Abortion – Counter Arguments

This post is a continuation of Abortion.

These are common arguments proposed by the anti-pro-choice.

1. The “Fetus is a living human being on life support” Argument

The similarities are physiological: they both cannot survive without external life support (oxygen, nutrition, detoxification, etc). But that is where the similarity ends.

The difference is that the person has had a life. He has experienced the world (sights, sound, smell, touch). He has memories of that experience that he can cherish. He has attachments. He was living. All that you are, all that you have come to be, is a result of memories (and the neural patterns as result of that).

A fetus has none of that. It has not experienced the world. It has no experiences nor memories imprinted. It has not had a life yet. It’s brain is not even developed enough to even differentiate between shades of light or sounds. It is an empty physiological shell. It merely reacts randomly to electrical pulses firing within the rapidly developing and restructuring nerves and muscles as it develops. The first interaction it gets when it leaves the host and into the external world and takes the first breath of life, prana. That’s when it has its first breath, first sensory input (sight, sound, touch), first voice. That is, when it becomes alive, a living breathing human being.

2. The “Who are you to decide with the child’s fate” Argument

There are people who will argue who are you to decide about the fate of someone? I would pose the question right back, who are you to decide the fate of someone? Who are you to decide to bring a person into the world with a life of suffering (handicap, unwanted in a family, abandoned, etc). But I won’t, as it is your choice, provided you will be able to (and afford to) live up to it and give the new being a good life for its entire life en par with most human beings.

Secondly, I would point out this nonsense about fate. The very fact you can make a choice to subvert fate one direction, or I can make a choice to subvert fate in another direction, shows there is no such as fate. See my separate article on fate. There is such thing as karma, and karma is not fate. There may be such a thing as destiny (that is, you are likely destined to go from point A to point B, but it is your choice which path you choose or how you do it to get from point A to point B).

3. The “Miracles can happen” Argument

People believe in miracle cures. Even when diagnostics (based on science, with data from years of accumulated evidence) shows that such a defect can be severely debilitating (over 90% chance, and with only a 10% chance that it may not), people bank on the 10%. A very huge gamble with the life of another being for selfish reasons of your own emotional attachments. Instead of reasoning, they’ll quote something lame like “life is not a statistic”.

Some months earlier, they would not have proceeded with a fertilized egg unless it was shown to be 99% passing all genetic screening (i.e. 99% chance of healthy baby), i.e. based on statistics. However months later, they’re ready to accept 10% chance of healthy baby. Irrational mind at work here, due to emotions clouding ones thinking.

People will even go to temples, their gurus, priests, etc. to bless the baby, or to just hear them say “everything will be all right”. But can these gurus guarantee 100% that it will be all right, and take responsibility of it is not? Of the millions going to gurus and temples, for how many of them do miracles happen? The only miracle that the guru can enable is is to create a change within you, so that you have peace of mind, less agitation, more focus, more secure, clarity, and can make sound decisions in your life and go forward (with better health, more successful at career, less turmoil, etc).

Miracles do happen, but not without effort. It is all about karma. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You can effect change only by burning or transmuting that karma, in the fire-pit of effort or tapas. That tapas can be in the form of any spiritual practice. It can be through spiritual practice over many years, or short term but extremely intense practice (the equivalent of many years of practice). By doing so, by engaging the Universal Energy /God/Atman. you are changing, restructuring the universe. The bottom line is effort. You cannot offload your responsibility to some guru or God and expect magic to happen.

The many great yogis (rishis, siddhars, aghoris, bodhisattvas, etc) had their share of miracles, only because of effort. For some it is through years of practice, for others it happens in a short time through intense focus (equivalent to years of practice, like focusing the suns rays with a magnifying glass to a spot that can burn a hole). After ignoring spiritual practice throughout your life, you can’t just wake up one day, and say you’ll get moksha. Same applies to expecting that you can suddenly do miracles.

A Thought Experiment

Imagine a room with an adult locked in it. And let’s say if you open the door and let the adult out, he has a 99% chance of suffering from some sort of debilitating disease. If you don’t open the door, their is a chance that the man can exit through another door, and possibly lead a better life. Will you open the door? Same with this jiva-atman in the womb. Why not spare it of being confined to this debilitating body, and so that it may find another (thanks to your blessing of not letting it into this body).

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