Try a little logic in abortion talk
The Kansas City Star
I spent more than 40 years in information technology. With computers, logic rules.
I apply logic to other areas of my life as well. Logic cuts through emotions and religion in dissecting problems.
Here’s my logical analysis of abortion.
For a starting point, I’ll use the anti-choice bumper sticker, “It’s a baby, not a choice.”
A blastocyst, which morning-after pills abort, is a fertilized egg. It’s smaller than a pinhead.It is not a baby. It’s not really conceived.
Technically, conception is when the blastocyst implants in the uterus — about five days later. Morning-after pills prevent implantation long before it would occur.
Many fertilized eggs spontaneously abort before then. No one mourns. No one marches.
Usually, no one knows it happened. But let that blastocyst be in a petri dish or threatened by the morning-after pill and suddenly, it’s not a dot of dividing cells.
It’s a baby, and we’re killing it. Really?
Of course not. How about when the blastocyst becomes an embryo? An embryo is the developing human from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception.
After eight weeks, an embryo is the size of a kidney bean. Is that a baby? Not even close. To me, it’s still a choice.
The embryo is redefined as a fetus about two months after conception. However, a fetus that cannot live outside the mother’s womb is not a baby, either.
And a fetus cannot feel pain until well past the first trimester, when the vast majority of abortions occur.
I agree with the anti-choice people that human life begins when an egg is fertilized.
But the question we should ask is when does a fertilized egg become a human and entitled to human protections? I am Christian and believe that a blastocyst/embryo/fetus becomes human when it receives a soul.
But only God knows when that happens. Since God hasn’t answered that question for me, I apply logic. So, except for extreme birth defects or the mother’s physical health, I think abortions should not be performed after 18 weeks. It’s logical.
But what about women? In anti-abortion talk, people seem to forget that the blastocyst/embryo/fetus is inside a living woman. And the woman needing an abortion feels pain before 20 weeks — physical, mental and emotional pain.
Not all women become pregnant because of wanton sex. Many are married or in committed relationships.
But because of circumstances, often beyond their control, having a child is not feasible. A job loss or cancer, for example, may make having a baby frightening.
I’ve talked to women who’ve had abortions. One was a woman with grandkids. She and her husband couldn’t face starting over again.
Another was a woman with three children — all results of horrible pregnancies followed by 72-hour labors (Yes, bad doctor). She said she’d kill herself rather than do that again.
One was a 14-year-old girl. She just cried.
Should we force these women to have children? Anti-choice is based on emotional/religious reasons, not logic.
Logically, it makes no sense to me to ignore living women in favor of potential babies. However, as a Christian, I find this focus on the potential human over the living, breathing, thinking, feeling and hurting woman to be cruel.
Life begins at conception. But, until a fetus is viable, it’s not a baby.
We need to stop focusing on a potential human and have compassion for the human woman whose body contains the egg. It should be her choice.
After all, it’s only logical.
Suzanne Conaway of Kansas City is retired from information technology. To reach her, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Midwest Voices, c/o Editorial Page, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108.