Thursday, December 4, 2008

Abortion and Rape: Is Chris Less Valuable

The recent election has lead to the re-stoking of the fires on the issue of abortion. A whole lot has been said from a wide array of people; some very good and thoughtful, and some outright silly. Through the various debates, I've noticed one recurring theme; what about abortion in the instance of rape. Now i know that a lot of pro-choice people throw this out there as a sort of tear-jerker, to persuade the listener into a decision on emotional grounds when of coarse as with most important issues, how we feel should be set aside for what we know. However i know for some this is a very real objection, a sort of moral conundrum that, no matter what side you come down on on the issue of abortion, is very hard to reconcile and deal with. I share this sentiment and I sincerely understand the objection made from not only pro-choicers, but from pro-lifers in the case of rape and abortion. It seems from pro-lifers are where the real conflict comes from. We want to be pro-life, we believe in the value of humans and inalienable rights, but what about when someones rights have been violated and they are stuck with a comittment that they did not set out to have. It's one thing to be frivilous sexually and conceive and simply try to dodge the responsibility of a child through abortion. But its another when another life is forced into your care.
What do we do with the issue of rape and abortion? Now I dont think this is in any way an easy issue, but I think clarifying our terms will assist us in making the best conclusion. It seems like no matter what the scenario we must go back to the essential questions; what is abortion, what is the unborn, and is it moral? Well by now we know abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. Given the law of biogenesis, like species produce after their own kind and thus what the woman is pregnant with, from the moment of conception is a human. In conclusion, an abortion is the ending, or killing of a human life while it is still in the womb, or in some cases partially born. Now the issue of rape. A man forces himself on a woman, inseminates her and she is with child. Bewildered and violated, the women is now laden with an unforseen burden of childbearing against her will. Given this misfortune, is it then acceptable for her to have an abortion? Many people who will read this dont know this but, I wasn't planned. No my conception is a mirror image of what I described above. My mom, 19 I believe, was impregnated with me against her will. For this reason I dont tread lightly around this question and it gives me different insight, insight i will challenge you to think about. What is about the way I was conceived that makes me not worthy of protection under the law? What is about the fact that a child comes into this world through the horrible crime of rape, that means that we can decide whether or not they have the same rights as other human beings? And when does that priveledge end? What is the cut off that a mom has in deciding whether or not she will allow her child to live? Some would say my mom could've killed me in the womb, because my biologically father happened to be a rapist. Okay well, minutes later after i was born my dad was still a rapist, so could my mom kill me then, after the doctor put me in her arms? If not, why not? Just minutes prior I was all game, my mother could've aborted me, but since i've traveled a few inches I'm then worthy of protection under the law like every other human being? Better yet, I was a C-section. So, what if as the doctor cut my mom open (I'd still be in the womb) upon my moms split second consent, the doctor killed me then, while my eyes were getting a glimpse of the outside world? I mean at this point I'm still technically in the womb but I can actually gaze at other people for the first time, at this point do i still not have rights? But why should the statute of limitations end there. Now that i'm all grown up i look a whole lot like my mom, but as a younger child i've been told i looked like my biological father. Imagine that, my mom seeing the face of her assailant in the eyes of her child, what grief that must have caused her. Could she have taken my life as a 1 year old, given the emotional trauma that must have put her through? What about at 2 years old, 3, 21? I ask because thats often the argument made in support of abortion due to rape. That the mother will have to endure the lasting memory of her rapist in the life of the child, and she'll be so bogged down that she and the child will live unhappy lives. Well even if that were true, our rights aren't dictated by who feels good in a paticular moment, certain rights are inalienable. But that objection isn't a good one, as I'm probably the favorite out of my brothers :) and my mom confides in me that she wouldn't change it for the world. All that aside, my main point is this, are peoples rights as humans dictated by how they become human? This same logic applies to cases of incest as well. We have rights because we are humans, no more, no less. If you are a human in all other circumstances you have the right to live without someone trying to arbitrarily take your life simply because you are you. Is Chris Billups any less valuable because he was conceived from rape, is he less human? I sure do hope not.