Thinking of writing a term paper on abortion?

I strongly discourage my students from writing papers on “big issues” because students don’t understand how to properly narrow a topic . I try to get them to pick something as specific as possible.  To illustrate my point, I’ve composed a hand-out outlining all the issues to be considered under the topic of “abortion,” and, while I’m at it, the issues to be considered when thinking of using the Bible as a reference.

Thought I’d go ahead and put it out here.


Students often want to write about “big issues” like abortion.  I discourage it because these issues are so complicated.  I am providing this hand-out as an example of all the different things you’d need to consider if you wanted to write a paper “on abortion.”  These are just a list of issues that come to mind when thinking of the issue of abortion, as well as common arguments made about it on either side.  The idea here is to demonstrate the real complexity of the issue.  As you examine these questions, you will likely discover how you could easily do a paper on one of the subtopics.  For example, V.a.i.1.a lists a number of Bible verses that frequently come up in the abortion debate: some used by pro-lifers and some used by pro-choice people.  Simply analyzing all the verses I listed could be at least the topic of a research paper, if not a book—some of the specific verses have such a detailed history that one verse could be the topic of a research paper or at least a five paragraph essay.

  1. Topic Basics
    1. Definition of Abortion
    2. History of Abortion Procedures
    3. History of Abortion Laws
    4. Kinds of Abortions

                                                              i.      Chemical

                                                            ii.      Surgical

                                                          iii.      Other

  1. Human Development

                                                              i.      Trimesters

                                                            ii.      What constitutes conception?

                                                          iii.      What is an embryo?  A fetus?  A “pre-embryo”?

                                                          iv.      Viability

                                                            v.      “Quickening”

                                                          vi.      When does “human life” begin?

                                                        vii.      When do “human rights” begin?

  1. How do different cultures and religions today view abortion?
  2. How have different cultures and religions in the past viewed abortion?
  3. Abortion and contraception
  4. Reasons women have abortions
    1. Risks to their Health—what are the risks?  Alternatives?
    2. Possibilities of baby having genetic defect?  Accuracy of prenatal testing?
    3. Financial concerns
    4. Rape or incest
    5. Lack of support from the biological father
    6. Lack of support from parents, husband, family or whomever
    7. Familial and/or social pressure
  5. Risks of abortion
    1. Damage to woman’s reproductive system?
    2. Risks of death?
    3. Long term side effects?
    4. Emotional problems?  Does “post abortion syndrome” exist?
  6. Alternatives and other considerations
    1. Adoption
    2. Abstinence or Chastity?
    3. Does the father have a say?
    4. Counseling?  Charities?
    5. Does abortion after rape really help the woman? 
  7. “Pro-Life”
    1. Different reasons people oppose abortions

                                                              i.      Religious reasons (see also I.f and I.g above and “Arguing from the Bible” below)

  1. Does the Bible condemn abortion?
    1. Verses commonly cited on either side:
      Genesis 2:7, Genesis 25:21-23, Genesis 38:8-10, Genesis 38:24, Exodus 13:1-2, Exodus 20:13, Exodus 21:22-25, Numbers 5:11-31, Deuteronomy 30:19, Judges 11:29-40, 1 Kings 16:34, 2Kings 8:2, 2 Kings 16:3, 2 Kings 15:16, 2 Kings 17:17, 2 Kings 21:6, Isaiah 57:5, Jeremiah 1:5, Jeremiah 7:31, Proverbs 6:16-19, Psalm 127:3, Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Isaiah 66:9, Amos 1:13, Hosea 13:16, Luke 1:15, Luke 1:44, Luke 2:5
    2. Does the Bible also condemn contraception?  If the references to life or motherhood above are “anti-abortion,” then aren’t the references promoting large families also anti-contraception? 
    3. Is the Old Testament consistent about “Thou Shalt Not Kill”?
    4. Is the Old Testament a reliable source for Christian morals?
    5. Should Biblical morals be used as the basis for secular laws in a country with freedom of religion?
    6. What are other reasons Christians condemn abortion?
    7. What are other religions that oppose abortion?  Why?

                                                            ii.      Scientific reasons?

                                                          iii.      Ethical reasons without reference to religion?

                                                          iv.      Negative consequences for women?

  1. Different “pro-life” or “anti-Abortion” positions

                                                              i.      Ban all abortions and contraception, no exceptions

                                                            ii.      Ban all abortions, no exceptions

                                                          iii.      Ban abortion after a certain point in pregnancy

                                                          iv.      Exception for Life of mother?

                                                            v.      Exception for rape or incest?

                                                          vi.      Exception for health of mother?

                                                        vii.      Does the desire to overturn Roe v. Wade necessarily mean “anti-abortion?”  Pro-Life versus Pro-Constitution

                                                      viii.      Should abortion be outlawed at the federal level?

                                                          ix.      Should states have the choice free of federal interference?

                                                            x.      Parental notification, informed consent, regulation of abortion clinics, etc.

  1. “Pro-Choice”
    1. Reasons people are pro-choice or pro-abortion

                                                              i.      Greater freedom for women

                                                            ii.      Protection of women from “unsafe” abortions

                                                          iii.      Concerns about health of mother or child

                                                          iv.      Concerns about mental health of mother

                                                            v.      Does a fetus have any rights? What entitles people to basic human rights?

  1. Different “pro-choice” or “pro-abortion” positions

                                                              i.      “Personally opposed to abortion”

                                                            ii.      Freedom to choose

                                                          iii.      Abortion is a right or entitlement

                                                          iv.      Abortion is sometimes necessary

                                                            v.      “Pro-Choice” Libertarians? 

                                                          vi.      Should states decide or federal government?

                                                        vii.      Should government pay for abortions?  Or only in some circumstances?


I’ve touched on this subject above, but I wanted to give a list of considerations regarding “arguing from the Bible,” regardless of the issue is.  There is nothing wrong with using the Bible as a source, but there must be a clear reason for doing so.  This ties into the crucial concepts of audience and purpose.  For example, writing to a general audience and appealing to the Bible is probably not always the best way to go, but a paper addressed to Christians about a debate among Christians may use the Bible.

So, if you want to use the Bible as a source, consider:

  1. Does your audience accept the Bible as an authoritative source?
  2. What are the different ways the passage in question has been interpreted by Jewish and Christian scholars throughout the centuries?
  3. Is your usage or interpretation of the passage consistent with those established interpretations?
  4. What is the context of the passage?
  5. The Bible has many speakers and authors.  Whose opinion is being given in that particular passage?  Who wrote it?  For example, the Bible often quotes Satan.  
  6. Old or New Testament?  If it’s from the Hebrew Scriptures, does it necessarily apply to Christians?  If it’s from the New Testament, why should it apply to non-Christians?
  7. Does the Biblical principle reflect a wider cultural context, or a believe in other cultures?  (For example, “an eye for an eye” is also found in the Code of Hammurabi; the “Golden Rule” is taught by many moral codes, including that of Confucius).
  8. Is there another part of the Bible that offers a different viewpoint?
  9. What was the original application of the passage in question?  Its historical and cultural context?
  10. What translation are you using?  Have you compared other translations? 

28 responses to “Thinking of writing a term paper on abortion?

  1. THREE suggestions for improving the outline:

    1. In “reasons women have abortions” you left out one very very important reason: the desire to avoid the big-time medical/surgical trauma which is childbirth. Even though it’s not very dangerous to long-term health, IF you have access to good ob care, even then it’s AT LEAST very very nasty.

    2. In your “Pro-choice” section, item v reads: “Does a fetus have any rights? What entitles people to basic human rights?” You need to add: “Do ‘basic human rights’ include the right to gestate inside another person’s body where you are not welcome? The right to subject your mother to childbirth? The right to live on nutrients and oxygen which you get from her bloodstream without her permission?”

    3. Then in your “Pro-choice or pro-abortion positions” section, you need to expand the last item (vii) to include the question: If the government were to pay for abortions, would this COST money or would it SAVE money? How much does an abortion cost, and how much does childbirth cost?

    • 1. Still counts as health concern. What about long-term trauma of an abortion?
      2. Expanded sub-topic. And the answer to your question, save rape/incest, is twofold: a) having intercourse is saying “I welcome the off chance I’m having a baby” and b) I’ve read the arguments. The usual analogy is to a homeless person squatting in one’s home. “You aren’t obligated to keep that perosn in your home, even if it means their death, are you?” Not exactly, but you are morally obligated to ensure that person has safe lodging somewhere.
      This argument is also mostly just fallacious, as proposals to prove such an alternative (e.g., suggestions of fetal transplant or uterine transplant) are mocked and condemned by pro-abortionists.
      3. That’s actually a good point and gets into the section on different political approaches. For those who think human life has a quantifiable value, the “cost” of government funded abortion versus other options to society is a valid issue. For this writer, it is an obscenity.

    • Having replied to the points by implication, I’ll take your questions under consideration. I really tried to make the hand-out as balanced, “offend everyone equally,” as possible.

  2. GodsGadfly,

    RE: “Still counts as health”. Not really. You can answer a health concern by pointing out that childbirth does not usually damage health (when good OB care is available). You cannot so answer the desire to avoid extreme pain and severe trauma and one-in-four chance of needing major surgery, EVEN though health is not at risk. So these are really TWO DIFFERENT reasons for choosing abortion.

    Re: 2. I’m not calling for a particular ANSWER to the question of body-ownership/justifiable homicide (item 2). I’m just saying you need to include it as one of the points for your students to consider.

    Having said that, I’ll answer your objection right here and now. You wrote: ‘a) having intercourse is saying “I welcome the off chance I’m having a baby””.

    No, it is saying “I accept the possiblity that I might get pregnant, and then have to choose between having a baby and getting an abortion”.

    You went on: “The usual analogy [in the Body-Ownership/Abortion-as-Justifiable-Homicide argument] is to a homeless person squatting in one’s home.“You aren’t obligated to keep that perosn in your home, even if it means their death, are you?” Not exactly, but you are morally obligated to ensure that person has safe lodging somewhere.”

    No you are not. You are free to kick trespassers off your property and let them go to the Devil. Trespassing does NOT grant the trespasser the right to be given alternative lodging (or anything else) by the property-owner, neither morally nor legally. But even if it did, that would only apply to trespassing ON YOUR EXTERNAL PROPERTY, not to trespassing INSIDE YOUR BODY. Your ownership of the inside of your body is much stronger form of ownership than your ownership of property, witness teh facts that we tax property, but not body-contents, and we force parents to pay child-support, but we do not force parents to donate body-contents to their children.

    The fact is, if something is inside your body, then you’re entitled to have it killed, no matter what it is. No exceptions. If you were inside my body I’d be entitled to kill you, and if I were inside your body, you’d be entitled to kill me. In fact, if ALL the people in the whole humping world, including the innocent ones, the pregnant ones, and the unborn ones, were assembled somewhere inside your body, along with God Almighty, Jesus of Nazareth, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, then you’d be entitled to holocaust them, for any reason or for no reason. That’s part of the meaning of the word “your” in the phrase “your body”. If you deny this, your denial shows only that you do not understand English, jsut as someone who insists that the summer sky is green shows only that he does not understand the meaning of the word “green” (see Wittengenstein’s PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS, the sections on “private language”.)

    If unborn babies were as good and morally-pure as you seem to think, they would not WANT to grow inside another person’s body where they were not welcome. A GOOD fetus would PREFER to be aborted, rather than to subject its mother to such an outrageous violation. If it could talk, it would say, watching the approach of the abortionist’s curette: “It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done; it is to a far, far better rest I now go, than I have ever known.”

    RE: 3. “Quantifying the value of human life is an obscenity”. So then, how much EXTRA money are you willing to pay the tax-man, in order to cover the EXTRA costs of NOT having government pay for abortions? How about ten-thousand more buckaroos per year? Fifty-thousand? How much are you willing to pay in order to avoid the “obscenity”?

  3. One other thing, minor, but as a writing teacher you want to use these words correctly: there is no such thing, in medical parlance, as “chemical abortion”. Abortion by means of medications is called MEDICAL abortion.

    “Chemical abortion”, if there were such a thing, would mean causing an abortion by exposing the fetus to harmful chemicals, as used to be done but was called “saline abortion” because the harmful chemical was concentrated salt solution.

    A quibble, but good writing consists of getting the quibbles right, don’t you agree?

    • Definition(s) of “Medicine” from

      1. any substance or substances used in treating disease or illness; medicament; remedy.
      2. the art or science of restoring or preserving health or due physical condition, as by means of drugs, surgical operations or appliances, or manipulations: often divided into medicine proper, surgery, and obstetrics.
      3. the art or science of treating disease with drugs or curative substances, as distinguished from surgery and obstetrics.

      Definitions of “medical”:

      1. of or pertaining to the science or practice of medicine: medical history; medical treatment.
      2. curative; medicinal; therapeutic: medical properties.
      3. pertaining to or requiring treatment by other than surgical means.
      4. pertaining to or giving evidence of the state of one’s health: a medical discharge from the army; a medical examination.

      With the exception of “3” under “medical,” how do these definitions fit abortion? How is abortion curative?

      RU-486 is a combination of drugs being used against the recommendations of their individual uses by the drug manufacturers.

  4. GG:

    RE: “How is abortion curative?”

    Not all medicine is curative! There are THREE classes of medicine (the profession): curative, palliative, and preventative. (Actually four: also pathology, but I’m leaving that out.) When you prescribe insulin shots for a diabetic, you’re not curing anything. You’re treating the symptoms (palliative medicine) and preventing the long-term effects of the illness such as peripheral vasculopathy, peripheral neuropathy, and loss of vision (preventative medicine). You’re still practicing medicine, though, and the insulin is still a medication.

    RE: Definition of “medical” vs “chemical abortion”. is all very well for ordinary folks, but I’m talking about MEDICAL PARLANCE. What DOCTORS say.

    The distinction is really more important than I said above, because, (you need to know this) among abortion-technology-innovators and academic abortion-docs who give lectures, when an audience-member asks a question and uses the phrase “chemical abortion”, that’s what we call a “tell”–it tips the lecturer off that the questioner is biased by right-to-lifism, not to be taken seriously unless the lecturer is in a charitable mood.

    RE: RU486, manufacturer’s recommendation.

    Off-label uses of drugs–using them in ways, and for indications, other than those approved by FDA or officially recommended by the manufacturer–is extremely common in medicine. I’ve never done a survey to see HOW common, but my off-hand bet would be that close to fifty-percent of common uses of medicines are off-label. The fact that RU486 is off-label means nothing in medicine, and by suggesting that it does or should, you are revealing a level of ignorance about medicine which comes close to diqualifying you to hold an opinion about abortion at all!

    Have you considered hiring a proof-reader with some medical experience? If you’re serious about presenting yourself as objective or unbiased, maybe you should. I accept all major credit-cards!

  5. 1. Actually, I’m not serious about presenting myself as objective or unbiased. I make it perfectly clear to my students that there is no such thing as an objective or unbiased viewpoint. That was the first thing I was taught in journalism class: even a camera only sees what the photographer tells it to see. The only difference is whether one is honest about one’s biases or not. I also tell my students that it doesn’t matter whether I agree with them or not; I want them to write the best paper they can. I’ve flunked pro-life papers for making stupid arguments.

    2. Yes, off-label use is quite common. Off-label use of Tenormin destroyed my childhood, and then, when I was an adult, the headline grabbing lab study on Cozaar showed that lab rats with no tenormin and Marfan syndrome did just as well as lab rats with tenormin and Marfan syndrome.

    Not that I trust the FDA’s judgement, anyway.

    The point is that the use of RU486 is not just off label. It’s specifically *against* what the manufacturers recommend, as it can cause hemorrhaging and death.

    It’s one thing to say that a drug can have other benefits (i.e,. Cozaar reducing blood pressure, then being found to reduce aortic aneurysm, and then being found to increase muscle mass in Marfan patients). It’s quite another to say, “Hey! This drug can cause miscarriage and death in pregnant women! Let’s use it to give them abortions!”

    3. OK, then tell me how killing a child is palliative or preventative ?

    4. As a philosopher, I feel it’s important that, regardless of what common usage is, terms be used in the most accurate way possible. A pro-lifer would always be wary of calling abortion “medical” at all, but most certainly most people would see surgery as “medical” (and it would fall under the dictionary definition). Chemical would be a more accurately descriptive term than “medical” to distinguish from “surgical.”

    Now, that brings to your very interesting thing. Why should there need to be a “tell” if someone is pro-life? Why should the speaker have to be “in a charitable mood” to answer a question?

    Do they look for “tells” if the speaker is pro-choice.

    Your alleged inside scoop only points to the major complaint of pro-life and Christian scholars: that we are discriminated against in academia.

    You’ve just said it.

    The term “chemical abortion” is used by pro-life physicians.

    One could just as easily say that “medical abortion” is a euphemism used by pro-abortion doctors to make “chemical abortion” sound better.

    Your implication then is that medical doctors who are pro-life are somehow less qualified to be medical professionals because of their beliefs, because they use a different terminology.

  6. Also, other than your propensity for “shouting”–perhaps build the habit of using asterisks and underscores around words you want to accent or italicize–I’d like to complement you on your rather even-toned discussion. This is actually an enjoyable exchange.

  7. Oops, typo. That’s operationcounterStrike, with an S.

  8. I see, your server will not post with the links. Trying again:

    RE: “3. OK, then tell me how killing a child is palliative or preventative ? ”

    It prevents all the pain, and trauma, and surgery-risk, and cost, of childbirth. (Doioioioioioi!)

    RE: “One could just as easily say that “medical abortion” is a euphemism used by pro-abortion doctors to make “chemical abortion” sound better.”

    Check out the academic medical journals. You will not find the phrase “chemical abortion”. You WILL find the phrase “medical abortion”. For instance, read the source the doctors read: the Annals of internal Medicine.

    RE: “Your implication then is that medical doctors who are pro-life are somehow less qualified to be medical professionals because of their beliefs, because they use a different terminology.”

    Part of what we mean by “qualification” and “competence” is using the correct terms, correctly. Would you go to a doctor who refused to say the word “tumor” and insisted on using the term “lawn-mower” instead???

    RE: bias against pro-life questioners.

    The problem is, pro-life questioners show up at abortion lectures, not in order to learn about the subject of the lectures nor in order to enhance the lectures with insightful questions, but in order to waste time and to prosletyse for right-to-lifism. There is absolutely no point in trying to talk to them. It therefore becomes necessary to distinguish the time-wasters from good-faith questioners who happen to be pro-life. One of the WAYS to distinguish is to watch for indications of party-line, knee-jerk right-to-lifism. And one such indication is use of the term “chemical abortion”!

    I’m glad you are enjoying this exchange! Check out my blog, in which I take a different approach to dealing with right-to-lifers, which (WARNING) you may not enjoy quite so much. Click on my name at the head of this comment to get to my blog.

    • A response from the American Academy of Pro-Life OB/Gyns (you can criticize them for their beliefs or for actually practicing ethical medicine per the Hippocratic Oath, but you can hardly claim they’re illegitimate physicians, especially since many of them are former abortionists or IVF doctors themselves):

      “John: it’s all semantic blurring. It is a medical abortion as distinct from a surgical abortion. It is a chemical abortion because chemicals are used which result in the death of the placenta by making the decidual lining not functional in transferring oxygen and nutrients, so the baby dies. (Mifeprex is a “progesterone blocker.”) The important point is not what semantics one uses– it is that the human being is purposefully killed using drugs that purposefully cause its death, no matter what “medical” sounding langage one uses.
      Dr. Joe DeCook “

  9. GG: Did you say that members of the AAoPLOB/Gs are practicing medicine according to the Hippocratic Oath?

    So do they train the sons of other physicians for free? Do they refrain from all surgery (even upon sufferers from stone) and refer patients to barbers for surgery instead? Do they practice medicine in the name of Apollo, God of Healing? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then they are not practicing medicine according to the Hippocratic Oath.

    RE: “It’s all semantics”. I agree with Dr. DeCook. Medical terminology, like all scientific or technical terminology, always has a certain degree of arbitrariness. But as I said, using the terminology correctly EVEN THOUGH it is partly arbitrary is part of the job description of every medical professional.

    Well, I have explained that by using the phrase “chemical abortion” you are outing yourself as unversed in the basics of the academic literature on abortion, unqualified to have an opinion on the subject at all, or nearly so. If you want to go on doing that, that’s your choice! It’s a shame for your students though–I gather you’re some kind of teacher of rhetoric or philosophy? Then you have a professional obligation to teach the correct terminology.

    One of my professions is I teach chemistry. I could tell the students that nitrogen gas is called “azote” (as it was in the 1900s), and I could justify this by saying that the decision to call it “nitrogen” is arbitrary. But I’d be shafting my students! And so are you, if your example outline says “chemical abortion”. You are DE-equipping them to write professionally about abortion, and making it very likely that serious readers will write them off and/or stop reading your students’ work as soon as they see that phrase. But you’re a free man, so suture self!

  10. “You were born.
    So you’re free!
    So happy birthday.”

    –Laurie Anderson, the “Oh, Superman” album.

  11. Here’s a question I’d like to ask a pro-life OB/Gyn like Ron Paul or Senator Tom Coburn:

    Being OBs, you have heard a lot of women screqming in extreme pain for long times. Have you ever heard one scream: “I don’t want this, I’m giving birth cos my government has forced me!”? I assume the answer is no. Does the fact that you have never heard this make you happy, or unhappy? Would you rather hear it regularly, or do you prefer not hearing it?

  12. 1. I teach English. There’s a story about two guys getting off at the third floor. One’s from England. One’s from America.
    The Englishman says, “The Lift is an amazing invention.” The American says, “It’s not a lift; it’s an elevator.” The Englishman says, “It’s a lift!” The American says, “We should know! We invented the thing!” The Englishman says, “Yes, but we invented the language!”
    The basic point is that chemical abortion makes a more clear distinction from surgical abortion. Most people, if they heard “medical abortion” would think the term distinguished from “back room abortion.”
    2. I am trained in both English and philosophy. I am a Catholic, and well versed in ethical theory from Plato to Aristotle to Kant to Woytyla. I am also a prime target of the eugenicists behind the abortion industry, being as I have “defective” genes.
    Typical of your ilk, you confuse science with ethics. Science at all costs, right? Rip up babies for cannibalistic research, so long as the God of Science is worshipped, right?

    One does not need Ph.D.s in nuclear physics and engineering to know that nuclear war is immoral.

    Nor does one need an exact medical knowledge of abortion to know that it, too, is immoral.

    You have a very negative view of women and of childbirth.

  13. There you go again. NEWSFLASH: there is no eugenics behind the abortion “industry”. (And no fair blathering about Margaret Sanger; that was a long time ago. Since you have training in philosophy, you know that everyone in the first half of the Twentieth Century was racist; the “non-racist” position was that obvious racial defects should not be held against obviously racially-inferior people. And there were other weird ideas around then as well. Wouldja believe it, there were some people who thought that women should not be allowed to vote, because voting was “unfeminine”! These kooks actually prevented France from enfranchising les femmes until 1944. The loonies who did this were called Catholics, although the Church Herself carefully (and mealy-mouthedly) avoided taking an official stance on the question.)

    Today, there is nothing eugenic about letting women choose for themselves which pregnancies to grow and which to abort. No one gets an abortion in order to benefit future society by influencing its gene pool; they get abortions in order to avoid unpleasent personal experiences. That’s not eugenic.

    Besides, there’s nothing wrong with eugenics, provided it is practised CORRECTLY and FREELY. When you choose a spouse based on heritable characteristics you desire to see replicated in your children, in order to improve society through them, that’s eugenic too! But there’s nothing wrong with it, is there?

    RE: “Negative view of women and childbirth” Well you’re half-right. I have a negative view of childbirth, because I have seen a fair number of them, including some high-risk ones. But I have a very POSITIVE view of women! I think women should be free to control what happens inside their bodies, and what doesn’t happen. You know, just as MEN are!

  14. I’m a man, and I’m not free to control what goes on inside my body.

    No, like most proabortionists, you think that women are basically weak and incapable of handling difficulties, so you promote abortion as an easy out.

    Voting is a civil right, not a human right. And Catholicism has, until the revolution in the 1960s, been traditionally very suspicious of democracy, period–particularly in France.

    Margaret Sanger was a long time ago: today is today. Have you never heard of Warren Buffet? Bill Gates? Ted Turner ? All these people support eugenics. They just call it population control.

    More importantly, ask any secular liberal and even some conservative Catholics (who just use NFP as the cover for their eugenicist attitudes) and they’ll tell you they don’t think people with genetic disorders should reproduce. That’s eugenics.

    Thank you, though, for admitting that the cold-hearted people who abort their “defective” babies do so to avoid “unpleasant experiences”. We are in total agreement there.

    I get sick of hearing sick narcissists saying, “I aborted my baby because I couldn’t stand to see her suffer a life of pain. I wasn’t being selfish. I did it for *her*. I killed her for her own good! After all, I couldn’t bear to see her suffer like that! What good is it to bring a child into the world just to die??”

  15. RE: “you think that women are basically weak and incapable of handling difficulties,”

    Wow. If you knew my mom, you would not say that.

    RE: All those folks who support eugenics (if they do)

    I didn’t say there are no eugenicists. I said ABORTION ON DEMAND is not eugenic. And it’s not!

    RE: aborting for the sake of the baby

    I agree with you, the idea of aborting for the sake of the baby is bogus.

    RE: “I’m a man, not free to control what happens in my body”

    What do you mean? Do people take stuff from inside your body against your will? Do they put stuff INTO your body against your will? Do they force you to keep stuff inside your body which you would prefer to have taken out? Have you tried calling the police? Well, I’m not sure what you mean by this.

  16. John, why don’t you just put in the outline “Chemical Abortion (called Medical abortion by doctors)”? Then your students would see the distinction, and know that there is a medical terminology blur going on.

  17. OperationCounterstrike:

    At what point during my life did I acquire the right to not have my body used against my will? Did I always have that right?

  18. From former IVF and contraception researcher turned pro-life physician Dr. John Bruchalski:


    Happy Advent.

    The abortion industry and most of the medical texts refer to “medical abortion”. Fr. Marx, I believed coined the term “chemical abortion”, and since then, many prolife groups use the term, especially in the continuum of abortifacients which the oral contraceptive is one. A decent site called “ehow” recognizes chemical abortion as a valid question.

    I believe the terms are interchangeable, with medical being more technical, (ie. fetal rather than child). Many physicians use the terms “surgical abortion” vs. “medical abortion” as means of discrimination and accuracy. Chemical abortion tips the careful listener to the prolife bias of the interlocutor. It seems to me to be another way to take something barbaric, and turn it into something legitimate and scientific.

    Of interest, many physicians term early pregnancy losses, especially in the IVF world as “chemical pregnancies”. That is technically when the BHCG rises but the pregnancy loss occurs long before a fetal pole develops.

    That would be my two cents.

    With anticipation for the coming miracle,

    John Bruchalski, MD”

  19. Joy, I would say you acquire your body-ownership when you first come into existence as a human being. In other words, at conception or shortly thereafter.

    Why do you ask?

  20. If I have the right at the moment of conception to not have my body violated, then why is it OK for me to by aborted? Isn’t killing me the greatest violation of my body you could perform?

  21. Joy, yes I thought you’d say that. The reason it’s ok to kill you by abortion is, you are occupying another person’s body where you are not welcome.

    If it makes you happier, we can get abort you WITHOUT violating your body–by means of medical abortion, or by pinching the umbilical cord shut, or by live-birthing you before viability. The outcome is the same.

    Body ownership protects the one whose body is being violated (mother), not the one who is doing the violating (fetus).

  22. It is completely illogical for a person to incur guilt for doing something he or she cannot help doing that is a result of another person’s actions.

    If a nurse administers a drug that is improperly labeled, is she responsible for the death of the patient, or the drug company that printed the label?

    If a baby is conceived because a woman and man had sex, is the baby responsible for the child’s presence in the womb, or the adults who performed the act?

  23. Oh, and to say that killing someone without touching them doesn’t violate their body is to say that the Nazis didn’t violate the Jews they gassed.

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