Win Lose or Draw’s take on Abortion
How would you calculate the value of a human life? One very ineffective way is to add up the price of all the component chemicals, minerals, fluids, and organs in the human body. Doing this you might find that a human life is only worth a few hundred dollars. This evaluation method would be ineffective because it would ignore any and all potential for a substantial contribution to humanity from that individual.
In 1729 Jonathan Swift wrote that unwanted babies might profitably be prepared as a tasty meal. A young student of my acquaintance never fails to argue that Jonathan Swift was insane, but I have unsuccessfully argued that he had written A Modest Proposal as a satire to make a point. Since, I and others believe, the essay was satirical, we assume that the intended message was the opposite of what the words implied and that Swift was actually trying to show that we cannot place a human value on the sanctity of human life.
I have heard that job interviews for top corporate jobs often ask applicants who they would save from drowning if they could only save one individual from a group with diverse ages and genders. Presumably the successful applicants will argue to let the old people die and save someone who might still bear children. Or maybe there is another “correct” answer, but I cannot say what it might be since I can find no logic in choosing who should live and who should die. The value of human life neither decreases nor increases with age. You won’t find me arguing that the life of a crippled old granny is less valuable than that of a new born babe. Nor would I argue that the opposite is true.
Our task in life should be to bridge the gap between the ideal and the real to the best of our abilities. Future generations will build better bridges. That is the lesson of history.
The “prime directive,” as far as I am concerned, is to do no harm to others. But the “prime directive” is inherently flawed in cases involving abortion since the potential harm to others will exist no matter where you stand on the issue.
Unwanted pregnancy and birth is expensive both financially and emotionally. Let’s not pretend that unwanted pregnancy doesn’t damage people and society in general.
On the other hand, let’s not pretend that an unborn fetus is not a human being. From the moment of fertilization, the zygote’s entire “programming” is dedicated to surviving and thriving. In other words, it’s alive.
I believe that in the future the only moral way to prevent unwanted pregnancy will be to prevent fertilization.
I pass no judgements on anyone for anything that has previously happened in this arena, but effective preventatives must be readily available. New and better versions of condoms should be invented and encouraged to prevent the sperm from successfully beginning their swim.
Failing that, the sperm must be prevented from finishing the swim. Some estimates are that the best swimmers take about thirty to forty minutes at an inch every ten to fifteen minutes. It is also documented that it takes an additional twenty to thirty minutes for one sperm to get inside the egg. So our window for preventing fertilization either before ejaculation or just over a half an hour after ejaculation.
Furthermore, the window stays open for up to five days because sometimes the sperm do survive and “wait” for an egg that hasn’t arrived yet. But since we often do not know if an egg is or isn’t available, the half hour deadline is the failsafe timeline.
The “morning after” pill is too slow. The egg may often already be fertile before a woman could use the “morning after” pill. If unintended sperm cannot be prevented from entering a uterus via a condom, something else must be taken by the man prior to ejaculation or immediately after ejaculation by the woman to curtail the viability of the sperm.
In extreme cases, such as some rape cases, prevention of fertilization may not be possible. In these extreme cases I personally would find clearly defined legal exceptions allowing abortion after fertilization to be acceptable for a specifically brief period of time.
Society’s role is to promote the sanctity of human life. With that much I do agree.
Babies have been shot and killed while still in the womb, and that is surely the greatest of sins, but I, personally, do not equate that to an abortion.
There is a reason why this is the most intractable issue. You can’t be right with any stance you take. Sometimes demanding that a fetus be spared could be seen as tantamount to a death sentence for already born children who will inevitable starve as a consequence.