Abortion is a significantly more complex issue than many would have us believe.
It’s much, much more than killing babies versus letting women control their own bodies. It’s a toxic mishmash of biology, religion, politics, and power.
If you set aside all the competing irrelevant agendas, it boils down to one unanswerable question.
When does life begin?
If you take all the religion, politics, and power out of the debate, it really does all boil down to that very simple question.
What some consider a “clump of cells”, virtually indistinguishable from other life forms of a similar age, other consider the beginning of one and only one thing: a human being.
The Bible, a resource used by so many in this argument, appears to say that life begins at first breath. Even nine months after conception, if it’s not yet taken a breath, life has not yet begun.
Both extremes are … extreme, almost to the point of hyperbole.
That life might begin anywhere from conception to first breath is supported by many philosophies, many belief systems, and many religious texts.
It’s an unanswerable question. There’s no way, today, to define with any precision exactly when life begins. I don’t think we can even come up with an agreed upon definition of “life” to be used in the discussion.
So. With there being no answer in sight, what do we do?
Defer to the mother.
It only makes sense that we leave the decision to the individual most affected: the person carrying the child. No one else has a higher stake in the outcome, either way.
I see no other humane way to deal with it. I see no other moral way to deal with it. I see no other pragmatic way to deal with it.
Regardless of your religion, your politics, or your desire to subjugate others for power — these are just attempt to leverage the issue for personal or institutional gain. The individual’s struggle is hard enough without all the attempted interference.