The fact that we are rational and do things for reasons, does not make everything we do right.
It's not about life, or even personhood. Yes, a fetus is a live person. And yes, induced abortion is the deliberate ending of that life. And no, abortion is not murder.
For us this pattern of thought defies logic. The conclusion that abortion is akin to murder naturally follows premise one and two. We think that all we must do is prove, definitively, that a fetus is a living individual, and the rest will follow. For many, surely, this is the case. There are many many conversion stories that begin with this simple realization -- that fetuses are living human beings.
The thing is for many, proving that unborn people are being killed is not significant. Murder, it is argued, is a legal term; it refers only to the unjustified killing of another human being. To say someone has been killed is not enough; you must also prove that this person had a right to live.
In a previous post I questioned the connection someone made between corporal punishment and abortion rights. To me, and most (pro-life) people who've thought much about it, the two aren't connected at all. To some, they are. A convicted death row inmate, some would say, has a right to life -- which is violated by the death penalty. A similar argument could be made about soldiers in wartime. So, it seems inconsistent to focus on one such violation, say abortion, while entirely ignoring the others.
To say someone has been killed is not enough; you must also prove that this person had a right to live.
Also, if it is acceptable for some people to believe that some killing -- in war, for instance -- is appropriate, then it should also be acceptable for some to consider termination via abortion to be morally defensible. Or so the argument goes, I imagine.
Here is the problem. When a person convicted of egregious murder, after a fair trial and investigation, is killed by the state, it is as a reasonable punishment and deterrent. It is justified. When war is necessary or unavoidably provoked -- that is, when the war is justified -- the killing of soldiers by soldiers, though tragic, is also justified.
Abortion is not similar to corporal punishment or war precisely because it is unmerited, unjustified; instead, it is similar to premeditated murder and most defenses, simply motive. Though the why of the matter certainly deserves hearing and mercy, it doesn't excuse the act. If it did, no one would ever be convicted of any crime.
The fact that we are rational and do things for reasons, does not make everything we do right. If we all are to support choice, this lack of justification must be reasonably addressed.
Featured image jail cells by TryJimmy via Pixabay