I had not planned on writing anything today. Yet here I am. Sometimes when I sit down to write I have a specific idea in mind and I just go about gathering quotes and data to support my position. Other times I’ll see or hear something and it acts like a splinter in my mind; it sits there festering and festering until I have to get it out. This is such an occasion.
The splinter that wouldn’t stop bothering me was simply an image of an egg and a human embryo with the comments that it is a criminal offense to destroy the egg, but it is permissible to destroy the fetus. An effective image for sure, but I’m not sure that it would sway the sentiments of those who are firmly committed to their beliefs. But then that goes for the things I write as well, nothing I do or say is going to change most people’s minds. I only write to get things off MY mind.
Getting back to the point at hand, there are quite a few differences between a human fetus and a bald eagle’s egg. First of all an egg is laid and develops on its own outside a womb. Secondly, the gestation period is much shorter for a bald eagle egg; a mere 35 days after being laid a baby eagle hatches, while it takes, typically, 9 months for a baby to emerge from a mother’s womb.
Still, the Endangered Species Act of 1940 prohibits the taking, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest or egg, unless allowed by permit. (16 U.S.C. 688(a); 50 CFR 22) The fine for violating this law is a maximum of $5,000 or one year imprisonment up to $250,000 for a felony conviction. So it is indeed a crime to destroy a bald eagle egg.
But, is it a crime to end a pregnancy?
In 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on the case of Roe v. Wade saying that it is a woman’s right, under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, to have an abortion if she so chooses. In a later ruling the Court held that a person has the right to an abortion until viability, with viability being defined as “…potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid .”
So it seems that the initial point of the image which spurred this little rant is correct, that it is a crime to destroy a bald eagle egg, yet there is no crime in destroying the life growing inside a woman’s womb.
Most people, not all, but most people don’t view abortion as the taking of a life, as the embryo has not yet fully developed and is still inside the mother’s womb. Yet as early as six weeks after fertilization that embryo has a beating heart. Does that not define the very essence of life? Our scientists have sent probes to Mars looking for single celled organisms saying that these organisms are a form of life. If a single celled organism can be called life, then why can’t a human embryo with a beating heart be considered the same?
And what is the taking of life if it is not murder? Under Common Law, murder was the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Malice is generally thought to imply a hatred or deep dislike of someone or something. But in legal terms malice aforethought simply meant that the intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm existed. And what is abortion if it is not the killing of an unborn, undeveloped life?
According to Bouviers Dictionary of Law for murder to apply “The party killed must have been a reasonable being, alive and in the king’s peace. To constitute a birth, so as to make the killing of a child murder, the whole body must be detached from that of the mother; but if it has come wholly forth, but is still connected by the umbilical chord, such killing will be murder.”
So it would seem, at least according to Bouvier, who lived in the 1800’s, that it was not murder to end the life of a child developing inside the womb. But there’s something else Bouvier said that we need to examine. Bouvier also defined life as “2. The state of animated beings, while they possess the power of feeling and motion. It commences in contemplation of law generally as soon as the infant is able to stir in the mother’s womb and ceases at death.” Bouvier goes on to say “Lawyers and legislators are not, however, the best physiologists, and it may be just suspected that in fact life commences before the mother can perceive any motion of the feotus.”
Our Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”
If life begins inside the womb, and if government is established to secure the rights of man, and if LIFE is one of those rights, how can any government justify any law, or court ruling, which denies that right to anyone, even an unborn fetus?
You may say that it is a woman’s right because it is her body, but inside that body is another life, a life without a voice, and by having an abortion you are ending that life…which is defined as murder.
You can give me all the sanctimonious, self-righteous, moral high ground crap you want, but by having an abortion you are taking a life, however small and unable to fend for itself outside the womb it may be. By your choice to have an abortion you are killing another human being.
It is not my place to judge you, I am simply providing the facts as I see them. I have no moral authority to judge anyone, but I believe that one day all those who chose to have an abortion will have to explain why they murdered untold numbers of unborn babies simply because going through with their pregnancy would inconvenience them. And the justice they receive will be most unpleasant.