This is an entry in the Pro-Abortion series.
Now that I have conclusively refuted the pro-choice basis in arguing that abortion is not murder, I will now conclusively refute the anti-abortion basis in arguing that abortion is murder. This will be even easier, since anti-abortion advocates have one single argument: that abortion is the killing of a human life, and that it is therefore murder.
As I did for the pro-choice position, I am again imposing a criterion of non-contradiction. In this case, since the overwhelming majority of anti-abortion advocates (by which I mean: someone who believes that abortion is never justified or only justified in cases of rape or major health risk) are conservatives, I will judge the anti-abortion argument contradictory if it also eliminates the death penalty, or war, or if it also invalidates divine abortions (miscarriages).
As I said, anti-abortion advocates only have one argument: that abortion is the killing of a human life, and therefore it is murder. Here is an example of this rhetoric from the fanatic side of the scale:
Those who continue to fight legislation restricting abortion are not “pro-choice,” they are “pro-abortion,” or more accurately, “pro-murder.”
Abortion is in reality the painful killing of an innocent human being… [B]eing a product of human parents and having a unique genetic code makes the unborn life unquestionably human.
I already said that I am not going to argue whether the fetus is human or no. But even if it is, so what? The fact that cancer cells are a form of “human life” doesn’t make chemotherapy an ethical issue. Even if we start from “human being,” not “human life,” the argument still makes no sense. The term “being,” as in “human being,” refers to a discrete life form. By its very definition, the fetus is not a discrete life form, since it depends on the woman’s body for its existence and survival.
Besides, the Bible clearly states that life resides in the breath, and fetuses don’t breathe, so either way the fetus is dead according to Biblical standards. Christians, how can you kill something that’s already dead?
Now let’s rewind this argument again, but with a little change:
“A divine abortion is in reality the painful killing of an innocent human being”
“The death penalty is in reality the painful killing of [many proven] innocent human being[s]”
“War is in reality the painful killing of [thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of] innocent human being[s]”
The “killing of human beings” argument fails even harder than the pro-choice arguments on basic logic and on position consistency.
Not only is the argument wrong, but anti-abortion people don’t actually believe the argument is valid. They are lying, pure and simple. The proof of this charge is that when you ask anti-abortion people what punishment the woman should get for assisting the act of murder, they will sputter and tell you they don’t believe the woman should get any punishment. This on-the-spot reaction is absolutely incomprehensible unless we posit that the argument is a manufactured lie repeated for propaganda purposes.
Same for the supposed right to life of the fetus, which, as I already argued, contradicts the conservative beliefs that no one has positive rights, including pregnant women, rendering this right to life meaningless.
Furthermore, consider that any child dead before the age of accountability goes to Heaven, but that a child that grows up into an adult may go to Hell. It’s easy to come to the conclusion that abortion saves some souls that might otherwise go to Hell.
Standing before God and explaining his earthly actions, an abortion doctor could say: “Everybody I aborted is in Heaven, right? And of those I aborted, if I hadn’t done so, some of them would be in Hell, right? So how, exactly, was it wrong for me to perform abortions?” How could God answer this doctor?
Based on this, it’s also easy to come to the conclusion that abortion doctors, or at least the Christian ones, are actually deeply courageous heroes who are willing to go to Hell to save children’s souls. Ridiculous? Maybe, but it’s hard to argue with the facts. It seems to me that saving souls is perhaps the one thing which, to a Christian, should trump the crime of murder.
Now let’s talk about the famous “exceptions,” health risks and rape, on which both positions again sink themselves. According to the American National Election Study, 43% of conservatives oppose abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or risk to the woman’s life. But if abortion is murder, then how can a crime (murder) possibly be justified by another crime (rape, incest, physical threat)? This is called the Two Wrongs Make a Right fallacy. And if abortion is not murder, then the fact that a woman was raped has no bearing on her being capable of having an abortion. So either way, these exceptions are completely irrelevant to the abortion issue, and the fact that they are considered relevant merely highlights the illogic of the anti-abortion position.
To continue on the hypocrisy, consider that 73% of pro-choice people and 70% of anti-abortion people believe in the death penalty (according to the 2006 iteration of the General Social Survey). If we grant the pro-choice position its strongest argument, the personhood argument, then we have to ask: are the innocents who are killed by the State not persons? So the widespread belief in the death penalty amongst pro-choice advocates is bizarre, to say the least.
It is, however, not as bizarre as the anti-abortion advocates who believe in the death penalty, as I pointed out above. Remember that their sole support for the proposition that abortion is murder lies in defining murder as the killing of innocent human beings. Since it is proven on the basis of DNA testing that at least 270 innocent people have been executed or been slated for execution in the United States alone (most recently, Troy Davis, who was executed on the sole basis of being a young black male, proving that the days of black slavery are not quite over), there is no way to reconcile both beliefs.
The issue of whether abortion is murder or not is basically a story of general incompetence; fallacious arguments wielded by logical illiterates, conclusions which are inconsistent with the position forwarding them, and hypocrisy all around.
NOTE: Here’s something particularly absurd that I really wanted to include in this entry. Some insane anti-abortion advocates at Conservapedia have argued that abortion is wrong because it destroys a soul:
This is why abortion is murder: the abortionist has rent the soul from a living human body, the soul being the source of a full life for human beings. If hypothetically there were no soul present in the human at the time of conception and it entered the body at some later stage, then until that moment the fetus would be nothing more than an animated body, similar to how animals and plants are alive but without souls.
Some believe portions of the souls of the parents combine to form the new soul. Some believe a free-floating soul becomes trapped within the body. Some believe a soul is created with the fusion of the gametes, in a meta-chemical process.
You really can’t make this shit up.