01 Jul Does Abortion Take Lives?
One of the most common arguments against abortion is the idea that it takes an innocent life. The person who ends a pregnancy is often painted as an irresponsible adult who carelessly got pregnant and who’s unwilling to take responsibility for her actions, opting instead to “end a life.”
However, before one could make such a conclusion, we need to first identify what it means to be “alive.” If biological animation is the basis for that definition, shouldn’t we extend it then to sperm cells? The sperm cell, after all, are just as alive as all the living cells in a male body.
The average man produces roughly 1,500 sperm cells every second. Every time a man ejaculates, 200 million sperm cells are released. These 200 million sperm can “live” up to five days inside a vagina. Now, if a man decides to ejaculate without the intention of conceiving did he just murder 200 million potential people? Should we then criminalize masturbation?
Anyone who comes across the notion of criminalizing masturbation or ejaculation without the intent to conceive will find it absurd.
After all, sperm cells are not people. Sperm cells don’t have thoughts and feelings. Sperm cells don’t have rights. And, most of all, no one would ever suggest that the sperm cell’s right to live overrules a man’s desire not to conceive.
However, these are the exact same arguments used by those who disagree with abortion. Like the sperm cell, the fetus does not have thoughts or feelings. But for some reason, a lot of people believe that a fetus’ right to live should overrule a woman’s choice.
Unlike the fetus, a woman has thoughts and feelings. If a woman does not think or feel that she is physically, psychologically, or financially prepared to carry a pregnancy to term, she should have the option to end it.
The parameters our government has installed has practically forced women, actual people, to be enslaved by “cells.” The criminalization of abortion is another way of saying that the “decisions” of a fetus are more important than the decisions of a person. Except, fetuses can’t really make decisions.
The situation becomes more absurd once we take a sobering look into actual statistics.
According to the policy brief, “Access to Safe and Legal Abortion and Post-Abortion Care Can Save Filipino Women’s Lives”:
- 3 women die every day from unsafe abortion complications
- 11 women are hospitalized every hour
- 70 women induce abortion every hour
In other words, the policies implemented by the government to prevent procedures that end a pregnancy do not even work. Women still have abortions.
The only difference is that the government has made it harder and more dangerous for women to exercise a freedom that should belong to them to begin with. It’s ridiculous that a fetus who lacks personhood is prioritized by the government over the well-being of the person who has to take financial, psychological, and physical risks just by carrying a pregnancy to term.
The only person who should have a say on whether or not a pregnancy should be carried to term is the pregnant woman; not the fetus nor the government.
The government should cater more to the person than to living cells.
It’s not abortion that takes lives. It’s the absence of safe abortion procedures that takes innocent lives.
For more resources on abortion please visit: EnGendeRight’s Policy Briefs and Fact Sheets
Padilla, C. R. (2016, December). “Access to Safe and Legal Abortion and Post-Abortion Care Can Save Filipino Women’s Lives.” Retrieved on: February 24, 2017.