Most countries allow legal abortion in some form. Some countries allow abortion on demand, while others have strict laws, on paper, about how and when an abortion can be carried out.
In the last thirty years abortion has become common in Western nations, where it is now routinely used as a back-up for failed contraception; on babies that are suspected of having a disability or disease; or simply because a woman feels that she can’t, or doesn’t want to have her baby.
Abortions are carried out using various methods from chemicals and drugs, to surgical procedures.
On top of the abortions carried out various hospital run, and private, abortion facilities each year, millions more abortions take place completely unnoticed – even by the women experiencing them. These unnoticed abortions are caused by many of the commonly prescribed chemical contraceptive medicines which act as abortifacients. These contraceptives are intended to prevent a pregnancy from occurring, but in reality many of them abort a newly conceived embryo not long after conception. Sadly most women have no idea that the contraceptive chemicals they are taking are actually regularly destroying newly conceived children.
What’s wrong with abortion?
There are two serious problems with abortion:
1. It is the deliberate killing of an innocent human life
2. It causes serious emotional and physical harm to women
Every abortion deliberately ends the life of a human baby, which means that it is a gravely immoral act of homicide against a developing baby in the womb.
Every abortion also poses serious physical and mental health risks to the women concerned.
The research clearly shows that abortion harms women and despite all the rhetoric it is not something good for women. Studies clearly show that carrying a baby to term, even if it is disabled or sick, carries far less risk for a woman than having an abortion does.
Sadly, because of the ingrained pro-abortion attitudes that now pervade much of society, the women who are harmed by abortion must suffer their shame, grief and hurt in silence – their grief remains unacknowledged and they are routinely told that it isn’t real.
Are you saying that women who have abortions are murderers?
In fact, the more one examines the systems and processes involved with abortion the more one realizes that women are just as much a victim of abortion as their unborn babies are.
We are constantly told that abortion is a woman’s choice, yet how can women claim to be making a choice when the system does not provide them with all of the facts about abortion, and when it provides more incentive to have an abortion than to keep the baby?
There is a serious underfunding of agencies which provide women alternatives to abortion, while many abortion clinics and abortion referring agencies are completely funded by the government.
Women are given scant facts about abortion, the risks are always downplayed or not mentioned at all, and women are not normally told about the development of the baby in their womb.
On top of this, most women are wrongly led to believe that abortion is an easy option that is complication and risk free.
Isn’t the baby just part of the mother’s body?
It is common to hear people claim that a baby in the womb is simply a “clump of cells” that are part of the woman’s body. In actual fact, things couldn’t be further from the truth.
At the moment of conception the newly conceived baby has its own separate DNA, and approx. 21 days after conception it’s tiny heart begins beating.
5 weeks after conception the baby’s arms and legs start to grow, and at 6 weeks (which is roughly around the time that many women realize that they are pregnant) their developing baby now has a brain which has begun to control the muscles and organs, its liver produces its blood cells and it now moves on its own.
The majority of abortions in NZ occur when the baby is ten weeks old, yet at this stage the baby is 2.5cm long and the heart, stomach, kidneys, brains and muscles are all present and working, and the baby has its own finger and toe prints.
A baby in the womb is definitely not a clump of cells that are part of a woman’s body.
Yes; a baby in the womb is definitely dependent upon its mother for nourishment and life, but so is any young child or new born infant and no sane person would suggest that we should be able to kill them.
Is a foetus a human person?
Some argue that a foetus is not a human person, and that it shouldn’t be considered to be a person until it reaches a certain stage of development (which is usually a highly subjective point of development that no two people can agree on).
From the moment of conception the human zygote (tiny baby in embryo stage of development) has its own unique DNA, which means that it is more than just a group of random cells or an extension of the mother and father.
It is now a completely new and growing human life.
Such a dramatic change, and creation of something new that was not present before, is never seen again during any of the pre-birth stages of human development.
The newly created human embryo is completely different to the sperm and egg from which it came - it has new potentials and powers that neither of the gametes (the sperm and ovum) ever possessed.
All things being equal, we know that if the newly created human embryo is left to itself it will continue to grow and develop until nine months later it is being delivered as a new born baby. This is something that a human gamete can never achieve, and it is certainly well beyond the powers of inanimate or non-living things.
This fact also shows that a newly conceived embryo is not just a random grouping of cells, because a random group of cells can never develop and grow to the point of birth. Only a living entity can grow for nine months until it is ready to be born.
A human embryo must be a human person, because it is only a human person that has the ability to grow into a thinking, speaking and philosophising adult. A lifeless non-human group of cells can never achieve such greatness and neither can the individual gametes, or any other thing, that is not a human person. A human embryo possesses all of these powers. A human embryo must be a human person because only a human person possesses and develops into such abilities.
As we have already stated; all of us were once human embryos, which means that all of us have a common beginning, without which we would not be here. A human being cannot bypass the human embryo stage of development, because without the embryo stage of development you cannot exist. You cannot be a human infant, adolescent or adult without first being a human embryo. This clearly shows that the embryo stage of development is an integral and inescapable part of what it means to be a human being.
A newly created human embryo can never develop into anything other than a human infant, adolescent or adult, so therefore it cannot be anything other than a human person.
The human embryo and then foetus is clearly a newly created human person that is living and growing through the first stages of the journey of human personhood.
Won’t outlawing abortion simply result in dangerous backstreet abortions?
The way to stop dangerous backstreet abortions is not to keep abortion legal.
There is no such thing as safe abortion because all abortion poses serious health risks to women and it always ends the life of an unborn baby.
The best way to stop backstreet abortion is to introduce severe penalties for those who provide backstreet abortions, and then make sure that you have good policing of that issue.
On top of this; if women are provided with a proper level of support and assistance to help with crisis pregnancies then they would not have need of backstreet abortions.
What about rape or incest?
It is actually rare for women to conceive as a result of rape due to the fact that female rape victims are subjected to horrific physical and emotional trauma (any form of stress makes conception harder), and it is becoming more common for rapists to use condoms (to try and hide DNA evidence).
Despite all this rape victims do sometimes still conceive, however the last thing a female rape victim needs is the trauma of abortion; this simply subjects her to more emotional and physical trauma and it creates a second victim – the baby who has to pay with its life merely because of the way it was conceived.
Many rape victims who have babies talk about how the baby was something therapeutic and beautiful that helped them to heal in a time of awful pain and suffering.
If a rape victim feels that she really cannot keep the newly conceived baby it is still much more beneficial to her emotional and physical health to carry the baby to term and then adopt it out to a caring couple or family.
What are pregnant women in difficult situations meant to do then?
Pregnant women in difficult situations do have other options, other than abortion, open to them.
If they feel that their circumstances do not allow them to keep their baby after it is born then they can adopt it out to a loving couple or caring family.
There are also several crisis pregnancy centres – like Family Life International’s centres – which offer practical assistance, support and counseling to women facing a crisis pregnancy.
As has already been stated; abortion poses far greater risks to a woman than carrying her baby to term does, so abortion is simply not in the best interest of women at all.
What about women who have had abortions?
Family Life International and other organizations offer confidential and free post-abortion counseling to any women who have been through the trauma of an abortion.
There is no need for women to hide their shame or suffer this pain on their own.
The Apple Argument Against Abortion
An excellent article, by US Philosophy professor Peter Kreeft, which explains why a foetus is a human person that should be protected from abortion
The Miracle of Life
A PDF version of the FLI pamphlet which contains colour photographs and information about the development of the human life in the womb
Your baby and abortion
A PDF version of the FLI pamphlet which contains information about abortion and its effects on women
Family Life International Submission on research using embryos
This twelve page submission, which was originally submitted to the New Zealand government in 2007, uses scientific and natural law arguments to explain why an embryo is a human person
Catholic Church Teaching:
The Gospel of Life (Evangelium vitae)
The Catholic Papal Encyclical on abortion and other threats to human life.
Issued by Pope John Paul II in March 1995