To Be Or Not To Be — Some Ideas On The Abortion Debate – 3

To Be Or Not To Be — Some Ideas On The Abortion Debate – 3 June 4, 2024

Part Three


This is part three in a three-part essay on the question of abortion.


The Spectrum

You know that the debate has taken a fundamentalist, reductionist turn when you hear slogans like: “Take your hands off my body.” To whom is the demand being made? The pro-lifers are not putting their hands on the women making this demand, rather it is actually the abortion doctor who puts hands on the body. Moreover, if anyone has the right to make this demand, it is the unborn, who literally risks being torn limb from limb.

By the way, does this demand not apply to modern medical mandates, where millions of people have been forced to undergo unwanted procedures or lose their civil rights, jobs or ability to attend church?

The world is currently experiencing a society-specific seesaw: in some jurisdictions, there are no rights but lots of obligations, while in other jurisdictions, there are no obligations but full rights. Here is a quick synopsis of that situation. There are places where no abortions are allowed ever, for any reason. Then come places where abortion is restricted on the basis of certain causes of the pregnancy and different stages of the pregnancy. Then there are places where abortions are legal for any reason, at any stage of the pregnancy, up to and including the time of birth. And, finally, there are places where abortion is mandated e.g., China where couples are not allowed more than one child. China is now reeling from the ‘twin’ problems (no pun intended) of having a skewed demographic of males and females – since it was mainly the females who were aborted. Moreover, China is also experiencing a quickly aging population.


The Medical ‘How’ of Abortion

Finally, it is very important that, in this discussion, people understand the actual medical procedure employed in a ‘Late term abortion’ (24 weeks, end of second trimester). Here is what such a ‘surgery’ involves.

  1. There are no pain meds given to the unborn, though it is highly sensitive to pain.
  2. The cervix is dilated, and a forceps, with many sharp teeth, is inserted into the womb.
  3. The abortionist is working blind, there is no imaging used.
  4. So, the abortionist is casting about trying to grab a part of the unborn.
  5. When something is grabbed, then the abortionist has to pull really hard to extract it.
  6. However, the fetus does not come out in one piece.
  7. It takes several ‘forays’, grabbing perhaps a single leg, an arm, the backbone…
  8. The abortionist knows when the head has been grabbed because of the width of the forceps.
  9. In order to get the head out through the birth canal, it has to be crushed.
  10. The hint to the abortionist is that a white liquid now pours out – it is the liquified brain.
  11. Now the body parts ­ have to be carefully rearranged on the table in order to verify that all of the baby has been pulled out, so as to prevent infection or a bleed out for the mother.
  12. Finally, the baby is ‘disposed of.’



In this series of essays, I’ve looked at the four ‘parties’ – mother, child, father, society; the various factors for all parties – legal, medical, physiological, emotional, mental, sociological, and spiritual; and I’ve given a thorough pro & con multi-modality survey of a very complex issue.

I’ve done this because I’d be remiss as the spiritual director of a spiritual community if I didn’t address this complex and hugely important topic. So, you owe it to yourself and to society to be fully informed of all aspects of the issue, and not simply be triggered emotionally by a single perspective.

On all moral questions, conscience is the ultimate arbiter, but it must be a well-informed conscience. For mature people seeking to make spiritual choices, especially in life-and-death situations, it is incumbent upon them that they put real effort, time, and consultation into forming their viewpoints. This is as true of abortion as it is of warfare, self-defense, and capital punishment.

Experiment “homo sapiens” needs to evolve beyond the primitive position that taking human life is an adequate response to solving human problems.

While I was writing these essays, I had a dream in which a voice commanded me: “Go, write this:”

“Here is a brief history of the world:

First God created adults.

Then adults created children.

Then children created laughter.

And, finally, God rested.

Mission accomplished!”


Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

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