Logic and Abortion.

     To use logic in the argument about abortion while at the same time abstaining from emotion is likely to draw the ire and disdain of both sides, however, I feel that it must be done.
     I will not discuss the intermediate positions, as I see no logical validation for them with their lack of scientific evidence. I will focus only on the two positions in the extremities, that opposing all abortions, and that approving of all abortions.
     I will also argue from a point of view that holds that an individual’s rights are paramount and must not be infringed upon by another. With this in mind, we are beholden to determine at what point a pregnancy ceases to be one individual and becomes two.
     The arguments from both sides have been lengthy and strenuous. On the one hand, those who approve of abortion point to the fact that the fetus is wholly dependent on the mother for life, and is therefore a part of the mother, and as a part of the mother’s body is subject to her will for its disposition. On the other hand, those who oppose abortion maintain that life begins at conception, and has from that instant the same rights as any other individual.
     To put the question in its most basic terms, is the fetus an appendage of the mother prior to birth, or is it a separate individual with rights of its own from the instant of conception?
     First, what are the qualifications to be classified as an appendage? In this setting, would it not be an integral part of the body, able to be identified as such by having the same characteristics? Would this not, according to our most advanced medical science involve having the same DNA as the rest of the body? Failing that, it must be a separate life.
     Now we have deduced that the fetus is its own separate life by virtue of its unique DNA, we are faced with another problem. The fetus can neither sustain itself nor maintain its own life without an integral connection to the mother. So does this give us enough evidence to disqualify the fetus as an individual with rights of its own? Since it has its own unique DNA, and therefore its own unique identity, we simply can not deny that this fetus is a unique individual in its own right, but what of its inability to survive without direct connection to the mother? The answer here may possibly be found in simple definition. Since the mother and fetus are clearly engaged in a fully symbiotic relationship, and the mother can survive without the fetus, but not the fetus without the mother, we must define the fetus as a parasite.
     With the fetus defined as a parasite, but with its own distinct identity, we can greatly simplify, and perhaps eventually solve, the great abortion debate by answering one further question: As a parasite from conception until birth, is the fetus to be recognized as having the same individual rights to life as any other human for that entire time period, or by its status as a parasite, does the fetus lack those rights up until the moment of separation when it leaves its symbiotic connection to the mother?
     This leads us to an uncomfortable place where few wish to go. It appears that we must choose between all abortions being allowed based on the fetus’s status as a parasite, or none based on a fetus’s status as a unique individual. If the fetus is accepted as a parasite with no individual rights, the mother clearly has the right to do as she will. If the fetus is instead accepted as an individual with the included natural rights, then the mother is obligated to do what she can to ensure the life and well-being of the fetus, as to fail in that would be a clear infringement on the dependent individual.
     I am afraid that I have not solved the debate here, or offered any new solutions. My attempt is just to simplify and clarify the debate, even though by so doing I have surely offended most of the readers. As always, comments are welcome in the pursuit of the truth.


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