Best of Biblical Conservatism: Explaining the Conservative Abortion Stance

From Monday, July 30th to Friday, August 3rd, I'll be on my annual vacation. So this week, as we've done in the past, we'll be featuring the Best of Biblical Conservatism!

Today's post was originally published on March 14th, 2012.

Abortion is, of course, one of the biggest hot-buttons in the world. The Left has done a really good job of presenting their side of the issue in such a way that I regularly speak to people who tell me they absolutely never would have an abortion themselves but still consider themselves pro-choice.  The reason given by these individuals almost universally is either "I can't tell some other woman what to do with her body" or more generally "I can't tell other people what to do."

Conservatives as well as Pro-Life liberals and moderates (my childhood pastor, for example, is a staunchly Pro-Life liberal) are simply not explaining our argument simply and concisely. I'm going to attempt to do just that right now.

Simply stated, we believe that unborn child is a human being. Admittedly, this is a default perspective focused on being 100% sure that life is protected.  The fact is no human being knows when a fertilized human egg has become officially human.  One thing we can say with scientific certainty is this: It happens no sooner than the moment of conception.  That's why the vast majority of individuals have no issue with legitimate contraception.  (For the record, legitimate contraception is defined by something that stops a human egg cell from being fertilized by a human sperm cell, whether done via a barrier or medication.) 

If life begins no sooner than conception, stopping said conception from occuring is not destroying anything.  To give an analogy: Fire does not cause explosions on it's own. Neither does gunpowder.  Only when fire and gunpowder are combined do we get an explosion.  Similarly, a sperm cell on it's own does not create a human, nor does an egg cell on it's own.  Only when the sperm cell and egg cell are combined is a human being created.

Abortion, on the other hand, is quite different.  Abortion takes a human that has already been conceived and destroys it by removing it from the womb during development. What Pro-Life individuals say is this: you may stop the conception of a child, but once it is conceived it has a right to life that cannot be infringed upon by another person's right to liberty or pursue happiness.

The woman who is desiring to abort her unborn child has a right to pursue happiness, which in this case means not having a baby.  However, as I have stated so many times, I believe that Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are a heirarchy.  I believe my right to Life outranks your right to Liberty (that is, to be free to do what you want), and that might right to Liberty outranks your right to Pursue Happiness. Your Right to Pursue Happiness ends at any danger to my Liberty and my Life; and your Liberty likewise ends at any danger to my Life.

So here it is, short and sweet, why conservatives and people of faith of all political ilks are opposed to abortion: We cannot abide by the either purposeful destruction of a human life.  There's actually a word for purposefully destroying a human life (except in cases of war, self defense, genuine accident, etc): Murder.  Yes, I know that's a harsh point.  But a human being does have a right to be alive.

Now, let me qualify that statement: One, the vast majority of people who have had abortions have done so in ignorance, believing they are simply removing "a mass of cells from their body." I do not think they ought to be tried for murder.  It's an act of ignorance 99% of the time and not malicious.  I want the practice stopped, not the individuals prosecuted.

Now it's time to ask you well meaning Neighborhood Liberals a question: Can you understand where we're coming from?  We see that child as human and having a right to life. We also see it as completely independent of the mother's body, albeit reliant on that mother.  Then again, my best friend and his wife have an almost 1 year old, and he's completely reliant on his parents the argument that the baby can't survive without the mother in utero becomes really silly.  (As a matter of fact, I think I was about 12 years old before I could even potentially care for myself in any real way, and even then I would have sucked at by the aforementioned logic killing a 9 year old isn't murder either.)

My point is that we are not going to put aside our beliefs on this...and frankly anybody who says we ought to deserves to be smacked.  We're talking about a human life, friends. We're not talking about a mass of cells and we're not talking about a "choice with one's own body." We're talking about destroying another person's body, that unborn child's.*  And that is something we cannot morally fathom.

*I know some atheist or another is going to send me that picture of a cracked egg and a caption that says "this is not a chicken." I'll spare you the trouble: Yes, actually, it is a chicken. I just have no issue with eating chickens.