Abortion is murder

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Original: murder

take 2

  • right-arrow debaticon Abortion is murder.
    • up-arrow debaticon "i" debaticon All of the following are true:
      • up-arrow debaticon Abortion takes the life of a human fetus.
      • up-arrow debaticon A human fetus is a human life.
      • up-arrow debaticon Taking a human life is murder.
        • down-arrow debaticon "i" debaticon All of the following are true:
          • down-arrow debaticon Murder is illegal killing (illegally taking a human life). (M-W dictionary.com)
            • up-arrow debaticon Wiktionary defines murder as merely deliberate killing of a human.
              • down-arrow debaticon Wiktionary does not provide any justification for thusly loosening the definition.
              • "i" debaticon If the definition of "murder" is broadened to include justifiable killing, this would imply that murder can be justifiable. While this does not defeat the original claim that "abortion is murder", it rather defeats the spirit of it: the debate becomes over the question of whether abortion is *justifiable* murder, rather than accepting the premise that murder is automatically wrong.
          • down-arrow debaticon Killing a fetus in the process of aborting it is not necessarily wrongful or illegal. It is only wrongful or illegal if society decides it is.

take 1

  • right-arrow debaticon 1 Abortion is murder.
    • "i" debaticon 1.1 ''Murder: "the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought" (M-W)
    • down-arrow debaticon 1.2 It's only "murder" if we make it illegal. You are arguing that we should make it illegal because it is murder, so this is a circular argument. Probably what was meant is "Abortion is wrongful killing"; see below.
    • down-arrow debaticon 1.3 The question of whether a fetus is a "person" is one of the points on which this whole discussion hinges; it has not been resolved in favor of this claim.
    • down-arrow debaticon 1.4 Neither abortion doctors nor pregnant women are acting due to malice towards the fetus. (This doesn't disprove the point, but it does disqualify one of the characteristic attributes of "murder".)

Rephrase #1: wrongful killing

The word "murder" in this usage seems to mean wrongful (rather than illegal) killing, so let's rephrase the claim on that basis:

  • right-arrow debaticon 2 Abortion is wrongful killing.
    • down-arrow debaticon 2.1 The ethicality of killing, i.e. what circumstances make it wrong or right, should be based on a set of principles, as society clearly does condone it under some circumstances. These need to be worked out, but simply calling an act "killing" does not make it wrong.

Rephrase #2: deliberately ending a human life

Anti-abortionists seem to agree that killing animals is often acceptable (or at least a very different thing than killing people). It also seems important to unroll "killing" into "deliberately ending life", so as to unload the emotional associations.

  • right-arrow debaticon 3 Abortion is deliberately and wrongfully ending a human life.
    • up-arrow debaticon 3.1 Abortion is ending a human life.
      • down-arrow debaticon 3.1.1 Only by some definitions of the word "human". In most legal abortions, the lump of protoplasm being killed is hardly recognizable as human, and bears as much in common with embryos of many lower species such as rodents as it does with humans.
      • down-arrow debaticon 3.1.2 Conception is arguably ending multiple human lives, too -- many sperm and one egg go in, but only one living organism emerges.
      • down-arrow debaticon 3.1.3 Any time a fertile woman does not have sex, or fails to become pregnant as a result of sex, this destroys a human life (the ovum). Does this mean that abstinence is sinful?
      • down-arrow debaticon 3.1.4 Men produce thousands of times as many sperm as could possibly ever be used to fertilize eggs; is that also wrongful killing? Shouldn't most men be castrated, in order to prevent this terrible waste of human life?
      • down-arrow debaticon 3.1.5 Ending a human life is not automatically wrong.
    • up-arrow debaticon 3.2 Abortion is deliberate.
      • up-arrow debaticon 3.2.1 This is probably the one point everyone can agree on -- except to note that abortion is not done for sport or recreation, but in response to circumstances which were not deliberate. It is a conscious and deliberate act, though, regardless of how limited the selection of other options might be.
    • up-arrow debaticon 3.3 Abortion is wrongful.