The Irony of Secular Justification for Abortion

Mike Razar
One of the most popular attacks by pro-abortion activists on the pro-life movement is that the opponents of abortion are trying to impose their own religious beliefs on others.

It is undeniable that pro-lifers tend to be partly motivated by personal religious views. That alone does not make their position an imposition of religion any more than the laws against murder, robbery, or rape are not valid just because most religions forbid these acts.

Most people would agree that the key legal question is when the baby (or entity) in the womb becomes a human being entitled to equal protection under the law. Pro-choicers generally draw the line either at a specific time in the womb, or more usually at the moment the baby leaves the womb.

The recent horrible case of a murderer of newborns who is a self identified abortion provider shines some light on the need for a clear definition.  Abortion supporters like to claim the mantle of science, while sneering at pro-lifers for using a religious standard. The exact opposite is true.

The easiest way to see this is in the debate over barbaric partial birth abortion. In order to terminate a third trimester pregnancy, three procedures are available. The first is simply to induce premature birth.  The second is to perform a C-section. In both cases, the result is a live human being outside the mother's body. No scientist would say otherwise. The third way is to kill and dismantle the live entity in the womb and then remove it somehow. Abortion advocates hold that there is a scientific distinction to be made between the humanity of the same entity moments before leaving the womb and moments after. Pro-lifers say that is a ridiculous and unfounded distinction. Both sides claim science is on their side.

Which side is being scientific and which side is being religious? In fact the answer is easy, yet surprising.  There is no scientific way to create a human being out of a non-human being in a few seconds. Only God could do that should He choose to. My respect for religious beliefs of others demands that I acknowledge the possibility that God breathes life into an already breathing blob of flesh with a functioning brain but no....no what? Dare I say no soul? I'll call it a soul but feel free to call it "being human" if you prefer.

Is there a secular counterpart to the admittedly abstract concept of a soul?  I don't know of any. We often pass laws which restrict certain religious practices as opposed to religious beliefs.  Without invoking a supernatural force there is no way to make a meaningful distinction between the baby (with no soul) in the womb one minute and out of the womb (with a soul) the next minute. So I say to pro-choice secular "humanists":

Quit trying to impose your religious beliefs on the rest of us!
One of the most popular attacks by pro-abortion activists on the pro-life movement is that the opponents of abortion are trying to impose their own religious beliefs on others.

It is undeniable that pro-lifers tend to be partly motivated by personal religious views. That alone does not make their position an imposition of religion any more than the laws against murder, robbery, or rape are not valid just because most religions forbid these acts.

Most people would agree that the key legal question is when the baby (or entity) in the womb becomes a human being entitled to equal protection under the law. Pro-choicers generally draw the line either at a specific time in the womb, or more usually at the moment the baby leaves the womb.

The recent horrible case of a murderer of newborns who is a self identified abortion provider shines some light on the need for a clear definition.  Abortion supporters like to claim the mantle of science, while sneering at pro-lifers for using a religious standard. The exact opposite is true.

The easiest way to see this is in the debate over barbaric partial birth abortion. In order to terminate a third trimester pregnancy, three procedures are available. The first is simply to induce premature birth.  The second is to perform a C-section. In both cases, the result is a live human being outside the mother's body. No scientist would say otherwise. The third way is to kill and dismantle the live entity in the womb and then remove it somehow. Abortion advocates hold that there is a scientific distinction to be made between the humanity of the same entity moments before leaving the womb and moments after. Pro-lifers say that is a ridiculous and unfounded distinction. Both sides claim science is on their side.

Which side is being scientific and which side is being religious? In fact the answer is easy, yet surprising.  There is no scientific way to create a human being out of a non-human being in a few seconds. Only God could do that should He choose to. My respect for religious beliefs of others demands that I acknowledge the possibility that God breathes life into an already breathing blob of flesh with a functioning brain but no....no what? Dare I say no soul? I'll call it a soul but feel free to call it "being human" if you prefer.

Is there a secular counterpart to the admittedly abstract concept of a soul?  I don't know of any. We often pass laws which restrict certain religious practices as opposed to religious beliefs.  Without invoking a supernatural force there is no way to make a meaningful distinction between the baby (with no soul) in the womb one minute and out of the womb (with a soul) the next minute. So I say to pro-choice secular "humanists":

Quit trying to impose your religious beliefs on the rest of us!