April 5, 2013
Period 2 English 102
When women discover they are pregnant, it is not always planned. Some women will have the baby because they were planning to have one eventually anyway and they do not have any other major worries at the time. For other women and teenagers, it could be the worst thing they could do at the time. A child is not easy to look after and they require a big responsibility. Some women are not ready to take on that responsibility when they find out they are pregnant, so they have an abortion. An abortion is a medical or surgical procedure that ends a woman’s pregnancy. It is one of the most common medical procedures performed in many countries today. In some countries, abortion is legalized while in others this is a criminal offence that can lead to prosecution. Globally, each year, 20 to 30 million legal abortions are performed while 10 to 20 million illegal abortions do take place (Sykes). Although it has been legalized since 1973, abortion is still a controversial topic in today’s world. Behind the battles are divergent views on when human life begins, the rights a woman has over her own body, and government interference in the private lives of individuals.
Meredith Eugene Hunt, a pro-life advocate who has worked with groups such as the Genocide Awareness Project and Life Advocates, refers to abortion as a form of genocide. “[It]
Gonzaga 2 is accurate by historical and accepted standards of the word's definition.” Hunt concedes that abortion does not fit perfectly with the original use, but then goes on to explain that recent classifications of genocide have been expanded to include parameters into which abortion would fit. Most importantly, the author states that the term abortion does not “adequately convey the horrors of the action it is used to describe,” and that “genocide is the only appropriate term in the current vernacular.” The Genocide Awareness Project is a traveling exhibit that visits college campuses nationwide and uses graphic photo displays to compare modern abortion to historical genocide such as the Cambodian Genocide and the Holocaust. With the Genocide Awareness Project, Hunt’s goal is to show the fundamental similarities between killing large numbers of born people and killing large numbers of pre-born people. She also hopes to sensitize people with regard to various atrocities, including those of genocide. “If any legitimate criticism can be made, it would be that we need to update our images to include victims of the genocide in Sudan.”
France's definition of genocide begins with the recognized target groups of "national, ethnic, racial and religious or of a group determined by any other arbitrary criterion" whereas Ecuador’s definition of genocide only includes those defined on the basis of political condition, gender, sexual orientation, age, health, or conscience. In the case of abortion, the group of human beings intended for destruction "in whole or in part" is determined by size, age, degree of dependency, location, level of function and a vague, imposed condition of unwantedness. Under the French definition, abortion therefore qualifies as genocide.
Harvey Chadwick argues that babies are not “actual persons” and therefore should not be guaranteed the moral right to live. He explains his view that newborns are not actual persons because, “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a person in the sense of subject of a moral right to life. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence (at least) basic such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.” He emphasizes that the killing of a newborn baby is really no different than that of aborting an unborn child. “The academics strongly defend the notion that parents who are disappointed with having a disabled newborn