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Aborting the right to life


14 November 2012 06:30 pm - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Professor Anton Meemana

The Beginning of Life and You
Neither this fabulous universe nor all existing life-forms were created by us human beings. There is a mysterious process going on and going on in the universe about whose origin we hardly know anything.
Human life begins to blossom at conception and continues to be so throughout pregnancy. In other words, human life begins before its live birth. Only conception provides a biologically and morally significant point in the continuous development of a person. It is also equally valid to argue that until its live birth, there had been a life and unless there had been a life, there is absolutely nothing to be born.

The post-natal baby is a direct and logical result of pre-natal development. Although it is true that the physiological, neurological and psychological development of a human foetus is gradual, it does not follow at all that one stage of foetal development is much more significant and crucial than another.
A foetus is intrinsically an evolving and a developing human being from its conception. That is to say, you, my dear reader, were a potential person from your very conception. Otherwise you would not be here today even to read this article. Since a new human life is present from the moment of conception, the state has a legal duty and moral obligation to protect pre-natal life. Any government which is not committed to this task makes itself illegitimate and damages its credibility and authority to govern.

" November 11 marked the Day of the Unborn child. This article focuses on the horrors of abortion with investigations showing that more than 255,000 unborn children are killed in Sri Lanka every year. "

Abortion and Exceptions
The kind of abortion that is under discussion here is abortion as deliberate action intended to bring about the death of a foetus. There are very rare exceptions such as therapeutic abortion (when the mother’s life is seriously in danger), but something cannot be legalized based on rare exceptions. A sound moral theory is not under obligation to yield right answers to all rare cases.
Such rare cases must be individually discerned and decided upon. Every rare case requires serious discernment and a very painful decision making process on the part of the parties concerned.

For instance, let us consider a rape case. Rape is much more pernicious, diabolical and inhuman than murder and I at times reluctantly tend to be in favour of capital punishment for rapists, but we need some honest and open debate and discussion about the complexity of this issue. The victim must be given some choice to discern and decide about the future of the pregnancy. But in order to facilitate this there is no need to legalise abortion. Such a case can be handled in the way therapeutic abortion is handled. Every single exception need not be made into a law. In actual fact, instead of solving any problem, legalisation of abortion may, in all likelihood, encourage rapists. There had been courageous women everywhere in the world who had not undergone an abortion even though their pregnancy was due to a rape. Instead of punishing the baby, we must punish the rapist.
Here we must not forget the fact that we have also created a society that glorifies and honours rapists. Rapists are protected and promoted by our diseased cultural (dis) values.
A man who does not respect women disgraces himself. The one who rapes a woman is not a real man and he has already raped and destroyed his very soul.

Abortion and the future generations
The aborting of potential persons is killing of future generation. A potential person has a right to life, since everything in this universe starts with potentiality or emergent probability. Everything in this universe has a beginning. From a cosmological point of view, the beginning of a person is at the beginning of the universe. It has taken, according to the best modern scientific calculations, at least 15 billion years for the universe to create us. I am an irreplaceable product of 15 billion years and you too are a marvelous product of 15 billion years, and hence abortion is a very clear violation of this cosmic design.
Every pro-abortionist owes his or her very life to their parents’ anti-abortion policy. Every pro-abortionist’s life is a direct result of an anti-abortion policy. A consistent pro-abortion policy down through the centuries would have annihilated all the pro-abortionists in the world and the entire human race.
Most of the pro-abortion arguments rely heavily upon Cartesian (that is, the philosophical legacy of Rene Descartes) body and soul dichotomy. But if human beings are truly embodied souls or ensouled bodies, then every conception has an intrinsic value. Every new human conception is a beginning of a new dimension of the universe. It is not just a set of genes or a bag of cells.
Contemporary pro-abortion stance is largely a heritage from Cartesian mode of thinking and therefore it is reductionist and does not do justice to the rich complexity of human life.

Conception and the sacredness of life
Right to life begins at conception. The foetus is in the process of blooming, blooming and growing into a full human being and therefore the parents have an irreplaceable responsibility issuing from the fact that they are its parents. Even non-persons usually do get some decent treatment and consideration. For instance, it is morally and intrinsically evil to torture puppies or kitties for fun or to kill birds or fishes for no reason at all.
Killing foetuses impose on them the injustice of premature and untimely death. This injustice underlies the evil of abortion. It has deprived the foetus of its future, of the life that the foetus would have lived if it had the chance of living its natural life span.
The loss of our future conscious life is what clearly underlies the injustice of premature death as a result of an abortion. One does not have an unlimited right to do with one’s body as one pleases. Limits enable us to cherish and appreciate life more. A foetus is not only part of mother’s body but also part of her soul. In that sense, every abortion is soul-murder.

" Contemporary pro-abortion stance is largely a heritage from Cartesian mode of thinking and therefore it is reductionist and does not do justice to the rich complexity of human life. "

Women’s rights are also protected in protecting the unborn. Part of her rights is to protect her unborn baby, that is, to protect her body and soul. I could protect my rights only to the extent I safeguard the rights of others.
A women’s body is not her sole private property, since she has no personhood apart from her body and whatever she does unto another body will also damage her own body. Whatever a mother withholds from her baby, she also withholds from herself. Since the right to control one’s body is a property right, it is at best a rather feeble argument for the permissibility and legitimacy of abortion. It is not very solid and sound to argue that the right to obtain an abortion is in any way derived from the right to own property. Mere ownership does not give us the right to kill innocent babies. A person who kills an unborn child disgraces and destroys the entire human race. A person who protects an unborn child protects the entire human race. Women’s liberation must be a blessing to unborn babies too. Emancipation begins at conception and likewise charity begins at the womb.

The greatness of a nation depends upon its attitude towards unborn children. Tell me what you think of abortion and I will tell you who you are. Our compassion towards what is most vulnerable reveals who we really are.

Human Law and the Moral Law
Legalization of abortion leads also to commodification of sex. Abortion has become the only mysticism of consumerism. Human law makes sense only in the light of moral law. Law must be at the service of life, not at the service of murder, destruction or annihilation. Civil law is only a reflection of the moral Law. It can never be against the moral law. Legalization of abortion is our inability to love our yet-to-be-born neighbour as ourselves. To be rational is to be compassionate. Womb compassion is the highest form of rationality. Legalisation of abortion shows how confused and diseased we have become as a nation.

The one who does not abuse power is the most powerful one. The true power is the power to protect. The one who destroys the defenceless is the coward par excellence. Legalisation and justification of abortion may stem from a guilty consciousness.
Abortion has become the opium of a lost generation, confused world, and soulless society. In a world like ours, a bit of stolen orgasm here and there has become the only solace for many people. In this sense, legalization of abortion means legalization of interior emptiness and sexual irresponsibility. Abortion takes away our intrinsic capacity to love.

  Comments - 5

  • Rational Friday, 16 November 2012 08:59 AM

    The pro-religious undertones in this article are overwhelming and sickening. You sir, have no right to tell women what they can or can't do with their bodies, for what ever reason. Misogynistic Quotes such as

    "A women’s body is not her sole private property, since she has no personhood apart from her body and whatever she does unto another body will also damage her own body"

    are backward, baseless and should have no place in modern, secular, progressive society.

    The term pro-abortionist is in itself an inaccurate term as it carries an air of absolution. The correct term is pro-choice. I, myself am Pro-choice with regard to early abortion as the fetus lacks a nervous system and thus does not suffer. I am against late term abortions except in dire, extreme cases.

    Rational Friday, 16 November 2012 08:59 AM

    Abortion, like prostitution, WILL happen whether you like it or not and the best we can do in a progressive society (of which, sadly Sri Lanka isn't..) is be mature about it and through legalization provide adequate care and protection for the person in question. Though the circumstances of which need to be reasoned and debated in order to formulate the best, most rational lawful outlines.

    Panikkiya Friday, 16 November 2012 11:34 AM

    Keep Sri Lanka free of Christian and Catholic extremist fundamentalism. We are marching forward. Not backwards to the times of prosecution. Take your crusades somewhere else.

    Preethi Sunday, 18 November 2012 05:40 AM

    Most of us have very little knowledge about "life". So these negative comments appear. Making people knowledgeable this could be overcome. Sorry about materialists the. Hope the authour 's letters more about life education in future too. This is a very good letter. I completely agreed!

    Jayasu Thursday, 22 November 2012 02:48 AM

    So you are going with Rata Perata.....

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