Respectfully Critiquing Anti-Abortion Activism

By Caleb R. Newton

As a rule, I do not support abortion.

    Abortion is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.” In the United States, abortion is probably the most politically paralyzing topic in the arena, with a violent line drawn between the Democratic Party’s support and the Republican Party’s opposition to the practice.

    Apparently in Europe and across the rest of the world abortion is not so much of an issue. I would attribute this quite simply to the different health care systems in those nations, wherein abortions are much more easily available than in the wreck of a healthcare system possessed by the United States.

    Still, the issue simmers under the surface, and in America it is far past boiled over. My addition to the discussion is a critique on the anti-abortion, also known as prolife, movement. As I see it, their efforts are unnecessarily extravagant and confrontational. As a rule, I do not support abortion. The only problem I have is with the methods of the prolife movement, and the main reason for this critique is that focusing on outlawing the practice of abortion does not address the underlying societal problems of wrecked families that are undebatable.

    In many, many cases abortions are undertaken upon persons who are of low income. In America, the overwhelming majority of abortions are among young and poor persons, who struggle to sustain their own lives, let alone that of their potential children. These people struggle to have basic value in their lives, and, as such, they rarely extend any such value to yet unborn lives.

    With such a situation, outlawing the practice of abortion is an unsustainable short term solution to the deep moral problem faced by the lack of value in the lives of the people receiving the abortions. It only, in a way, addresses the symptoms, while it does not address the actual sickness. Addressing the actual sickness would mean resetting the system to be individual focused and therefore deliver value to the people who are seeking out abortions.

    Another point that I must make, and that is, incidentally, seconded by Jewish law, is that, without denying the status of the unborn person as alive, one must recognize that the unborn person is not the same as a person who has already been born. Therefore, the degree of calamity that comes with an abortion is not the same degree that comes with a mass murder, at least from a governmental and societal standpoint.

    That being said, I do not believe that the government should have any comment on the practice of abortion at all. It should not be illegal, simply on account of the limitations of the government. Attacking the practice should be done by, again, providing value to the lives of the people of the place.

    An important additional note is that neither should the practice be encouraged by entities such as the global group Planned Parenthood, which provides “reproductive health services,” being directly given public funding as they are in the United States. That is a clear case of big money in politics that will do nothing but protect its own self-interest to the exclusion of the self-interest of everyone else. Therefore, an important step towards the repeatedly mentioned systematic resetting is the removal of such big money from the political arena, which I wholeheartedly support and am happy to see a movement towards accomplishing in the United States of late.

    My perspective, then, is that the government should have no comment on the practice of abortion. Social conservatives who oppose abortion must unite with social libertarians who support abortion under the heading of, as previously mentioned, resetting the society to be away from its deeply embedded institutionalism and towards the deliverance of value for individuals. Then and only then will real progress be possible towards the resolution of societal conflict surrounding the issue. The conflict as it is now is an overly politicized smoke screen used to avoid discussing real issues.

    I conclude this discussion with a quote that summarizes the points herein quite well.
"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is." - Sister Joan Chittister

Nota Bene: the views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Dissecting Society. Furthermore, we invite you to read the US Facts on Abortion for your personal assessment. 

(Image: 12 Week Foetus in the Mother's Womb - Wikipedia)


  1. Olá Caleb!

    Abortion is murder. There's no other way to classify that procedure.

    1. Murder? How do you figure that one out?

  2. Hi Newton,

    Where to start from?
    1- I criticise Pro-Life elements who claim to stand up for life and then murder all those involved in murdering babies. It makes no sense.

    2- Abortion is murder, period. It is a premeditated act of taking a life.

    3- The heart of a foetus starts beating at 5 weeks of conception. This means, it's already a human being, with a soul (as per the Torah).

    4- Again, you bring up poverty to justify a crime (in many countries still). First you used poverty as a possible explanation to commit terrorist acts, and now you use it again to justify the murder of tiny humans.

    5- The link provided at the bottom of this post, indicates that abortions are decreasing in America (Thank G-d): does this mean that poverty levels are decreasing, or do you find some other explanation to the phenomenon?

    6- "seconded by Jewish law, is that, without denying the status of the unborn person as alive, one must recognize that the unborn person is not the same as a person who has already been born."

    I wonder what Jewish Law would say regarding the Mashiach. When he is inside his mother's womb, with 26 weeks, and let's say she comes to suffer a life threatening ailment: will the Rabbis choose the mother or the Mashiach they have been waiting for for over 2,000 years? I bet then the man-made Jewish Law would not matter so much...

    7- I oppose abortion with a passion, but for and within my family. My tribe. As for other people: it's their problem, their Karma. However, I do not agree with the sugar-coating: abortion is too vast a term; so we should call it what it really is - Baby murder.
    Having said that, you are right, governments should not meddle in such affairs; but then women seeking to kill their baby should do it on their own dime, not on tax payer funds (like in Europe).

    8- How about the social and political implications of this act? They are huge in many different ways, for instance: the excessive # of gender selective abortions in China and India created a gender imbalance; the freedom of the practise slowly turned Europe into a geriatric care centre.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective.


  3. What do you know about abortion, Caleb? Nothing!! Many women have an abortion cause they are not fit to be a mother, and they are free to do it! We wish poor people would have abortions to decrease the numbers of poor children but they don't, so poverty is not a factor! No, abortion is an instrument of freedom!

    1. You are right, Celia.

      Abortion is an instrument of freedom.

      But, so is punching my fellow.

      So, just because something can be called an instrument of freedom, that doesn't make it a good thing.

  4. Some observations:

    1. The poorest black in the US is probably richer than the average Arab living in the Gaza strip, yet those Arabs aren't getting abortions. In fact, they are going out of their way to get pregnant and raise children. On the other hand, those poor Arabs will have a much better chance of getting to know their fathers than the poor in the US.

    2. I would guess that the large majority of abortions in the US are government funded, or provided through government mandates of some sort, even if they are ostensibly privately funded.

    3. Government social workers in the US are an active part of the abortion industrial complex. I have had relatives who were actively encouraged to get a government sponsored abortion, since they were pregnant while going through a divorce. Others report having been kidnapped and woken up later to find that their child was aborted. This is usually high school students.

    4. Government policies encouraging promiscuity generally go hand in hand with policies to eliminate unwanted children. Thus, ancient Israel had both orgies associated with the government religions, and child sacrifices. Today, the government is equally a major player in the sex-with-no-limits, families-can-go-to-hell religion, so abortion seems like a necessary add-on.

    5. A significant percentage of abortions go to well off, single, career women who don't want their lifestyle messed up.

    And a question:

    Why is it that conservatives deemed radicals are the only people on the planet who are expected to moderate their complaining to the point where it is invisible and inaudible?

    1. Super comment, Looney, with which I agree. And the final question is an excellent one: why, indeed?


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