Abortion: A Modest Proposal
[This blog post is the opinion of Greg Nooney and not necessarily the view of the First Unitarian Church of Sioux City.]
I am reluctant to write about abortion because it is such a hot contentious topic. However I am interested in the recent Alabama law that criminalizes abortion except for when the life of the mother is endangered. There are staunch “pro-life” proponents who say well, perhaps we should allow exceptions for rape and incest. I wish to understand this better and would invite any pro-life” person to respond to my questions. By the way I put “pro-life” in quotations because it seems to me that if someone is pro-life they would also be in favor of easy access to birth control and more governmental assistance for children who have been born, to support their life, such as Medicaid and other parts of a safety net and would also be against capital punishment. I am sure some pro-life folks are in fact in favor of these things but many are not.
If a person actually believes that human life begins at conception and a fertilized egg should have all the rights of any other human being, then it makes absolutely no sense to allow exceptions for rape and incest. It would still be murder to “take the life” of a fertilized egg or fetus who was conceived through rape or incest. Also, the doctor should be charged with first degree murder and the mother should be charged with felony murder. This would be consistent with the belief. As a corollary, if a lab tech with pre-meditation, destroys embryos, they should be considered a serial murderer and be treated as such.
As long as such a “pro-life” person agrees to rape and incest exceptions, and denies the need for extreme criminal prosecution for both the doctor and the mother, then it seems to me they are going against their belief that the fetus is a human being with full rights. For those "pro-life" proponents who agree with allowing an exception for rape and incest, on what basis would you provide for these exceptions?
So I applaud the Alabama Congress and governor for their law although, as pointed out earlier, they should go further and charge the doctor with first degree murder, and the mother and all the attendants with felony murder. Otherwise they are saying that a fetus does not have the same rights as a human being who has been birthed. If a doctor with the consent of a mother goes into her home with pre-meditation, and murders her one-year-old, the doctor would charged with first degree murder and the mother with felony murder. Why should it be any different with a fetus, if in fact the belief is that it should have full human rights?
So providing these exceptions and giving only a maximum sentence of 99 years to the doctor, is to admit that, in fact, a fetus does not have the same rights as a birthed human. It is a slippery slope, folks, to deny these fetuses these protections. What next, maybe we would allow a woman who has a deformed fetus the right to abort it? Then what? Abortion on demand?
So I propose much stricter laws be put on the books and let the Supreme Court decide.
Oh, I almost forgot, the Supreme Court already decided this in Roe. vs Wade. By the way, I would recommend that people actually read this decision as it works hard to balance the rights of the pregnant woman and hesitates to allow the government to intervene in the rights she has over her body, except in extraordinary circumstances, that is, when the fetus is viable and could live outside the womb. Only at that point would the government have the right (not the requirement) to set up some restrictions.