though that is really not the case. Both sides of the argument can agree that rape and incest are bad. That should be common sense (though the shocking Title IX statistics prove otherwise). However, this becomes a really complicated matter that Leftists try their hardest to simplify in order to degrade pro-lifers. On one hand, you have a survivor and someone who underwent a tragedy and is now left with a child as a constant reminder of their attack. On the other hand, you have an innocent life that wasn’t responsible for what happened and is the unfortunate result of a heinous act. This is again, where the fundamental question arises: Does a preborn human being have the right to be born or not?
This question, is a complicated one. It’s one we all should ponder over, as it ultimately yields the most important answer to the entire discussion.
I hope my take on the abortion discussion was worth the read, and I truly hope that we can use this nationwide discussion to take time to listen and learn from one another. That way, we can contribute meaningfully to the national discussion and instead of feeding into hatred and animosity that our society has absorbed, become rationale and mature thinkers who can talk to one another like acquaintances – not enemies. The political beliefs of the person do not dictate the person’s character. Keep that in mind as you discuss the controversial “heartbeat bills” popping up across the nation. I know my stance is controversial. I know it may anger some people. I hope that instead of feeding into that anger with emotion and rage, we can turn this into a discussion of opposing beliefs. That’s what this is all for. That’s what the purpose of the discussion is – to build upon your own beliefs and learn to better yourself through interactions with others.
Nathaniel Beach ’20 is a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) major from Canal Winchester, Ohio.