FAQ: Understanding Our Position

Read how Western Lifeline members respond to these commonly asked questions by UWO students:

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Q: Do you think abortion is always wrong?

If we believe that all human beings are equally deserving of human rights – regardless of their age, size, or ability, then anything that violates these rights is always wrong. Since abortion, in surgical, chemical, or any other form, directly and intentionally kills a pre-born human being, it is always wrong, regardless of the circumstances under which that human being was conceived, or the circumstances in which that human being continues to develop.

Q: It’s not even human yet! It’s just a fetus! Why would abortion be wrong?

What type of fetus is it? The term “fetus,” which is Latin for “young one,” is not a species-classification, but rather an age-classification. You can have a dog fetus, cat fetus, or human fetus, and that human fetus was once a human embryo.  With time that human fetus will develop into a human newborn, human toddler, human child, human teenager and eventually a human adult.

Therefore, it is wrong to justify abortion by saying “it’s just a fetus” since we know that when two humans reproduce, the species of their offspring must be human too.

Q: A fetus isn’t human, it’s just a parasite feeding off of a woman’s body!

We agree that a fetus requires nutrients from her mother via the umbilical cord in order to be able to survive, however it is unscientific to call the fetus a parasite. By definition, a parasite must be of a different species than the host organism, for example, a flea on a dog. Since a fetus and her mother are of the same species – human, it doesn’t make sense to call her a parasite.

Q: A fetus isn’t even conscious, how can we give it human rights?

A person in a coma isn’t fully conscious, and a newborn is much less conscious than you. Does that make them less human and less deserving of human rights? Of course not! Our humanity does not depend on our functionality or abilities, but rather on the sheer fact that we are a part of the human species since we have human DNA and parents.

A fetus isn’t sentient because she isn’t old enough to have had the time to develop that ability yet, so should we discriminate against her for something she can’t change about herself – her age?

Q: A fetus may be human, but it’s not a person.

Throughout history, we have seen what happens when members of the human family were excluded from being called “persons”. This separation has never positively impacted a group of people, rather it has always led to a human rights violation in which a group of people were dehumanized allowing for their victimization. This short video explains how the same pattern is still happening today.

Q: Some circumstances are really difficult.  How can you say that abortion is wrong?

We totally agree that hard circumstances exist! We can’t imagine how hard it would be to be pregnant and worry about if we would be able to care for a child, or what our life would be like once the child was born. Let’s consider the following example – A 21 year old girl, still in school, doesn’t have a job, and so financially is dependent on her parents. Let’s say that she got pregnant, her parents kick her out of the house, and she’s living on the streets. If she decided to keep her child and a few months later once her child is born she decides that her circumstance is too hard, is it okay for her to kill her newborn? No, of course not! So, if we agree that it is wrong to kill born children because of the circumstances of their mothers, why is it okay to kill pre-born children whose mothers are in those same circumstances?

Furthermore, does our circumstance dictate our humanity, and whether or not we deserve human rights? Shouldn’t we help women address, improve and eliminate their difficult circumstances in a way that doesn’t leave them feeling as if they have no choice but to end the life of their child?

Q: It’s my body, my choice!  What right do you have to tell me what I can and can’t do?

We agree with you that woman should have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies, as long as the choices they make don’t harm others. For example, a UWO student has every right to go out to a bar on Friday night after class and drink as much as they want; however that student doesn’t then have the legal right to choose to get into their car and drive home, because that could result in them hitting someone with their car and hurting – or even killing them.  Drinking under the influence of alcohol is a choice that is restricted and illegal because it can cause a negative consequence on someone else’s body.

As a society, we recognize that our rights end when someone else’s rights begin. Wouldn’t allowing the “choice” to dismember, disembowel and decapitate a pre-born child be a violation of that child’s human rights?

Q: What if a woman was sexually assaulted?

We think that sexual assault is an awful crime and the absolute worst way to degrade and violate a woman. We think we need to do everything we can in this country to support women who have lived through sexual assault and to prosecute guilty rapists to the very full extent of the law. However, if in this country we don’t even give the death penalty to the guilty rapist, why would we give the death penalty to the innocent child who had no control over the way in which he or she was conceived?

Further, does abortion undo the trauma of sexual assault? Of course not! The survivor likely will still be left with the emotional and physical trauma of the awful injustice committed to her. Victims of sexual assault still need our support, counselling, and help. If we truly care about these women, shouldn’t we be concerned with improving the resources we have available to help them process their pain and trauma? Does abortion truly address that pain by providing support long-term, or is it simply a temporary “band-aid” solution for a woman who requires much more care to be able to move past and recover from sexual assault?

Q: What if the woman’s life is in danger?

The Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health Care signed by over a thousand licensed health care professionals in the field of obstetrics and gynecology states the following:

“As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman. We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

Furthermore, watch Dr. Anthony Levatino (a practising OB/GYN and former abortionist) confirm that abortion is never medically necessary in order to save the life of the mother in this short video.

Q: If abortion becomes illegal, won’t women die from back alley abortions?

Various crimes in our country are illegal, but does that mean that they are absolutely never committed. Murder, rape, theft are all wrong and illegal, yet don’t some murders, sexual assaults and robberies still occur?

We would never say that we should legalize such crimes because they are just going to happen anyway, therefore how is it logical to say the killing of pre-born children through abortion should just remain legal since if it were to be criminalized, some women would still choose to preform back alley abortions?

Regardless of whether a woman has a back alley abortion or an abortion performed in a clinic, the end result is always the same – the killing of a pre-born child. Therefore abortion is always dangerous for one of the people involved. Rather than permitting the killing of pre-born children as a “solution” to difficult pregnancies, we should support women and their children, and alleviate their difficulties as much as possible.

Q: Don’t you care about woman who have had abortions? Do you think they are evil?

While we think abortion itself is wrong, we do not think that women who have had abortions are bad, evil people. Quite the opposite really – we see them as victims, exploited by the abortion industry because of the vulnerable state they were in. We think we can agree that no woman is excited or eager to have an abortion, rather she often opts for abortion because she feels like she has no other choice in her situation. We most definitely care for these women deeply and while we cannot affirm that what she chose to do was okay, that doesn’t mean that we would not help connect her with resources and post-abortive support services if that is something she would be interested in.

Q: What about born children who suffer? Should’t you focus on helping them first?

We agree that there is so much suffering in our world, and we’re glad that there are people like you who recognize that! At UWO we have a variety of clubs that address various issues in our society that we need to be actively working to improve. However, is it possible for one club to address everything? If someone only has the time to volunteer at a Women’s Shelter and Red Cross, would you tell them that that’s not okay and that they should also be focusing on going to Africa, India and China to feed hungry children? Of course not! We recognize that help is needed in a variety of places, but one person cannot dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to all causes. That is why we have a variety of clubs at UWO and not just one amalgamated club for all social issues.

As Frederick the Great once said, “He who defends everything defends nothing.”

Q: What if the child is going to be deformed or disabled? Wouldn’t abortion be better?

Say one of the students in your class has a severely deformed leg and requires a wheelchair. Is it okay for us to kill that student because of their deformity? No! Absolutely not! If we can agree that it is wrong to kill a born person because of their disability, why would it be okay to kill a pre-born person because of that same disability? In which situation would the dismemberment, disembowelment and decapitation of a person with a disability ever be the “better option” for them?

Q: What about “Plan B” or the “Morning After Pill”?

The emergency contraceptive/morning-after pill has three modes of action (as does the regular birth control pill); that is, it can work in one of three ways:

  1. The normal menstrual cycle is altered, delaying ovulation; or
  2. Ovulation is inhibited, meaning the egg will not be released from the ovary; or
  3. It can irritate the lining of the uterus (endometrium) so as to inhibit implantation.

Keep in mind that fertilization (the union of female ovum, or egg, and male sperm) occurs in the fallopian tube and that fertilization marks the beginning of a new human life – and the beginning of the pregnancy. The newly created child then travels down the Fallopian tube to the uterus (womb) where he or she implants. Implantation is necessary for the new child to receive nourishment from the mother and continue developing. The journey from the fallopian tube to the womb takes between five and seven days during which pregnancy cannot be readily detected.

Therefore, if a woman ingests emergency contraception after fertilization has taken place, the third mode of action can occur. The lining of the uterus can be altered causing the woman’s body to reject the living human embryo, making implantation impossible and the child will die. This result is called a chemical abortion; therefore emergency contraception is an abortifacient. A human being’s life begins at fertilization, and human rights should begin when the human begins; we therefore oppose the use of “Plan B” as one of its intended functions is to indirectly kill the young human.

Q: You’re a guy, you shouldn’t be able to hold an opinion on abortion!

Shouldn’t we all be concerned when human rights are violated and lives are at stake, regardless of gender, simply because of the fact that we are all human? So often women feel they need abortion because they don’t have the support from their partner – either their partner is pressuring them to abort, has abandoned them or doesn’t want to take responsibility for his actions. Since men are a part of the problem, shouldn’t they also be a part of the solution?