How Many People Do You See?

I have often observed that, when it comes to defending legalized abortion, the pro-choice mob has more tricks than a monkey on a hundred yards of grapevine.  Of course, this is probably a natural response given that the task they have chosen is to defend the indefensible. 

In any event, among their catalogue of rhetorical gymnastics, one of the most amazing is their contention that the unborn child is simply a part of the mother’s body.  They make this argument hoping that the public will conclude that, since society would never interfere with a woman’s decision to have her appendix out, it likewise has no place interfering with her decision to have an abortion.

The problem is, the underlying assumption supporting this argument is asinine even by the abortion lobby’s standards.  To assert that the unborn is part of the woman’s body is the same as saying that when a woman is pregnant she has 4 arms, 4 legs, 2 heads, 2 hearts, 2 brains, etc.   It also suggests that, if her child is a boy, for nine months of her life she has a penis.

Having said all that, for those of you who truly believe in this “baby as part of the woman” philosophy, I want to raise a serious issue.  I ask you to imagine a photo of conjoined (Siamese) twins and answer this simple question: Is that a picture of one person or two? 

Before you answer, understand that, from a biological standpoint, conjoined twins are far closer to being one person than is a mother and her unborn child.  Conjoined twins are always the same sex, always have the same DNA, are always the same blood type, always share at least one external body structure and often share several internal organs.  And as long as they are joined, if one dies they both die. 

But none of that is true about a mom and her unborn baby.  They are the same sex only about half the time, often don’t have the same blood type, never have the same DNA and do not share any external body parts or internal organs.  Moreover, it is not only possible for one to survive when the other one dies, it is common.

The point is, while it would be biologically incorrect to claim that conjoined twins are not two distinct individuals, even that argument would be more grounded in scientific reality than the claim that a mother and her unborn child are not two distinct individuals.  

The subject of conjoined twins also creates another analogy to the pro-life issue.  It is now common for doctors to perform surgery to separate conjoined twins.  In many of these cases, it is understood that the chances for both surviving is low.  However, no ethical surgeon would agree to intentionally kill one of the twins to increase the chances that the other one would survive.  In every case, the intent is to save both lives and every effort will be made to achieve that result.  It may be true that, prior to the surgery, it is accepted – even anticipated – that only one will survive.  But under no conditions would separation surgery be performed with that as its intended outcome. 

This is the principle that must be applied when the issue is whether abortion is acceptable in those extraordinarily rare instances in which pregnancy poses an immediate threat to the physical life of the mother.  From an ethical standpoint, we cannot say that it is ever acceptable to intentionally kill the baby to save the mother.  Instead, her physician should be required to do everything possible to save both mother and child.  If, as an unintended consequence of that effort, one or both fail to survive, that would be considered an unavoidable – thus permissible – outcome.  However, it is as morally indefensible to say that we will intentionally kill the baby to save the mother as it would be to say that we will intentionally kill the mother to save the baby. 

In the final analysis, the pure “no-exceptions” pro-life position is exactly the same as saying that operating on conjoined twins is never acceptable if the intent is to kill one of them.  In both cases, there are two distinct individuals involved and we must never cross the moral line where we argue that one innocent human being’s life can be snuffed-out for the benefit of another.

Oops, I forgot.  We already did that.  It’s called Roe vs. Wade. 

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)

Oh Mark you have hit yet another home run. Keep that up and you will be challenging Barry Bonds. This article is yet another exposure of the rhetoric flaunted by the pro-aborts. We in the pro-life movement have stopped hearing their words and consequently stopped thinking through their positions. Great job and thank you.

We have an interesting case up here in Canada where one of our strongest pro-abort politicians has taken a stand opposed to sex-selection abortion calling it feticide. Well I contend that he is actually half way home to a pro-life position. All that is left now is to convince him that targeting male children for extermination is just as bad as snuffing girl babies in utero.

Truth is an issue like sex selection is a real problem for the other side. If CHOICE means what it says then who are you to tell me I can't CHOOSE to off the females?
# Posted By John | 2/6/08 1:50 PM
The logic of this article is impeccable, and must convince all except those who are so blind that they do not wish to see. Never before, in history, did the human race turn on its own offspring. Will the abortionists open their eyes before we become as the lemmings or the dodo.
# Posted By Tom Landers | 2/6/08 2:51 PM
Excellent! Thank you! The lies and ignorance are creating a greater troubled world. The political movement is for states to decide. Do states define "murder" and "life" of a human being? Every pro-lifer is entitled to share their opinions on this vital humanitarian issue, yet so few do. Women state that because of a prior abortion they now have a great husband and children they love deeply that would have never been possible had they not aborted. How can one say such things? Adoption would have solved that circumstance, but for many the "family scandal" holds the knife of murder and secrecy of abortion. Many woman abort very late due to the reality that if the infant is born with illegal drugs in it's system, the mother will be jailed. Rather than struggling with ending a Meth addiction while pregnant, they feel they must abort before the child is born or go to jail. The mother is free to use drugs all through the pregnancy, harming the fetus, with no repercussions of any law protecting the fetus from substance abuse. The pro-aborts are even challenging fetal personhood laws, as in the Scott Peterson case. How morbidly sad. Pro-Lifers must speak up, or let the pro-aborts be the only voice we hear.
# Posted By Gera Schmidt | 2/6/08 5:23 PM
Additionally (1) if the murdered baby were part of the woman's body, she would feel the pain of the abortionist's knife. Obviously, she doesn't, and she wouldn't accept cutting out even a cubic inch of her own arm tissue, which IS part of her body....that's why she feels the arm cuts and won't allow for herself what she knowingly allows for her defenseless innocent baby. (2) If a woman is malnourished and has only about 80 parts per million [ppm] of a nutrient when she requires 100 ppm to be healthy, nature, God, and/or evolution has decreed her blood levels will nevertheless fall when she is pregnant to about 70 ppm. The reason? To keep the unborn baby's blood levels even under starvation conditions up to a healthy 100 ppm. This is nature's/God's/evolution's proof as to who is most important. Not only that, but if a woman is nursing a baby in a concentration camp, she will waste away at an abormally high rate, while milk is preferentially produced to keep the baby ideally nourished and happy and chubby.....all of which proves again who is most important.
# Posted By Randy Crawford | 2/7/08 2:15 AM

Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics