reasons against abortion

One opposed to abortion posts to me:

my point is that there is absolutely no reason to grant non-person status to the unborn except to justify killing them

My reply:

How can one bestow nothing yet call it something?

Do you mean, “There are reasons to grant the unborn the status of ‘person’.”? I’ve heard a couple (e.g. “life begins at conception” and “you are killing a soul”), but these are not convincing. Human life is meaningless without personhood. If however, one were to present a case for a “soul”, I would reconsider my thoughts on abortion law. And I don’t mean anecdotal “past lives” stories, I’m talking about verifiable evidence.

Another “argument” I’ve been given is the linking to pictures of a destroyed fetus. Another is pointing out other people (i.e. persons) while implying that we should feel upset because, “See? If he was aborted, he wouldn’t be here now!”. I’ve even had some try to convince me by bringing notice to the fact that I would not be alive if I had been aborted. These are appeal to emotion fallacies.

If you have other reasons I’m not listing, I would like to hear them if you’re willing to offer.

I think I’m missing some. What are other reasons commonly given?

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4 Responses to “reasons against abortion”

  1. Raghavendra S Says:

    Valid points out forth by you Peter.
    An interesting study with factual substantiation is presented by Steven D Levitt in his book “Freakonomics” about the issue we’re discussing here.

    He analyses the causes for ‘conceived women’ to opt for abortion, and very well puts them in context of their socio – economic conditions.
    Let me list a few causes here,

    1. A premarital conception, and either no support or abandonment on the part of the lady by her partner is a real bad state to be in. Keeping Indian etiquette in mind, I must admit it is ‘almost’ inviable for a girl to go ahead with her life with dignity and well being.

    2. Another major factor is the economics associated with bringing up a child by a single mother: It is super expensive. And Steven Levitt goes on to show with his facts that the ones who missed abortion ( after a temporary law in the US, which prohibited abortion), most of these kids went on to become anti-social elements in most of the cases.

    The point you’ve made about the personhood associated with a being is on dot.
    While a foetus, the baby is still an appendage to the mother. And if the mother ( who would know best), wants to save the prospective burdens on that baby and herself, she must have all the legitimacy to opt for abortion.

    The arguments of ethics and humanity in this realm do not make much sense, if there are no solutions presented to deal with the economics and societal support systems.

  2. petrock Says:

    Yes, forcing women to give birth is not only harmful to those women, but harmful to society. Thanks for the pointer to Freakonomics.

  3. Khrys Says:

    ““See? If he was aborted, he wouldn’t be here now!”.

    (1) I’m annoyed by this argument. I didn’t do well in math but I learned enough that if we didn’t get H*tler in the 1900s, we’d have gotten someone akin to him, at some point in history, doing something atrocious and receiving as much media attention. Anyone who’s read an argument on who invented/discovered something ‘first’ is being handed evidence that you can’t pin one invention or discovery on a single individual individual. Statistical odds show that Einstein’s theories would have come to fruition at some point in time. That’s the glorious by-product of being a society.

    “I’ve even had some try to convince me by bringing notice to the fact that I would not be alive if I had been aborted.”

    (2) Pffft. I’m with you on this. It stinks of egoism, in my opinion. You’re a mesh of molecules that’s more complex than the mesh of molecules on your food court plate. Gratz. Being unique doesn’t mean you’re special. Be grateful and celebrate your self-awareness.

    I was hoping to help you find something to add via
    http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/
    but there’s nothing really specific on her athiesm blog that points directly to the fetal/woman debate.

  4. aNDy Says:

    There will be no consensus whatsoever on any issue that has roots in Religion, or even has a slight connection to “any” religious belief. Trying to “convince” someone with a religious belief, using logic and common sense is futile, simply because the first and foremost premise of religious belief is, well, belief!!

    When you “believe” in something, you don’t need proof, logic, or common sense anymore…. you just do. So spare your energy for a dialogue with people who have NO beliefs. It is much more likely that you will convince them – or be convinced by them for that matter – than with “believers”.

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