Earlier in the week I was listening to a podcast discussion about the controversy Richard Dawkins inspired when asked what to do when pregnant with a Down Syndrome baby. His response was to abort and start over. The woman on the pro-abortion side defended the sentiment even though she said she personally thought the statement repugnant. In fact, she elaborated that there are many reasons she believed were bad reasons to abort, although she thinks there is no reason bad enough that would ever justify denying an abortion.
I’ve run into many people who would label themselves pro-choice who say they think abortion is wrong but would never want to prevent access to it. This has never made sense to me. Why do these people think abortion is wrong? Usually they recognizes that it ends a human being’s life. Put more simply, they believe abortion kills a human being, and that’s morally wrong, but wants mothers to have the ability to do it.
The host of the podcast threw out a few different scenarios to see if this pro-abortion advocate had a line they wouldn’t cross. He asked if she would oppose an elective abortion simply because the mother didn’t want to have a girl. He asked if sh would oppose it if, hypothetically, it could be determined that her baby would be gay. In both cases, she stood fast reiterating that she thinks those are poor reasons to abort, but the mother should do as she wishes. I would add to that: what if a woman said she wanted to get pregnant for the sole purpose of having abortions to kill the babies?
Some might argue that abortion is not a moral issue to begin with. But this can only be true if abortion does not take the life of an innocent human being. It would then stand to reason that abortion is not a moral issue. And I would agree with them that if abortion does not take the life of an innocent human being, then there is no need to defend the decision to abort and thus there is no bad reason by definition. However, if abortion does take the life of an innocent human being, then no justification is even possible, except of course to save the life of the mother.
However, I think we all can think of bad reasons. Like those asked of the pro-abortion advocate. The fact that there are poor reasons to justify abortion suggests that ending a pregnancy is not simply a mere medical procedure. Deep down I think everyone knows this.
So I have a question to those who would call themselves pro-choice on the issue of abortion. Though you support a woman’s right to abortion, is there any reason a woman could give that would not justify her seeking an abortion? Put another way, if a woman you knew confided in you saying, “I am thinking of having an abortion because _____________”, is there anything that would fill in the blank that would cause you to think to yourself, or tell your friend, “that is not a good reason, and you should not have an abortion”? And what makes it a bad reason?