This post is devoted to the issue of ‘unwanted pregnancies’. The proper question to be asked about that phrase is— unwanted by whom? There are literally thousands of good parents out there who have not been able to have children of their own who are desperate to adopt a child. If a pregnant mother is going to be unable for whatever reason to raise a child, the first thought should not be— How can I get a quick abortion? It should be— it’s unfair to the unborn that I am not capable of raising the child, so I will carry it to term, and give it up for adoption. There are plenty of adoption agencies that can help in this process. I have a former student who with his wife adopted 3 orphans from an orphanage in Ethiopia. All sorts of adoptions including cross-cultural and cross-racial ones are happening all the time. More problematic ethically is picking a surrogate to carry one’s child when one is married, and impregnating her in vitro. This brings a third person into the marriage, frankly, and that creates a whole different set of ethical issues. But this post is not about that ethical problem.
I am among those who rightly point out that viability outside the womb is not a proper ethical criteria as to when one can declare a fetus an actual person. If we are at all uncertain about that issue, then the only safe assumption is that human life begins at conception— not later. A fetus is not a potential human being, it is a human being with potential. If there is any philosophical doubt about that, the benefit of the doubt must be given to the unborn child, whose life hangs in the balance.