There is perhaps no political debate as emotionally or morally charged as the one that surrounds abortion.
It’s bitter and it’s personal. The battleground is inside a woman’s uterus, an organ that is understood to be hers, until the very moment an embryo is planted there.
When it does, it would seem, her womb then belongs to a lot of white men in well-ironed suits.
There’s no other situation quite like it.
We’ve compiled the most common anti-abortion arguments and one by one, dissected why they’re nonsense.
Abortion is murder, and a foetus has a right to life.
The word ‘murder’ is used very intentionally, because most of us would agree that murder is very bad.
But if terminating a pregnancy is, indeed, murder, then we’ve got ourselves into a bit of a philosophical conundrum.
If a man masturbates into a tissue, is that murder? What if he wears a condom?
All of those cases have ended potential life. If a cluster of cells is what defines a ‘person’ then a man’s wet dream is murder.
I threw out a mouldy banana I found in my bag yesterday. Is that murder? I’d argue no, because that banana didn’t have any consciousness, and it didn’t feel pain. But we’ll get to that later.
Perhaps the best retort to the statement ‘a foetus has a right to life’ is a question posed by author and columnist Patrick S. Tomlinson.
He paints a picture of a fertility clinic, where the fire alarm goes off.
You have the option to save either a five-year-old child who is begging for help or 1000 viable human embryos.
What do you choose?
“A human child is worth more than a thousand embryos. Or ten thousand. Or a million. Because they are not the same, not morally, not ethically, not biologically,” Tomlinson said.
Abortion causes psychological damage.
This is perhaps one of the most prevailing myths that exists around abortion.