In 2016, Canadian clinics and hospitals reported that a total of 97,764 abortions were performed throughout the year. This means 97,764 lives were not given a chance to thrive.
Yes, I am a young woman, and I have pro-life opinions.
Being pro-life means nothing if you don’t believe that unborn babies are actually alive, so let’s address that first, fetuses are not just a collection of cells. The stages of development are as follows:
- At 5 weeks the heart begins to beat
- At 6 weeks brain development begins
- At 7 weeks the baby has little hands and feet
- At 8 weeks the baby has started to move around
- At 9 weeks the baby’s basic physiology is in place
- At 10 weeks the baby develops fingernails
- At 11 weeks the baby is kicking and stretching
- At 12 weeks the baby has reflexes
- Finally at 13 weeks which is the last week of your first trimester, the baby has its own fingerprints.
To me a collection of cells with a separate blood type, individual fingerprints and the ability to move independently isn’t merely a collection of cells, it is in fact a separate human being.
Abortions for reasons other than rape, birth defects or risks to her health are, in my opinion, extremely immoral as it is ending the life of a child. While an unborn baby might not be able to breathe or eat on its own, it is still a child. A baby that has been born also can’t feed itself however if you starve your child, at that point it’s considered child neglect–a criminal act. Although under Canadian law, an unborn child is not considered a person with legal rights, a fetus does still rely on its mother’s nourishment and protection to exist, and the mother should have a certain legal obligation to protect it. Imagine walking up to a birds nest and smashing its freshly laid eggs. Some would argue that you’re not killing a bird but either way you’re crushing the potential that the egg has to literally spread its wings and fly. On the grounds of basic morals no one in their right mind would do this, so why is it any different with abortion?
Despite the need to protect unborn children as people, we must still allow for legal abortion. If Canada were to roll back abortion laws and make it illegal again, people would resort to DIY methods and try to force miscarriages which can lead to infections and other serious complications. So even though I view abortion as unethical it is in fact more unethical to legally force women to carry a baby to term. Since women who want abortions will always find ways to get them, it’s best we keep it legal so as to not open up a potential black market abortion service.
In 1988 the Supreme Court of Canada passed laws legalizing abortion. Chief Justice Brian Dickson stated that: “Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction to carry a fetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman’s body and thus a violation of her security of the person.” Personally, I’d argue that the loss of the life of a baby should weigh more heavily than the mother’s “priorities and aspirations.” However, current laws were thus initiated and created problems that now need to be solved.
To start, adoption must be pushed a lot more. The reasons women have abortions are rarely because they don’t feel like being pregnant. In a 1987 survey by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 21 percent of women who got abortions in the United cited feelings unready for the responsibility. 21 percent stated that they couldn’t afford to care for a baby. Finally, 16 percent of women are concerned with change of lifestyle. To me, looking at these cases alone it seems like 58% of abortions can be prevented with the solution of adoption.
Abortion, to me is the intentional ending the life of a baby. While I find that while abortion should never be made illegal, it is still immoral to intentionally stop a human life–including that of an unborn child. For a nation that prides itself on giving all humans rights and treating everyone fairly we certainly don’t represent that well in respect to unnecessary abortions.
This is the first in a series of columns by 8forty writer, Just Debate It in which she tackles controversial issues from a strong point of view. 8forty and Just Debate It welcome thoughtful responses at firstname.lastname@example.org.