Spend any amount of time engaging in the topic of abortion online or on the street and a common theme will emerge: Abortion is a form of compassion towards children who could grow up to live horrendous lives.
This is far from the random musings of Twitter users; it has become an entirely mainstream viewpoint. Alabama State Representative John Rogers uttered in response to an Alabama law prohibiting abortion that “you either kill them [the unborn] now or you kill them later.” A common slogan on social media is to declare that “Abortion is an act of love.” Even more horrendously, mothers of disabled children are often encouraged to abort, so as to prevent a child from coming into the world.
Abortion is often framed as a form of compassion, preventing children from ever experiencing bullying, discrimination, poverty, or others forms of suffering.
This line of thinking only makes sense if one starts with the presumption that the preborn are not fully human as the born are. After all, no one would suggest that we should kill two-year-olds to prevent them from suffering at five years old. We only do this with the preborn because we have bought into the assumption that the preborn are not fully members of the human family. The preborn are already “in the world”; they are just in a different location than everyone else.
In addition, the premise that abortion is more compassionate than bringing a child into a harsh world needs to be called into serious question. For one, it is extreme. It is sort of like decapitating someone who is having migraines. Sure, they will never have problems with migraines again, but losing one’s head is hardly an improvement in their condition.
Why is abortion the best answer available to societal problems? How do we even begin to test the assumption that some people are better off dead than alive? While being killed means one will never suffer in the future, it also means that one will never experience the goods of life. A child who is killed before birth is denied a great deal of what life has to offer. They will never know what love is. They will never get to experience compassion, or empathy, or respect. They will never get to feel the embrace of a parent or the joy of friendship. They will never learn to ride a bike, or play a sport, or learn new subjects. They will never go on dates, fall in love, or get married and experience having a family of their own. Abortion permanently prevents every good aspect in life by swallowing someone in death.
It is also the ultimate form of bullying. Bullies are those who use their strength, power, and influence to control, dominate, and destroy those who lack these qualities. The preborn are said to be able to be killed because they are too small, too undeveloped, in the wrong location, and too dependent upon their mothers to be considered part of the “in group”; in this case, born human beings.
Lastly, abortion is the ultimate anti-choice position. Life is often plagued by hardships, but by killing someone through abortion, we permanently take away any choice or ability they have to improve their position later in life. The choice is made for them before they are even aware of their condition, and it often results in their death without their ever knowing what hope is. Killing someone, no matter how compassionate the language used to justify the killing may be, is a permanent solution to what is often a temporary problem.
It is not compassionate to take away someone’s life to solve a problem they may or may not have down the road, or to decide for them that their life is not going to be worth living. That can hardly be considered “pro-choice” in any sense of the term.