As a conservative, I strongly promote keeping the government out of the people’s lives for the most part. It is the most effective way to ensure that the government does not trample over its citizens’ rights. Conservative pro-lifers have been criticized for supposedly demonstrating hypocrisy in the abortion debate because we are generally anti-government interventionists but we want the government to overturn Roe v. Wade. If we claim to be for school choice, consumer choice, etc. how can we be what they call “anti-choice” when it comes to abortion? This is not a matter of choice to pro-lifers, though. We are not hypocrites; we are human rights advocates. Conservatives believe in government intervention when basic rights are being stripped from an individual. In this case, that is exactly what is occurring. The blatant disregard for human rights bolstered by scientific reasoning is why pro-life advocates prioritize life over choice in this circumstance.
Contrary to the common narrative, a fetus is a life. This is not a subjective statement; science sides with pro-lifers on this issue. If we break it down to the most basic components, it is more apparent that a being inside of its mother is, in fact, its own entity. A zygote contains human DNA that is unique from its mother. It is undeniable that from the beginning, the baby contains human characteristics with a genetic makeup different than that of its mother. A heartbeat can be detected as early as twenty-two days. The average, functioning woman does not have two hearts or two heartbeats for nine months. The only explanation is that the fetus is its own person. Furthermore, the child develops organs and bodily functions throughout the pregnancy that a person outside of the womb contains. The list of human qualities for a fetus is truly exhaustive. If a person looks at this objectively, basing it on scientific fact, it lines up: a fetus is a life independent of its mother.
Since it is evident that a fetus is a life, it is a generally well-known principle that a life deserves rights. Human rights are defined as “The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are considered to be entitled, often held to include the rights to life…” The definition of the United Nations also includes the right to life. Abortion violates this right. Not only is a life taken during an abortion, but the horrifying and inhumane fashion in which one is done is even more of a violation of rights. There are several ways in which an abortion is performed. Very early in pregnancy, a woman may take drugs to rid the body of the baby, a process that may take several days. However, surgical abortions are more frequent. These surgical abortions consist of:
Suction-Aspiration (Vacuum Abortion): the doctor will suction the baby into a small bottle, the force tearing its body to pieces.
Dilation and Curettage (D&C): the fetus is cut to pieces and scraped out of the woman’s body.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): using an instrument similar to pliers, the doctor tears the child apart limb by limb. When the head is all that is left, the skull is crushed and removed.
Dilation and Extraction (D&X): the fetus is pulled down through the birth canal, however the head is too large to fit through an undilated cervix. This requires the doctor to force scissors into the head of the baby. It sucks out the cerebral elements with a suction catheter. Since the skull has collapsed, the baby can now fit through the birth canal.
Saline Injection: a strong, poisonous salt solution is injected and taken in by the fetus. It burns the child’s skin off and typically takes an hour to be fully effective. There have been instances in which the baby survives this abortion process.
These just five types of abortion. I think these examples make it perfectly clear that there is a serious violation of rights occurring. A life is not only terminated. It is done through processes that are undoubtedly inhumane.
Abortion denies the legitimacy of the fetus’ status as a human simply because it cannot speak to defend it. A voice that is louder than that of the fetus does not negate the rights of the fetus. Also, just because the child is not self-reliant does not mean it is not a human. A child outside of the womb is not viable on its own, as it needs the care and provision of a more capable human being. Does that make a six-month-old baby not human?