Updated: Nov 9
Abortion isn’t murder. It’s the legal killing of an unborn person. There’s a big difference.
I’m a writer. Word definitions hold great meaning to me. With recent legal changes, abortion has been a hot topic on social media. I have some strong opinions on the matter and decided to research word definitions to help me think through my position.
Here’s what I found in the good ol’ Webster’s Dictionary -
Abortion: the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.
Embryo: the developing human individual from the time of implantation to then end of the eighth week after conception.
Fetus: a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth.
Human: Homo sapiens, a person.
Death: the cause or occasion of loss of life.
Murder (verb): to kill a human being unlawfully and with premeditated malice.
Kill (verb): to deprive of life, to cause the death of.
Premeditated: characterized by fully conscious willful intent and a measure of forethought and planning.
So by definition, abortion is the premeditated intentionally killing of an unborn person…legally.
Which means, the only difference between murder and abortion is that one is legal.
Just to shed a bit more light on the subject of the legal killing of innocent human beings, let’s go back to the early days of our country when African Americans were not considered human beings worthy of the right to life.
According to an article titled, “Laws Pertaining to Slavery” by Bowdoin College, it was once legal for slave-owners to kill African American slaves because they were considered property of the owner rather than human beings worthy of life.
Intentionally killing an African American slave was not murder simply because it was legal.
Just because something is legal doesn't make it morally right.
Now that we have some word definitions in place and an understanding of murder vs. legal killing, I’ll address some of the arguments for the justification of abortion.
Argument 1: An embryo or fetus is not a human being.
This is obviously inaccurate according to the very definitions of the terms “embryo” and “fetus.”
Furthermore, according to Princeton University’s “When do human beings begin? ‘Scientific’ Myths and Scientific Facts,” “The fusion of the sperm and the oocyte at fertilization results in a live human being, a single-cell human zygote with 46 chromosomes, the number of chromosomes characteristic of an individual member of the human species.”
Human life begins at conception. Period.
If scientific fact isn't good enough, visit with a mother who has delivered a premature or stillborn baby. Ask her if the fetus was human or not.
Stand by a sobbing mother clutching a tiny white casket and ask her why she's crying.
Look at a perfectly formed tiny lifeless human being born too soon, with dark hair, finger prints, and perfect little features just like her older sisters. Then ask her momma if she's human or just a clump of cells.
Visit with the momma who's had miscarriage after miscarriage and ask her if the babies she's lost were human or not.
I dare you.
Argument 2: Body autonomy; my body, my choice.
Autonomy: the right or condition of self-government.
This argument recognizes the fetus/embryo as a human being, but claims the mother has the right to refuse to allow the human being growing inside her to use her body.
However, the argument claims that because you cannot force a person to donate blood or organs to save another’s life, you cannot force a mother to allow an unborn baby to grow inside her body to save its life.
There is one big flaw in this argument; refusing to donate blood/organs does not kill another human being.
If a person is in need of another’s blood/organs they are already dying. The individual’s refusal to donate blood/organs did not cause them to die.
Refusal to donate blood/organs is not killing another human.
However, refusal to allow an unborn baby to continue living in the mother’s body is in fact causing the baby’s death.
Abortion is “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.”
Causing another human being’s death is killing a human being.
Argument 3: Some babies who aren’t aborted will go on to be put up for adoption or grow up in the foster care system.
This is the same as saying, “Oh you were adopted? That’s horrible! I wish your birth-mom would have just killed you instead.”
I know there are thousands of kids growing up in the foster care system and/or waiting to be adopted and it breaks my heart.
However, they are still human beings living lives that will leave an impact on this world.
Children who are adopted or grow up in the foster care system are not worthless. They are not unsuccessful. They are not doomed.
They are precious human souls worthy of life.
I have several cousins and close friends who were adopted or spent time in the foster care system. Each one of them is a wonderful individual and very much so happy to be alive.
Argument 4: It’s okay to have an abortion if the pregnancy is due to rape.
I cannot pretend to know how I would feel in that situation and I cannot imagine the pain that must come with having to experience such a brutal injustice. It is a horrific, disgusting crime.
I can understand how a woman in this situation could feel so lost, hopeless, fearful, disgusted, angry, and a million other emotions that she would choose an abortion.
However, this great crime does not justify the killing of an innocent human life.
Again, I cannot imagine going through something like that. I cannot imagine carrying a child for nine months as a constant reminder of what was done to you.
But, to the women who have, I commend your strength. I also commend your recognition of another human being’s right to life.
Two wrongs don’t make a right; and just because this child’s life was not created in love does not mean they are not worthy of living or being loved.
Argument 5: It’s okay to have an abortion if the child has a serious health condition or defect.
This one gets personal.
I was born with a serious heart defect, TAPVR (Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return).
I had open-heart surgery the day I was born. My parents were told even if I survived the surgery, I may not survive my first year without additional surgeries.
When I finally came home from the hospital as a newborn, my 21-year-old college-kid parents had to tube feed me and administer medications that would kill me if given incorrectly.
They were broke college kids just getting by and had no experience raising a child much less a child with a serious heart condition, but they did it.
I’m here today because they were willing to give me a chance at life.
I have regular heart check-ups to insure no further complications are developing. Today I am healthy and happy.
I am only 23-years-old, but I have lived such a wonderful life.
Two decades ago, ultrasounds could not detect my heart issue. Today they can. Today expectant mothers of babies with heart defects like mine are offered the option to abort.
Many of those mothers choose to abort to “save the baby from suffering.”
I can tell you, I would much rather have endured the rough start to my life and any other complications that may come, than to have had my life cut short.
I am incredibly thankful for the chance to live.
I also have friends and family who have autism, down syndrome, as well as other mental and physical “disabilities.” They are truly the most precious people. They love life and live life to the fullest every day.
But because they are different, their mothers were given the option to abort.
There is no argument that can justify killing an innocent human being. None.
Legality is the only difference between murder and abortion.
There may always be abortion (legal or illegal), but it will also always be morally wrong.
I’ve intentionally left my faith out of the discussion until this point, simply because I know many of you would have quit reading at the first mention.
But I want to address it now.
If you don’t believe in God, if you don’t listen to the words of the Bible, then this statement won’t change your mind.
But, if you do know God and accept His word as truth, you cannot defend abortion without renouncing God and His word.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” Psalm 127:3-5
on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15
“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” Genesis 9:6
“Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10
“You shall not kill.” Exodus 20:13
For those who are opposed to killing innocent human life, abortion is wrong.
For those who believe in equality despite background, disabilities, or otherwise, abortion is wrong.
For those who strive to love everyone, abortion is wrong.
For those who claim to be Christ-followers, abortion is wrong.
But, if you're okay with brutally killing innocent human beings because they're different, inconveniencing, unwanted, etc. then continue supporting abortion.
And no, I'm not calling women who have had an abortion murderers.
I am sure those women were terrified for one reason or another and doing what they believed to be best for their situation.