Abortion — the Right to Choose

In my three previous articles on abortion, I have looked at several issues relating to human life, the Divine Prerogative and the timing of abortion.

One of the most sensitive areas in the abortion debate relates to the right of the woman to choose. In simple terms, some argue that the woman has a “right” to do as she wants with her body. If this is the case, then she has the right to choose to have an abortion. It is easy to understand the reasoning behind this argument.

However, almost all of our rights have limits placed on them. A man and a girl aged 14, for example, wanting to have sex. It is the girl’s own body; however our society says that she is not allowed to give consent. Likewise, it is the man’s own body, but our society says that he is not permitted to use his body in this way with a 14-year-old female, even if he believes that she is a willing partner.

We have the right to choose, however that right still has limits placed on the choices that we can make. Most people agree with laws that place limits on choice. Limits that stop my freedom to choose to steal, for example. Why? Because they protect the rights, interests or well-being of other human beings who may be directly or indirectly affected by such choices.

Of course, anyone living in a country where personal freedom is assumed to exist, will say that they are in favour of the freedom to choose. No law should limit that freedom when it comes to issues such as religious beliefs, the type of education we want, the political ideals that we support and myriad personal preferences that we may have that harm no one else. But very few support the concept of anarchy, so they support the idea that some choices are not allowed. We don’t allow a person to choose to commit murder, rape, child abuse etc. We understand and accept that a law that prevents harm of another person is acceptable and just.

If our choice will harm another person, then our right to choose is lost.

In reality, just about everything that a person does – be it good or bad – is associated with a choice that they make. We cannot logically argue that a person’s choice is OK, simply because it’s a choice. The fact that it is a person’s choice, reveals nothing about whether or not the action that the person has chosen to take is morally or legally acceptable.

Likewise, we understand that when we make choices in life, there are likely to be consequences – be they good or bad. We have control over our choices, but not over the consequence that flows from the choice that we make.

Does the woman have the right to choose what happens to her body? The answer is yes, she has the right to choose. She has the choice of engaging or not engaging in sex and using or not using birth control methods. However, once that choice is made, there may be consequences.

If she chooses to engage in sex, there is a possibility that the consequence may be that her body becomes the host of a virus or other sexually transmitted disease. Of course, she doesn’t WANT the disease, but it becomes a consequence over which she has no control. The way to avoid the disease, would be for her to have chosen not to engage in sex. Once she has chosen to engage in sex, the consequence is beyond her control.

The same principle applies in the abortion debate. One of the consequences of engaging in sex, may well be a pregnancy. The woman has the right of choice to say no to the sex in the first place. But if she says yes and engages in sex, then the consequence of that choice may well be the formation of a new human life within her.

Except in the rare instance where pregnancy is the result of rape (and I’ll address this issue in a later article), a woman carrying a child has exercised control over her body and the action that she chose resulted in pregnancy. Her choice has produced a new human being.

She cannot choose whether or not she wants to be a mother. That choice is made, she is already a mother and her child is already present in her uterus.

So does she have the right to terminate that new life in order to avoid the consequence of her original choice?

I noted above that if our choice will harm the other person, then our right to choose is lost. In the case of a pregnancy, there are 3 people involved. Obviously the woman is one, but the father of the child is also involved, as is the newly formed life within the woman’s uterus.

Of course, some argue that the unborn is simply a part of the mother’s body. Just as a kidney or an appendix. We allow such organs to be removed from the woman, so the same should apply to the unborn. The baby, it is argued, is simply a part of the mother’s body and she must be free to do whatever she wants with it.

It must be understood that the newly-formed baby has, among other things, a DNA profile that differs from its mother’s. The baby has a different blood group to that of its mother and unique finger prints. Clearly, the baby in utero is a human being that is individually different from its mother.

Every cell of the mother’s kidneys, appendix, heart etc., has an identical genetic code. The unborn child however, has a different genetic code. Every cell of the unborn child’s body is uniquely the child’s and clearly different to every cell of the mother’s body. So, for example, if the baby is male, its reproductive organs are clearly not a part of the mother’s body.

So if we consider surrogacy, we could have a European woman implanted with an egg from an indigenous Australian female that has been fertilised by an indigenous Australian male. The fact that the baby develops inside the womb of the European woman will not change the nature of the baby. The child will be fully indigenous, because the baby’s biological identity is based on its own unique genetic code, not that of the body in which the baby is developing.

It is a clear and undeniable fact that the mother is one distinctive individual human being and the child is another.

The right to abortion is often presented simply as a matter of choice for a woman. However, it is clear that her choice to abort will bring harm to another human being – namely the baby.

Of course, once the baby is born, the woman is again free to choose: she can choose to raise the child herself, or choose to give the child to the appropriate agency for placement with one of the many couples waiting to adopt.

We see today in our hospitals a very inconsistent attitude towards human life played out because of such choices.

In one part of a hospital, we see the mother who chooses NOT to abort, but who gives birth prematurely. There we find medical staff and technology striving to save the life of the prematurely-born baby. At the same time and in the same hospital, we see the mother who chose TO abort. There the medical team will be terminating the lives of unborn babies of identical age, merely because their arrival in the world would be deemed to be in some way “inconvenient”.

The question that remains is simple. Does the woman have the right to negate the choice that she made by taking the life of another human being? It seems unconscionable that one could refuse to give the baby the right to choose to live simply to satisfy the right of another human being to make such a choice.

No matter what the mother may feel at the time, pregnancy is a temporary condition. However, abortion is a very permanent solution—the death of an innocent child cannot be undone.

Regardless of the circumstance, one person’s right to choose should never be greater than another person’s right to live.

By |2019-05-16T20:21:20+00:00May 17th, 2019|Australia, Authors, Children, Family, Freedom, Life, Sexual Integrity|18 Comments

About the Author:

Dr David Logan is a retired pastor living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with his wife, Christine – together they have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. David holds degrees in Trauma Management, Arts (Psychology major), Ministry and a Doctorate in Theology. David pastored churches in Victoria and NSW for 43 years and served in various denominational leadership roles. He served as a University Chaplain and as an Emergency Services Chaplain and as a Bible College lecturer. He has served on business and school boards, hospital ethics & grief and trauma committees, Police Community Consultative Committee in Victoria and is a member of the International High IQ Society. David remains a credentialed minister of the Australian Christian Churches and is a credentialed chaplain with Chaplaincy Australia.

18 Comments

  1. Janice Kempers May 17, 2019 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    In a nation such as Australia which has prided itself on multiculturalism and freedom to express our differences, the right to choose whether or not to procreate a child is also the cherished right of every woman. We have free access to contraceptives to prevent a pregnancy. We freely choose a partner as a father to that child, and freely choose the way our child will be born and the family they will live in. We do not have the freedom to then detract these choices and take the life of that child without question. The choice was made many months prior, why should a child be deprived of life due to the mother being unable to follow through on multiple previous choices? How can this possibly not be declared as murder? “You are now not wanted in my life so I want the right to remove you! Without having a guilty conscience!”

  2. Maynessa May 17, 2019 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Well said!

  3. Caroline Varendorff May 17, 2019 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Very lucid and well presented argument. Thank you David, for using your God-given gifts in this way.

  4. Lydia Hunter May 17, 2019 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    I agree with dr David Logan. I believe Abortion should be illegal unless it is life threatening to the mother. Too many young women are careless about taking contraceptives as they know that they can easily have an abortion.

  5. Alex May 17, 2019 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Dr Logan has captured the “right to choose” issue well. Right to choose is really about taking care to make the right choices.

  6. Marion Dingwall May 17, 2019 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Very well said and presented and I agree wholeheartedly.

  7. Marion Dingwall May 17, 2019 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    My husband could have been aborted if that had been available 80 years ago. Fortunately he was adopted by a caring couple, had full time employment a productive member of society, all his working life, produced four children and eighteen grandchildren, all contributing to society and that would all have been lost. So what talents are being lost on the altar of “ convenience”.

  8. Doug May 17, 2019 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    Regardless of what people think science says, science points to the fact that a baby is a growing human being from the time of conception. A human being is a person. A person has rights, given by God, given by the law. But now we find where a baby is concerned the law is confused.

  9. Nicole May 18, 2019 at 12:15 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing and so clearly showing that the right of choice is exercised well before someone falls pregnant. Thanks for standing up for precious babies that have no voice.

  10. Margaret May 18, 2019 at 8:15 am - Reply

    This puts the freedom to choose argument in its right context. Well said.

  11. Maree & Ray Chapman May 18, 2019 at 9:03 am - Reply

    This is so unarguably true.But we need to have professional medical people start to convince the public at large that the seman which fertilizes the female egg is alive and this baby is alive from that time on.The public has been sold the lie during these several generations that babies are not alive and somehow come to life along the pregnancy. I believe that any woman worthy of the name would not kill their living child or believe that it has no right to live except at her behest.this also is what is wrong with referring to this little living person as a fetus. Lets call it correctly please as their child.

  12. John May 18, 2019 at 9:51 am - Reply

    If the life of a baby is taken after birth its murder. If that same life is taken before birth it is choice. You present a great case for the unborn. Thank you.

  13. Jenny May 18, 2019 at 9:58 am - Reply

    Clearly set out & explanation of the facts very precise. Our conscience isn’t eased by calling a murder of an unborn a procedure. It is only eased by owning up to the lie, saying sorry & asking to be forgiven. & being freed of that guilt

  14. Ian Pugsley May 18, 2019 at 10:15 am - Reply

    This is an excellent article, and we can all learn from the concepts enunciated in it.
    In fact the whole of life’s purpose, I believe, is for each one of us to learn how to
    take our God-given freedom of choice and apply it to choosing good and rejecting evil.
    During our lives, that is, during that learning process, we will of course make mistakes,
    which is why He planned for a gift of grace and its pathway through repentance to
    bring our lives to perfection. Not by our own efforts, but but His grace.

  15. Peter Coleman May 18, 2019 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Human Life is God’s highest creation act and if we as born again christians either fail to speak up against killing babies or do the unthinkable and have or perform an abortion we are crucifying the son of God again again the unthinkably unthinkable. So very serious. Rape is a terrible thing but is not helped by killing the baby. If the mother’s life is in danger we need to pray.

  16. Carley McGrath May 18, 2019 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Great article David, I agree that the unborn baby is not a part of the mothers body but a body itself. One that deserves to choose life for itself.

  17. Laurel Morris May 18, 2019 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    What an excellent, well-balanced and rational article for the pro-life argument.

  18. Trudy Ansell May 20, 2019 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Choosing an abortion has nothing to do with a woman’s rights over her own body. Her rights over her body were decided at the point of sexual intercourse. Abortion is all about the rights of another body — the new emerging human in utero — for whom the mother is not qualified to decide. In most cases, abortion is a weak cop-out for her irresponsibility.

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