The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Opposing Viewpoints: Unborn's Right to Life Tops Ability to Choose

2 min read

Staff Writer

Abortion is inherently wrong, not based on the situation behind it or the decision of the mother, but based upon the life of the child.

The problem with the abortion debate is that both sides are almost always arguing on a different premise.

Pro-choice argues for the rights of the woman.  For them it is an issue of whether or not the mother is competent, ready and wants the baby.  Please don’t misunderstand me; being a woman, I am all for the rights of women.

The question is not whether the woman should have a choice, it’s whether or not the shrimp-looking blip on the ultrasound is a life or not.  If it’s not a life then yes, it’s a choice. But if it is a life, then abortion is murder.

Life begins at fertilization, at conception.   There are many definitions for life, but according to the Encyclopedia Britannica something is alive when it has the following characteristics: responsiveness, growth, metabolism, energy transformation and reproduction.

The fetus, even at the earliest stages, is not only alive, but undeniably human.  The genes for that individual come into existence at the moment of conception, not at the moment of viability.

According to Roe v. Wade, the fetus’ viability outside of the womb is the cut off point for when it is ok to have an abortion.

Medicine moves at lightning speed and neonatology keeps advancing.  The stage of viability for a fetus is getting earlier and earlier.

So it begs the question, if viability is all that matters, what happens as that advances to earlier stages?  A baby’s heart begins to beat at five weeks, usually before most women even know they’re pregnant.

Many people argue that the circumstances of the pregnancy are all that matter in determining whether or not to terminate the pregnancy.

However, if the fetus is a life from conception, then abortion is wrong regardless of the situation.

Another problem is that few women know what they are signing up for when they get an abortion.

According to, “Cervical damage from previously induced abortions increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and complications of labor during later pregnancies by 300 – 500 percent.”

In other words, even if you ignore the psychological effects, the choice of terminating one child may have lasting effects that go far and beyond the surgical procedure.

Ultimately, the decision must be made whether or not a fetus is alive.  If it’s a life, then when does it become one?  Before you give anyone a choice, make sure it’s not a choice that ends a life.