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  • Let's talk about one of the most emotionally charged subjects there is -- abortion -- but

  • in an unemotional way. Also, let's not touch on the question that most preoccupies discussion

  • of the subject -- whether abortion should be legal or illegal. The only question here is the moral one:

  • Is ending the life of a human fetus -- moral?

  • Let's begin with this question: Does the human fetus have any value and any rights?

  • Now, it's a scientific fact that a human fetus is human life. Those who argue that the human

  • fetus has no rights say that a fetus is not a person. But even if you believe that,

  • it doesn't mean the fetus has no intrinsic value or no rights. There are many living beings

  • that are not persons that have both value and rights: Dogs and other animals, for example.

  • And that's Moral Argument Number One: A living being doesn't have to be a person

  • in order to have intrinsic moral value and rights.

  • When challenged with this argument, people usually change the subject to the rights of the mother

  • -- meaning the right of a mother to end her fetus's life under any circumstance,

  • for any reason, and at any time in her pregnancy. Is that moral? It is only if we believe that

  • the human fetus has no intrinsic worth. But in most cases, nearly everyone believes that

  • the human fetus has essentially infinite worth and an almost absolute right to live. When?

  • When a pregnant woman wants to give birth. Then, society -- and its laws -- regard the

  • fetus as so valuable that if someone were to kill that fetus, that person could be prosecuted for homicide.

  • Only if a pregnant woman doesn't want to give birth, do many people regard the fetus as worthless.

  • Now, does that make sense?

  • It doesn't seem to. Either a human fetus has worth or it doesn't.

  • And this is Moral Argument Number Two:

  • On what moral grounds does the mother alone decide a fetus's worth?

  • We certainly don't do that with regard to a newborn child. It is society, not the mother -- or the father --

  • that determines whether a newborn child has worth and a right to live.

  • So, the question is: Why should that be different before the human being is born? Why does one person,

  • a mother, get to determine whether that being has any right to live? People respond

  • by saying that a woman has the right to "control her body." Now, that is entirely correct.

  • The problem here, however, is that the fetus is not "her body;" it is in her body.

  • It is a separate body. And that's Moral Argument Number Three. No one ever asks a pregnant woman,

  • "How's your body?" when asking about the fetus. People ask, "How's the baby?"

  • Moral Argument Number Four: Virtually everyone agrees that the moment the baby comes out

  • of the womb, killing the baby is murder. But deliberately killing it a few months before

  • birth is considered no more morally problematic than extracting a tooth.

  • How does that make sense?

  • And finally, Moral Argument Number Five: Aren't there instances in which just about everyone

  • -- even among those who are pro-choice -- would acknowledge that an abortion might not be moral?

  • For example, would it be moral to abort a female fetus solely because the mother prefers

  • boys to girls -- as has happened millions of times in China and elsewhere?

  • And one more example: Let's say science develops a method of determining whether a child in the womb

  • is gay or straight. Would it be moral to kill a gay fetus because the mother didn't want a gay child?

  • People may offer practical reasons not to criminalize all abortions. People may differ

  • about when personhood begins; and about the morality of abortion after rape or incest.

  • But with regard to the vast majority of abortions -- those of healthy women aborting a healthy fetus --

  • let's be clear. Most of these abortions just aren't moral.

  • Good societies can survive if people doing immoral things. But a good society cannot survive

  • if it calls immoral things moral.

  • I'm Dennis Prager.

Let's talk about one of the most emotionally charged subjects there is -- abortion -- but

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The Most Important Question About Abortion

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    劉善驊 posted on 2015/12/26
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