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ABORTION, A WOMAN'S RIGHT

The Church approaches abortion from the standpoint that life supposedly begins at conception and that you are as much you when you are conceived as you are when you grow to adulthood. The Catholic Church forbids abortion under all circumstances and even when it could save the mother's life.

 

The idea that an early termination is really murder is silly and controversial so the best thing the law should do is keep out of it. It is a private matter and does not affect the public order.  The law is to keep its nose out when it is not a matter of public order.  Respecting the privacy does not make the state supportive or unsupportive of early terminations - it merely accepts that it is a matter for the woman.  Later abortions need to be carefully regulated when it is clear that a human life may be present.
 
Some Catholics who believe in the ban think that abortion is never necessary to save a woman's life. But even if that is true, it has nothing to do with the ban on abortion. The Church would still ban abortion if say the vast majority of women needed abortion to live. There is a real hatred of women in the Church's attitude. Also, you can say that there is no case where a woman needs an abortion to save her life. But they know fine well they cannot be sure that a case will not appear next week? They do not care about the woman who may be the exception.
 
The Catholics always like to say that they do not regard the life of the baby as more important than that of the mother. They say that for saying any different would provoke nearly the whole world to rage. They do not mean it because if one unborn baby had to be slain to save a million mothers they would still forbid abortion.
 
What they say is based on a desire to manipulate us and keep us calm-ish. But we must perceive that saying the unborn baby's life matters more than the mother's is bad, but to say a woman's life is on an equal footing to a bunch of cells is worse. Why? Because it makes no sense therefore it IS putting the "baby" first in the sense that its given an importance it does not have even if it means hurting the mother. If you believe a ball of cells must be kept alive even if the mother needs to get rid of it or suffer grave harm or die as its her equal then your behaviour will be no different to that of the person who holds the ball of cells comes first.
 
We hold that a person who thinks animals have no feelings is a twisted kind of person. We must think the same of those who want us to invest a ball of cells with the same right to life as a grown woman. Its not a rational argument but a religious fundamentalist one.
 
Many pro-life Catholics do not care if abortion is necessary to save a woman's life. They still forbid it. Pope John Paul II did that . He claimed that its wrong to slay the foetus even to save the mother's life as the foetus is innocent. He said its not like killing somebody in self-defence for the baby is not an aggressor! He closed his ears to those who pointed out, "But the point is not that the person is deliberately killing. Many attackers are insane. The point is that one life must be sacrificed for another."
 
The Church condemns those who are pro-abortion. It also condemns those who are pro-choice because pro-choice means being pro-abortion when a woman chooses it.
 
The Church says it is wrong to kill the baby even if it is right to kill an unjust aggressor to preserve your own life for the baby is not an unjust aggressor (Question 1010-1011, Radio Replies Volume 2/ page 15, Moral Questions, A Statement by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales). But this is an excuse for she would let you kill a insane person to save yourself though they would be as innocent as the baby. The Church is trying to murder women who need an abortion to live, by its obviously discriminatory teaching. It hates all women even if pregnancy kills no more for any woman could have a fatal pregnancy and the Church teaching would be the same if it were common.
 
The Church also says that when life starts as it does at conception, from that point on, the mother has no right to treat the child as her property that she can get rid of or dispose of (page 15, Moral Questions, A Statement by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales).
 
The child cannot be its own property until it becomes a developed being that knows its alive. A ball of cells is perhaps nobody's property which is why the mother can dispose of it. Without intending disrespect, a dog is more developed than a human being and though it is nobody's property (for it is a conscious being and nobody can technically own a conscious being but merely treat it as if they owned it) the person responsible for its care has the right to have it put to sleep. Religion takes it for granted that the unborn child is its own property from conception but that stance is far from convincing and isn't even relevant.
 
Anti-abortionists contend that killing the baby to prevent the death of the mother is wrong for it is making sure that one of them will die and if they were let alone both might have lived. They are stating that it is better to risk two lives than to take one. Medical predictions aren't always correct. But at the same time we have to take them as probably correct. This argument would proscribe killing unjust aggressors. You aren't sure that they will kill you. The pope knows this for critics come at him from all sides.
 
The Church likes to claim that abortion hurts women. It is not abortion that hurts women but careless doctors or perhaps the woman knew the risks and took the chance of being hurt which is her concern and gives nobody else the right to say she should not have the option of abortion. Women having abortions are too often left without the counselling before and after the abortion that is so vital to their mental well-being. It is not abortion that hurts but bad attitudes in the woman having the abortion and bad preparation and bad consideration of the consequences. Many liberated women have had many abortions and do not feel any guilt and believe that it was worth it. The Church doctrine that abortion has babies dying outside the family of God and therefore excluded from Heaven because they are not baptised brings horrendous pain to many women. Read my book, condemning infant baptism to learn why this cruelty is so unnecessary. Baptism is just a rite and has no magical power to make a baby fit for Heaven. The rite is anti-feminist in so far as it hurts women who have abortions.
 
It is not abortion that causes the remorse a woman may feel. It is the fear that she might have killed a person. It is the teaching of the Church that is to blame for that. The Church does not put as much energy into feeding the starving millions of the world as it does into the war against abortion. What about the unborn babies inside mothers starving to death? The war is really about power over women and to manipulate people into holding the Church in a regard that is waning in other people. Pro-lifers pretend that pro-abortionists do not really care for women but even if they don't that does not mean the woman should not have an abortion. They are trying to make women feel that abortion is bad by putting them off the idea of going to these people to get one. That is conniving. Why? A woman might not be treated right while and after having an abortion but that does not mean that abortion is not the best option for her. Pro-lifers have a strange concern for women when they say they love women despite often wanting a woman to die in pregnancy rather than advise her to terminate it. They insult all women by this for they would have the same attitude to any one of the women they claim to love. If Ann next door needed an abortion to save her life they would want her to kill herself by not having one so if Ann has any sense she will take it personally.
 
The Church says mother and unborn baby have an equal right to life. But the mother is classed as a sinner in the wishful thinking of the Church and the baby is not so the baby's life should be preferred to her if sin exists. It is obviously wrong to suggest that someone who has had a life has as great a right to live as a baby that has had none.
 
The Church permits a womb or fallopian tube to be removed to save the mother even though it entails the death of the baby inside. She says this is not murder or abortion for it has to be done and is the only way. The death of the baby is a side effect. This is called the law of double-effect which means we have to do harm when it is for the greatest good and the harm is a side effect for it is not intended because there is no choice.
 
That permission shows us something. The Church gives the following as a reason for forbidding abortion: “Abortion even if ever acceptable might turn out to have been unnecessary to save the mother’s life. So it is best to ban it.” This is only an excuse when it allows the tubes and wombs removed with the babies inside. The Church can't say aborting a baby to save the mother is doing a certain evil instead of doing a less certain evil of causing the mother's death. She cannot say that possible evils are better committed than sure evils for she advocates the certain evil of killing the baby indirectly. The Church states that this is not abortion for there is no choice but to kill the baby indirectly. That this is folly is obvious from the fact that it is permitted to take away the tube and thereby cut off the baby's life but not permitted to kill the baby and then remove the tube. Moreover, if foetal life comes first as the Church implies by her rancour towards women then it is best to let nature run its course and kill the two of them if it wants to so indirect killing is still abortion and freely meant to kill the baby. It is possible to be pregnant even if the womb is taken away for the foetus can grow off other organs. It is no wonder some think that the Church must ask that the foetus be frozen alive to wait for the day when science can do something with it to give it a chance to be born or ask that the foetus be implanted elsewhere in the mother or in another woman by force if necessary when the Church permits the removal. Some feminists have said that the Church would certainly rape women in the sense of forcibly implanting babies in them.
 
If the baby's life comes before the mother's life when abortion is not allowed it comes before it in double-effect too. Thus the baby's death would not be a side effect for it is not morally necessary to kill the baby for the baby is all that matters. It is killed indirectly but that it is still as good as killing directly.
 
The law of double effect as used by the Catholic Church becomes lethal when an omnipotent God is believed in. Suppose a fallopian tube with a baby inside needs to be removed according to medical opinion to save the mother. Nobody knows for sure if not having the operation will kill the baby and/or the mother. Statistically, most in this situation will die. But when there is a God he might change this and most will live. The women then should not be touched just in case. Thus, the Church endorses an abuse of the law of double effect. The babies' deaths it allows are not unavoidable. Moreover, taking away the babies prevents God from showing the statistics reversing.  Perhaps if the tube was left inside, we would see a change in the statistics thanks to God and there would be no need to remove them on statistical grounds again. When he reverses the statistical trend more babies lives will be preserved and the indirect termination of ectopic pregnancies will be forbidden. This thought alone condemns the Church's teaching.
 
Abortion cannot be bad just because it hurts the foetus. The foetus will face more pain than that if it lives.
 
Only if the foetus may have the need to live can killing it be evil. To have this need it has to be able to understand what life is which simply means it has to be conscious. It may not understand how it comes to be alive but it knows it is aware so it understands what it is to be alive. It doesn't have the need so abortion on demand would be right if we are sure it does not know.
 
Since we have no free will and don't know what we are doing when we "choose" it follows that the argument that the unborn child has no needs for it does not understand anything and so cannot have a right to life is incorrect.
 
The abortion of a foetus that has no consciousness is not murder for it is just preventing a person from coming into existence. If this is evil then men should be impregnating girls as soon as they start to ovulate.
 
What if the foetus has a soul? A soul cannot be one with a body that has no mind. Abortion would just be removing a pile of cells that a soul is waiting to control.
 
The Church says that unborn children have souls and should not be aborted. How does she know that the same is not true of animals? She can’t know so her condemnations and showing off her pro-life badge make many think it is about self-righteous power games. Plus the Church allows life-support to be turned off when people are brain-dead which only signifies that the person will never recover and that some of the brain is damaged not that the brain is totally dead. The brain dead person will have more consciousness than an embryo in the womb in the first months and they say it is all right to end the life of one and not the other. The Church is just making a difference based on dogmatic grounds and is just assuming for the sake of those grounds. People come before dogmas.
 
Catholicism claims that the Holy Spirit preserves it from error. The constant teaching of the Church is thought to be without error. The Church says that new doctrines are novelties and are necessarily wrong. It was only in the nineteenth century that the Church started to think that the soul was infused at conception (Vicars of Christ, page 523). Since the Church only makes a tradition into a dogma when it is questioned so that nobody can doubt that it is a part of what God who doesn’t lie has revealed, it follows that this doctrine denying that the soul is infused at conception is an infallible revelation from God that the Church has turned her back on. The pope is a hypocrite and would know from Aquinas that his doctrine of life starting at conception is false.
 
The doctrine that Mary was conceived in her mother's womb free from original sin which was dogmatised in 1854 by Pius IX does not necessarily imply that the newly fertilised egg is a human person. God might simultaneously make the soul but not join it to the foetus until it is sufficiently developed. Killing it would still be murder just like it would be murder to kill a person who could leave their body when they were out. Or perhaps the egg gets the power to transmit original sin to the soul though the soul won't appear yet. The idea of a cell that is not a person being guilty of original sin is no sillier than a person having the sin because the person is as innocent as the cell. Even if the sinless conception of Mary does not imply that abortion is murder it has done much harm to women for it seems to do that to many and is allowed to seem that way. The Devil would have had good reason to promote the doctrine by appearing to Catherine Laboure and Bernadette of Lourdes and pretending to be Mary when it cause such a brutal and tremendous catastrophe for women have had abortions or considered having one.
 
The Church never properly disapproved of abortion as seriously wrong for the Church for centuries did not officially teach that the human being was a person from conception.
 
The Roman Church tell us that the unborn child might be a human person and that this proves abortion to be wrong for it might be killing a person. But this only proves abortion to be evil when done for a trivial reason. If the foetus is abnormal or if the mother-to-be could die then it would be right to have an abortion in case the unborn child is not a human person. Religionists like to forget that the embryo might not be a human person.
 
The woman who brings a child into the world to suffer is a callous child abuser. Her child will have the right to sue her.
 
Christian opposition to abortion has more to do with dislike of women and sheer bigotry than anything else. The interference of Christians which is geared to making abortion hard to obtain results only in late abortions. For them, early or late abortion is bad. But the truth is, even if it is bad it is less bad in the early stages. Then there is a lesser chance that the baby is a person.

The Catholic Church officially teaches that the war against abortion and contraception are the same war. It is believed that a woman using contraception will often choose abortion if the contraception fails. The Church is insinuating that contraception leads to abortion. This aims to trick women into thinking they are assisting in murder if they use contraceptives for it is not necessarily true and contraception would have to necessarily lead to abortion to be wrong like abortion supposedly is. It is true that the pill often causes a very early abortion but there is a world of difference between this and having a later abortion requiring surgery. That you would use the pill does not necessarily mean that you would have the baby killed at a later stage. That is why the Church's logic is fraudulent. It is wrong to say that contraception is bad for it leads to abortion for it does not. Using condoms does not mean you will use the pill. Using the pill does not mean you will have a later abortion if the pill lets you down. If you do use the pill or have a later abortion the reason is that you made a new decision that nothing made you make. There is no link. The Church needs this emotionally stirring argument to put a veneer of respectability and compassion on its crusade against birth-control. The woman has all the trouble with pregnancy and the man does not. In a sense the man is in the same position as a contracepting woman. It is clear then that the ban on contraception and abortion in Catholicism really stems from a hatred of women. It is pure sexism. It denies that women should have the freedom with sex that men have. It seeks to punish women for having sex.
 
Today there are safe abortion pills, that can terminate an early pregnancy without any need for surgery. This is a great development. Most women will feel better about an abortion when it happens early enough. And it prevents the turmoil and surgery that can arise from a later abortion. We all feel that those who would make such pills illegal and condemn the taking of them are interfering cranks. They may claim to believe that that embryos in a test tube are people but they do not act as if they really do. All they are doing is scaring women off using the abortion pill and making some of them leave it too long when the embryo may indeed be a human person. This is particularly evil when the woman is a rape or incest victim.
 
The Church says that a child is a gift from God. This means that the suffering of having an unborn child is a gift from God too. To say that suffering is a gift from God which you have to say if you believe in an all-powerful God who lets suffering take place for a good reason is to discourage people a lot from fighting suffering. We will not take orders from believers in God about whether abortion should be legalised or forbidden.
 
Only .3 of professional abortions lead to medical complications. That is an important thing for people to know. The book, Christianity is Not Great. The pro-life people exaggerate the numbers who suffer from complications to deter people from abortion. More women die from having babies than having those abortions.
The Church will do a lot to stop abortions in poor countries but it will not do much to stop the babies dying of starvation or malnutrition or disease after they are born. Banning abortion gives men the right to procreate through rape or through lying about contraception. The woman’s body belongs to men. The woman is sentenced to a living death and to bondage and fear. Her life is not valuable while the baby’s is. What the fight against abortion really is about is stopping women from using their own judgment and being free. Women who campaign against abortion are traitors to their sex and are conditioned by men and religion.
 
The Catholic Church and many other Churches claim to care about the family.
 
If so why do they have no problem providing marriage for immature people, sixteen year olds, and people who may be unsuitable for raising children?
 
The Catholic Church condemns single mothers but nothing was said about Pope Pius IX taking a Jewish boy from his parents and raising him himself.
 
Anything is possible in human life. Therefore it is possible that abortion may save the life of a woman who is suicidal and who wants rid of the baby. All Catholics have to say to this is that the suicidal are NEVER helped by abortion. They cannot know that! Are they psychic? Its just a dogmatic faith based assumption. They are therefore willing to kill the women by their teaching. The unborn baby makes them willing to kill for it in that underhand way. Whoever refuses to consider each case on its own merits and prefers to make blanket condemnations is not a true friend of women. Science works without religious assumptions and is based on what the evidence says. Science will revise and repudiate theories that are not properly verified. Science is free from religious pressure. The religious attitude to women who need abortion to avoid suicide is therefore unscientific.
 
Even we cannot legalise abortion on the basis of a threat of suicide, we know that there would be circumstances in which it would be right. Proving it could be the problem. We would be banning abortion because we can't get the needed evidence that abortion will avert suicide. We are not fortune-tellers. But religion just doesn't care even about that. Even if the evidence was clearcut it would still oppose the legalisation.
 
The pro-life in Ireland have tried to make out that Savita Halappanavar's death was not the fault of Catholic pro-life policy and its meddling with legislation. She was refused a termination of pregnancy to save her life. She was told it was a Catholic country. Of course the pro-life have tried to manipulate people to think she was not told that. They then virtually accuse her devastated husband of being a liar. But nobody denies that she was refused a termination because the foetus had a heartbeat.
 
The pro-life people will not stand for Ireland having even a strictly limited abortion law. They prefer to drive women abroad to nations that provide abortion on demand even at later stages than Ireland would ever countenance. Is it not better that if abortion is coming in and is wrong, to have the law made up in such a way that the woman will have a safe early abortion in Ireland? Even if abortion is wrong, then surely its monstrous to argue that a foetus of 6 weeks has as much a right to life as one of 24 weeks?
 
MICHAEL TOOLEY

Michael Tooley argued that to be a person was to have desires and that rights are based on desires. To have the right to live one had to want to live and understand what live meant. Babies can't do these things so he believed that abortion and infanticide were permissible as long as they were done as humanely as possible.

Rights are not based on desires but on needs and you can need what you do not desire. We have right and wrong desires so just wanting something does not mean we are entitled to it.

Tooley doesn't remember what it was like being a baby so for all he knows babies might desire life and understand what life is though this knowledge would be very primitive but it could be there.

Killing the baby even humanely will still hurt it and sometimes the baby is extracted bit by bit when things go disastrously wrong. Tooley would have to justify this by saying that it is right for there would be greater pain for it or its mother or both if it lives.

 

Many anti-abortion campaigners state that the baby in the womb gets no choice to live while the mother chooses for it and chooses abortion.  They ask why nobody cares about the baby's choice.  But they are driving people to Tooley's argument for it is obvious that the baby cannot choose anything.

Tooley's views give no real grounds for abortion.
 
JJ THOMSON AND ABORTION
 
Judith Jarvis Thomson argued that because the woman owns her body she has the right to get an abortion if she doesn’t want to be pregnant. She said that though the baby has a right to life, the mothers right to control her body comes first.

If you give birth to a child and the child needs your kidney or it will die there is no law that has the right to force you to donate. Your bodily integrity comes first. Therefore Thomson was right. If she is wrong then frozen embryos should be implanted by force in women to save them.
 
Suppose there was a machine that could grow babies to full term. Girls are forced to contribute eggs to it. Your egg was fertilised by mistake and now the baby will be aborted so that another baby can be brought to full term in the system instead. Unless your baby is implanted in you, it will die. It will die by being pulled to bits by the machine. Is it your duty to allow this to be done to you and save your baby’s life? What if the baby was genetically designed to be the most compassionate doctor possible?
 
Thomson was right. Getting pregnant, even on purpose, doesn’t give the mother the duty to keep the child alive. She can have an abortion if she wishes.
 
The baby in the womb takes the woman's bodily resources and changes her body forever. It occupies her body in a hugely intimate way. It is such a big thing that many reason that nobody has the right to force a woman to maintain the baby's presence against her will.
 
The pro-life argue, "But the baby is not a malicious intruder. It is not the baby's fault it is there." If God put it there he is clearly not all good. At best he is both good and bad. The woman may have consented to the sex that put the baby there. That does not mean she consented to the result of the sex. To deny this would be like saying a woman going out on her own and getting drunk at a club asked to be raped. The Catholic will not say to her, "I wish I could help you get rid of the baby as you have a right to control your own body. But I can't for its a sin." That would imply a grudging obedience to the Church ban on abortion. The baby is the mother's more than anybody else's for she carries it and feeds it and half of its genetics come from her. It is partly her.
 
If a woman is not allowed an abortion because the baby is not a malicious invader then it follows that if the baby were then it should be allowed! Strange! And surely if the baby is a sinner and anti-god and needing forgiveness in baptism then it can be assumed to be as no better than a malicious invader?
 
WHY SUPPORT ABORTION - ESSAY
 
Some argue, "We do not know if abortion is the killing of a human person. The foetus may seem to be a mass of tissue and still be a person. We don't understand how we are persons. Abortion for a small reason is wrong for we don't know if abortion is murder or not. Even a ball of cells could be a person in some way we do not understand so abortion for no serious reason is wrong in case it is murder. It is replied that carrots and onions might be persons and we kill them. But the difference is we have no reason to think they might be and do have reason to think that the foetus might be a human person."
 
The truth is that though foetus has more hope of being a person than a carrot it is absurd to imagine that it is a human person when it has no developed brain. To accuse a woman who has an early abortion of murder or killing a person is an extremely dangerous and serious allegation and the proof that the baby was a person then needs to be put forward but the proof is unsatisfactory so pro-life is anti-women.
 
You cannot find out if an early embryo is a person with the right to life. If you want to shoot something for fun that may be a person you can check. You cannot argue, "If it is wrong to drive my car in the dark when I see a shadow that could be a person, then it is wrong to abort an embryo for it might be a person." It is just not the same. See page 16, Questions of Life and Death.
 
Abortion is not always wrong. Much of humanism agrees with abortion on demand in the early stages for there is no reason to think that the baby is a human person then. Even if it has a brain it would be too primitive to make it conscious to any important degree. We don't think that animals are as personal as ourselves. A baby should be aborted when it would be destined for a life of agony. It is wisest in this case to terminate the pregnancy in case it is not a person. Abortion at the later stage is never right unless it is the only way to save the mother's life and if both will die.
 
We must see the value in the fact that if we prohibit abortion desperate women will die and suffer at the hands of back street abortionists so it should be allowed to keep them away from such butchers. It is countered that this is like saying that since people are going to steal or molest children that we should allow these things. But these women are desperate and believe they have no choice and there is the possibility that they are not harming a human person in having the contents of their wombs emptied. An abortion should be performed to stop a woman going to a back street abortionist. The mothers come first for we are more sure they are persons than we are that their babies are.
 
The pro-lifers know that they have no business expecting everybody to believe that a few cells is a human being. It’s plain commonsense.
 
It is clear that if the world populates at the rate it is doing that the destruction of most of us will come one day through famine and plague. In this sense, abortion does save lives. It saves the people who have not come into being yet. Many nations will abort adults just to survive in an over-populated world that strains resources. Better to abort babies than adults!

The Humanist recognises that not everybody agrees with her or him on abortion. So whose opinion should be enshrined in the law? Should it be the Catholic one that always forbids abortion or should it be the opinion of women who believe abortion should be carried out even at a late stage just because the woman finds it convenient? Should it be the more moderate stance of Humanism? As the adult is more certainly a person than even a foetus at six months in the womb the women's opinion should come first.

The Catholic Church officially teaches in its vicious and notorious Dictionary of the Family that any democracy that allows abortion is not a democracy for it does not respect the lives of its unborn citizens. This teaching then urges Catholics to force the law of the land to forbid abortion no matter how many want it legalised. We will not stand for such interference.

CONCLUSION
 
Abortion is a woman’s right and should be freely available.
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
Abortion The Great Injustice, HP Dunn, Irish Messenger Publications, Dublin, 1979
Abortion, John R Rice Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1971
Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, Uta Ranke Heinmann, Penguin, London, 1991
Human Life is Sacred, Irish Bishops Pastoral, Veritas Dublin 1975
Is Abortion Sinful? Mike Willis, Guardian of Truth Publications, KY
Moral Questions, A Statement by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1971
Practical Ethics, Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, England, 1994
Questions of Life and Death, Christian Faith and Medical Intervention, Richard Harries, SPCK, London, 2010
Reason and Religion, Anthony Kenny, Basil Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, 1987
The Catholic Church and Abortion, Catholic Press and Information Office Dublin, Irish Messenger Publications, Dublin, 1983
The Doctor's Dilemmas, Donal Murray, Veritas, Dublin, 1988
Vicars of Christ, Peter de Rosa, Corgi, London, 1993

BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:
 
The Amplified Bible