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Response: Is there a need for abortion?

Editor's Note

This is a response to a letter to the Editor.

Before I get to the main substance of Greg’s letter I’d like to say that I don’t think it is helpful or necessary to refer to Democrats as DemonRATS. It is childish rhetoric that doesn’t serve a purpose.

Perhaps one of the biggest problems with Greg’s letter is the assumption that asking about the criminalizing of abortion is an abstract hypothetical “gotcha” question. Abortion will be abolished. Asking questions about what that looks like and what that means are legitimate. Secondary to this problem is the idea that you should not answer hypothetical questions. While hypothetical questions can be framed poorly and sometimes detrimentally, they are not intrinsically bad and sometimes it can be useful both to ask and answer them.

Greg is correct that Trump did initially say that women who murder their children should be punished. Trump was not yet familiar with the pro-life inconsistencies that do not treat abortion as murder and (in the midst of trying to avoid giving a substantive position) gave an answer that makes sense. But I don’t see the point of Greg bringing up a comparison to immigration. That issue has to do with questioning or defending the justice of the current system and the enforcement of that system. The question Trump was asked had to do with what parties would be considered guilty and receive punishment if abortion is criminalized. He wasn’t being asked if he would enforce the law. The follow-up question was what the punishment should be—”Ten cents? Ten years? What?”

When Greg questions the need for abortion in the midst of a society with plenty of contraceptives and sex education, he isn’t himself advocating that contraceptives are the way to reduce or eliminate abortion, but is critiquing the idea by essentially saying that the abundance of contraceptives and sex education don’t work. Unfortunately his argument is convoluted and he ends up implicitly (and probably unknowingly) saying that contraceptives and sex education don’t work because abortion is needed. Rather than attack the underlying ideas involving need and contraception, he critiques it by saying it doesn’t work.

The pro-abortion response will probably be along these lines:

  • There is not enough access to contraceptives
  • There is not enough access to effective contraceptives (such as IUDs)
  • Abortion is necessary for rape and incest
  • Abortion is necessary (or desirable) for a fetus with defects

In other words, the pro-abortion response is: contraceptives have not been given a fair chance to work, abortions are necessary in cases where contraceptives were not a choice, and abortions are necessary when there are unforeseen circumstances prior to conception. So it makes more sense to simply point out that abortion is wrong because it is murder, being the intentional destruction of a human being created in the image of God. The right response to the idea that contraceptives are the way to prevent or reduce abortion is to say that the unintentional or unwanted existence of humans doesn’t necessitate their destruction. The pro-abortion side (when arguing for contraceptives to prevent abortion) is essentially saying that, “We wouldn’t have to kill those children if they didn’t exist.”

Greg ends his piece with criticizing a court ruling against a Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law. He commends the law, saying, “this law was meant to make sure the abortionist is qualified and the clinics clean.” As an abolitionist, my goal is far from making sure parents kill their children in a clean clinic, with a “qualified” abortionist. We should not set out to make sure that murder takes place under the right conditions with “qualified” people involved. That is a wicked idea that treats abortion like it is healthcare. We should seek to end abortion because we call it murder and treat it as such.

Is there a need for abortion? No. But the reason we should oppose it is because it is murder.