Many people believe abortion should be illegal—with some exceptions. These exceptions include fetal abnormalities, rape, health/life of the mother, etc. Let’s break down each of these exceptions and whether they are valid reasons for abortion:
Choice advocates believe that fetal abnormalities are justification for abortion. They believe that abortion is the best option because many birth defects can later affect the child’s quality of life. They believe abortion is a “mercy”. Who has the authority to decide if one’s life is or isn’t worth living?
Our nation’s body of law is all about establishing universal, objective human rights that are not subject to the whims of bureaucrats, parents, or any other subjective decision maker. Human beings have a Right of Life. We are not entitled to interfere and we do not justify the taking of an innocent life in any other context. Babies with fatal birth defects deserve a dignified, natural death.
Furthermore, not all birth defects are fatal. Many people born with disabilities go on to live happy, fulfilling lives. Nic Vujicic is a great example of this! Nic was born without arms or legs yet lives a full life as a painter, sky diver, motivational speaker, husband, and proud father of two sons.
We must also remember that doctors and tests are not infallible. Healthy babies have been aborted following a wrong diagnosis.
Pregnancy as a result of rape/incest is incredibly traumatic, and we must treat rape victims with overwhelming love and compassion. Rape is one of the most brutal violations that any person can experience. As we discuss abortion policy, however, let’s remember that situations involving rape and incest make up less than 1.5% of abortion decisions. Also, some studies have found rape victims have better psychological outcomes giving life to the child than going through the further trauma of abortion.
The Elliot Institute surveyed 192 women who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest. Here are some findings from this research:
- “Nearly 80 percent of the women who aborted the pregnancy reported that abortion had been the wrong solution.”
- “43 percent of rape victims who aborted said they felt pressured or were strongly directed by family members or health workers to abort.”
- “More than 80 percent of the women who carried their pregnancies to term said that they were happy that they had continued the pregnancy.”
- “None of the women who gave birth to a child conceived in sexual assault expressed regret or wished they had aborted instead.”
So too we must remember that the baby is an innocent human being – not responsible for the trauma of the rape.
Health/life of mother
Many choice advocates assert that abortion is essential, as it is often medically necessary to protect the woman’s life. However, the majority of abortions are not actually medically necessary. The Charlotte Lozier Institute reports that only .2% and 2.5% of abortions are related to life/major bodily function and physical health, respectively. Meanwhile, 95.7% of abortions are elective/unspecified.
Following long-established medical practice and law, the woman’s life rightly takes precedence in a situation where her life is at risk. Every pro-life law has this protection. If a woman does not receive appropriate medical care, that needs to be addressed with her doctor and via better training of medical staff and institutions. It is not an argument for elective abortion. The vast majority of abortions are not performed for medical reasons.