Copyright 2008 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
The right-to-life movement bases its argument on an incorrect assumption, to wit, if you can prove when life officially begins, then it follows that killing a fetus after that point constitutes a crime. And that if you can prove that life begins at conception, then it follows that abortions can never be legally performed. It turns out the debate over when life begins is like so much debating over whether the sky is blue or the grass is green. That human life begins at conception is obvious on its face–even if no face actually as yet exists. Anyone who claims that human life does not begin at conception is either a certified moron or is lying with some ulterior motive as their real aim. Even current Federal statutes define a fetus as "a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development." Fortunately, the question of when life begins has nothing to do with the question of abortion.
As can be witnessed any time one looks at a pregnant woman, the real question of abortion concerns the fact that two individuals are laying claim to the same physical location. Two people are occupying not just the same house or room or even chair, but, indeed, the same point in the space-time continuum. And since this is a country where individual rights are based on a presumption of the equality of individuals, it can be said that the two people occupying that singular spot both hold equal claims on that spot. In almost all cases where two parties are determined to have unambiguously equal claims to the same thing, jurisprudence routinely dictates that the thing in question be split exactly in half and each claimant be given an equal share. In some cases an exactly equal split is problematic and has given judges fits. How does one, for example, split in half a child during a custody dispute or a house in a divorce proceeding.
Luckily, in the abortion debate, biology has provided us with a precise measure by which to split the thing in question. From the moment of conception to the birth of the child, human gestation lasts 38 weeks. Numbers are the most easily divided things known to mankind, and one half of 38 equals exactly 19. Therefore, give the mother 19 weeks and give the child 19 weeks. For the first 19 weeks after conception the mother has the full right and choice to terminate the pregnancy. There are no restrictions whatsoever on her discretion or the process that follows. Nineteen weeks is plenty of time to 1) discover one is pregnant, 2) decide whether to continue the pregnancy, and 3) arrange and carry through with the procedure. Anyone who doesn't possess the capacity to carry out these steps within 19 weeks–almost four and a half months–probably doesn't possess the capacity to carry out some of the simpler responsibilities in life and most likely shouldn't be bringing children into the world anyway–a catch-22 we shall leave for another debate. Suffice to say that women with this kind of disregard for important issues have children who soon wind up being cared for by the state in one form or another.
The second 19-week period belongs to the child. From that point forward it is illegal to have or perform an abortion. Those who do are guilty of 1st-degree murder and this rank feticide is punished accordingly. The only exception is if it is determined the mother will die unless an abortion is performed. In that event, the fetus is found guilty of attempted reckless involuntary manslaughter and is sentenced in the capital manner. If the sentence seems a bit harsh for involuntary manslaughter, what would you do? The mother has every right to say to the gestating menace "if it's either you or me, I've got news for you: it ain't gonna be me."
|The Abortion Debate Resolved