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Cross posted at The Christian Watershed.

I watched the film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas today and, aside from being a very depressing movie, one interaction stood out to me. It was between the protagonist 8 year old boy and his antagonist Nazi father, who is the Comendant for the local concentration camp. The boy had just seen Jews in their Nazi-issues clothing working on a farm (he didn’t know it was a concentration camp and to him it looked like a farm) and inquired to the father about them:

Boy: “Who are the people that work on the farm?”

Father: “Well, you see, those people aren’t really people.”

In other words, the father was telling the boy, “They might look human, but they’re not really human persons; they have no value, so we can do to them as we wish.”

This has been the reasoning for the Nazis, the Soviets (for political prisoners), the slavers, and multiple other nationalities throughout history. The Romans, in an effort to boost “manliness” believed that the patriarch of the family was able to decide who was and was not a human person. This led to weaker boys in the family being killed off. The Spartans viewed the fail and fragile as not being human, to the point that infanticide was a common practice. The reasoning always goes back to one argument, “No matter how much they look like a human or biologically/genetically resemble a human, they’re not a human person.”

The above actions would be, to most people, detestable. If we woke up tomorrow morning and read about a father killing his 13 year old son because he believed his son to be weak or not “manly” enough, every group from Christian organizations to organizations that support transvestites would be declaring such an act to be deplorable, and rightfully so.

Imagine the outrage if we read about the University of Kansas Medical Center taking in the severely retarded and disabled and using them for medical experiments. Imagine what would be done if, against their will, such individuals were forced to give up their organs for some “therapeutic organ relocation program” that took vital organs from the severely disabled and gave it to able-bodied patients who needed the organs. Would anyone in the news media laud the benefits of such a practice, or would the focus be on whether or not such victims (or experiments depending on one’s point of view) are human persons? What if it were done to the homeless? Considering the vast medical benefits, would anyone object?

I would argue that most decent human people would object to such views. We can look to how we treat the Nazi medical experimentation on prisoners to determine the public’s reaction to the aforementioned scenario. Though such experiments offered the prospect of great medical advancements, such prospects are completely ignored and viewed as irrelevant by the vast majority of people. Why is this? Because most humans, no matter what they argue, generally hold the view that human persons have value.

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One of the biggest reasons for allowing abortion is the belief that it somehow helps in the general women’s liberation, specifically in female sexual liberation. By allowing abortion, so the argument goes, it gives a woman complete rights over her reproductive system, which gives her full liberation. It doesn’t matter what the woman chooses, so long as she has a choice. There are, of course, multiple problems with this view:

#1 – It assumes that women (or men for that matter) have an autonomous right over their own bodies.

This way of thinking assumes too much – it assumes that we can do whatever we want to our bodies without having a communal consequence. However, there are times where what I do to my body will inevitably affect those around me (i.e. if I inject myself with an airborne disease, because it will harm those around me I do not have the right to do such a thing). Almost everyone would argue that if we take an action against our body that negatively affects others, that action shouldn’t be taken.

In this case, the child in the womb is ontologically separate from the mother, though reliant. That is to say, the child really isn’t part of the mother’s body. The mother plays host to the body. If a guest comes into your house, eats your food, drinks your water, and sleeps in your bed, does that guest belong to you? Of course not – the guest, though reliant upon you, is not a part of who you are.

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Cross posted at The Christian Watershed.

There are several arguments used by pro-abortion advocates that argue the ramifications of not allowing abortion outweigh the ramifications of allowing abortion.

With the previous topic in mind – that human life is most logically defined as that which begins at conception or implantation – let us look at some of the common scenarios presented:

If abortion is no longer allowed, women will go back to coat hanger abortions.

It might be true that if abortion is no longer allowed (outside of medical conditions) some women might go to “back alley abortionists,” which inevitably puts the mother at significant risk. Obviously law enforcement would have to step up investigating doctors and other people who offer such illegal services. This would, in turn, drive up the cost of enforcement, which would force taxpayers to pay a heavy toll. Is banning abortion worth this?

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Cross posted at The Christian Watershed:

One voice in the abortion debate that is beginning to emerge within Christianity is the one saying that we’ve wasted our time on the abortion issue and that its time to move on. Certainly there has been an emphasis on the effects of abortion and not on the root cause of abortion – this has led to avoiding a real solution. Does this overemphasis, however, mean that abortion is a worthless topic of discussion?

Murder vs. Dignity

If the pro-life side of abortion is correct – that abortion is the murdering of a human life – then abortion is the single greatest moral tragedy in the modern world. It would be the greatest evil (the systematic killing of unwanted humans) of the modern age and, by default, require legislative action.

If the pro-choice side of abortion is correct – that the ‘baby’ is really just a fetus, or an underdeveloped human (non-human) and a collection of tissues – then by speaking out against abortion Christians would be speaking out against a woman’s right to her own body. This would be speaking out against the dignity of choice.

No matter where a person falls on this debate, the issue should be an important one. Though it might appear to be a dead horse, it truly isn’t one – when human dignity and state approved murder are up for discussion, it’s hard to say that the issue is an unimportant one.

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