My Take: Why the abortion issue won’t go away
The 2011 Right to Life march in Washington.
January 23rd, 2012
10:01 AM ET

My Take: Why the abortion issue won’t go away

Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN

After recently addressing a large secular assembly on issues of moral controversy, I turned and faced a woman who urgently wanted to ask me a question: “Why won’t the abortion issue just go away?”

I knew exactly what she was asking. I often meet abortion rights advocates who honestly thought that the national controversy over abortion would simply melt away within a few years of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973.

That was clearly the hope of the Supreme Court majority that signed onto the opinion written by Associate Justice Harry Blackmun. In a note he wrote to himself as he drafted the final opinion and looked to its aftermath, Blackmun revealed a rather optimistic assumption: “It will be an unsettled period for a while.”

Surely, he didn’t mean for that “while” to extend four decades.

Sunday marked the 39th anniversary of the decision, and the abortion question is anything but settled. Just look at the crowds gathering in Washington on Monday for the annual March for Life.

In fact, America has been unsettled ever since Roe. Abortion has become a central issue of political conflict, debate and division. If the court had hoped to calm the waters, it failed spectacularly.

As Guido Calabresi, then dean of the Yale Law School, observed, the aftermath of Roe v. Wade produced a “sense of desperate embattlement.” As Calabresi noted, the court’s decision failed to produce a national consensus. Rather, Roe “made it impossible for the opposing views to live with each other.”

Those who thought that the decision of the Supreme Court would settle the issue had reason for that hope. On other controversial questions, the court’s rulings had produced initial furor and outrage, but the nation rather quickly accommodated itself to those decisions. Take integration in public schools.

Not so with abortion.

Why? Professor Lawrence H. Tribe of the Harvard Law School, an ardent defender of abortion rights, at least recognized that the abortion question presents nothing less than a “clash of absolutes.”

Tribe attempted to propose a means of avoiding “pitting these absolutes against one another.” All such efforts have failed, precisely because the competing claims are indeed absolutes.

When abortion-rights advocates and their allies ask why the abortion issue will not just go away, they really mean to ask why, given the stark reality of Roe, the pro-life movement has not dissipated and retreated into the history books.

Here are five reasons why:

First, the radical character of Roe – overthrowing abortion laws in 49 states – galvanized pro-life forces. The judicial imposition of abortion on demand, virtually without restriction until the third trimester, produced both shock and outrage among those who believe that the unborn child has an inalienable right to life.

Within months of Roe, an organized pro-life movement came into shape, looking for any means of limiting and eventually ending the termination of unborn life.

Second, Roe also had the effect, surely unforeseen by the Supreme Court, of bringing millions of evangelical Christians into the fight on behalf of unborn life. Prior to Roe, even many evangelicals believed that abortion was a Roman Catholic issue.

Roe was a legal earthquake that awakened a massive number of evangelicals to the deadly reality of abortion. With remarkable speed, evangelicals soon educated themselves on the issue and then mobilized themselves both politically and culturally.

Third, the death spiral of abortion simply defies adequate calculation. Over a million abortions are performed in America each year. Reports last year indicated that over 40% of all pregnancies in New York end in abortion, a rate that increases to almost 60% of pregnancies among African-American women.

The sheer scale of the death toll sears the pro-life conscience. Young people can now see that millions are missing from their own generation.

Fourth, abortion has proved to be exactly what pro-life activists warned it would be: a deadly threat to human dignity that would target specific populations. Prenatal testing has produced a deadly reality for unborn babies considered less than acceptable by their parents.

The vast majority (90%) of unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are now aborted. Sex-selection abortions are legal in the wide-open “right” to abortion declared by the court. Prenatal testing of other characteristics means that parents can now abort a baby that does not meet their specifications and try again.

Fifth, powerful imaging technologies now allow a look inside the womb, a privilege unknown to previous generations. That window has transformed the equation, as millions of parents have seen their unborn children and witnessed the miracle of life.

They have seen the little human form and the actions of the unborn child, sucking its thumb as it nestles within its mother. Millions of siblings have seen the images of their unborn brothers and sisters taped to the refrigerator door.

Those of us who believe that every single unborn child has a right to be born cannot resign from the effort to protect those lives.

The greatest advances made by the pro-life movement have been made among the young, the generation that has known the death toll from Roe v. Wade all their lives. More evidence that the abortion issue will not simply go away.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler Jr.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (1,716 Responses)
  1. Mike

    If it has fingers and toes, and it moves...it's a life. Ignorance is not an excuse.

    November 3, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  2. why cant I get pregnant

    Heya i'm for the primary time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to offer one thing again and aid others such as you helped me.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  3. God help you

    You guys all need help... Abortion is murder its that simple... Its the same as shooting someone thats just walking down the street... women only have abortions because they are selfish and dont want to ruin their bodies...

    March 22, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  4. Aristocles

    For all those people who think aborting children "saves taxpayer money", consider this: you are killing future taxpayers. Don't tell me that most abortions kill off future poor people, because not only is it not true, but it assumes that even if it was true, that poor people deserve to die rather than live poor. Like Ebenezer Scrooge.

    Also, poverty has gotten worse since Roe v. Wade, not better, so either Roe v. Wade had no effect on poverty, failed to improve the poverty situation significantly, or it made it worse.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:27 am |
  5. Usman Akhtar


    I agreed, stop abortions. Watch these videos to know the truth and to open your eyes and your mind.Watch these videos to see who your Lord, Your Savior, is truly and who take Jesus back after his Cruisifiction. I Challenge you to deny these videos and the massage in these videos. Paradise, who’s Paradise? Think about your kids and what they believe in. Listen to these creatures very carefully. These creatures are saying the name of their and every bodies Creator. May be GOD wants to give you a chance? I hope you won't call these creatures terrorist. Good Luck. I hope after finding the truth you will love the One and Only Provider, Savior, Creator and Owner of Paradise. Watch these videos to know who send Angels to heal people who ever Jesus(AHS) touched.
    Watch these videos.

    Watch where this Red car is going.
    Usman Akhtar

    February 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • cactuslili

      Quit trying to tell everybody they have to believe what you believe. I'm a Buddhist, so I don't even believe in your idea of a creator. My religion works just fine for me and doesn't try to tell others that it is the one and only way and that you're damned if you don't agree with it. The Buddha encouraged people not to take his word for what he attained. He told people they should try it for themselves if they wished, and if it worked for them, great. If it didn't, he wished they would find what worked for them spiritually. You far right radical Christians insist that everyone believe and adhere to your personal interpretations of what the bible says. In the HIndu religious book, the Mahabharata, it says that there is NO religion higher than TRUTH, and I believe that wholeheartedly...much more than your hate filled interpretations. Jesus was a loving god. He said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." So until you're all as pure as Jesus, quit judging others and telling them what to do.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  6. jo

    There’s something I do not understand about the pro-life movement in America. Many people accept the fact that our military is necessary to defend our country. The military uses violence to do so. So why is blowing up abortion clinics wrong? If blowing up Arabs for various reasons is okay, why is physical action not acceptable against people who kill innocent life? If someone was out killing my friends and family would I hold up signs to stop them?

    For those that are complete pacifists I understand the lack of action. For those that do believe in what our Military does, then it seems inconsistent. Pro-war/pro-life/pro-gun people need to start acting like it and put those guns to use. And pro-life/antiwar need to stop supporting the military industrial complex. As for me, I am more the latter. Although, something about partial birth abortions would help me turn a blind eye to the former.

    February 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      America is so misunderstood for reasons like abortion. This is a country that loses wars for lack of troops. Yes the Libyan fiasco is one where a dictator was overthrown but Sharia was imposed because there were no American ground forces to enforce democracy. Drones can never hold territory.

      February 14, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Ask all the countries which are occupying powers how they do it. Israel can muster up to 3mn troops in a conventional war for instance. The Palestinians are breeding to build up their resistance capacity too. Why does America then weaken itself? China and Russia are even more deadly.

      February 14, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      You can't keep hiring mercenaries and recruiting foreigners as soldiers forever. One day you will wake up like Rome with a Colombian Contra keeping the White House hostage. A good Army is made up of citizens who are at least third generation and love ur country and its ideals n stupidities 2 bits.

      February 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • TeXann111

      It has always been interesting to me that the white men and wealthy women who have their family already want to force women to have children they don't want by withholding birth control and abortion services.

      If these priests don't want an abortion then they shouldn't be forced to have one.. Leave the rest of us alone.

      February 18, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  7. James Kimble

    The reason the debate continues is really quite basic. Abortion is the willful taking of a human life. A fetus is human. A fetus is living. It is genetically different from its' host mother. They do NOT share the same blood. It is easier to destroy that which cannot be seen or speak for itself. Most abortions are not for medical reasons but a matter of convenience. That is why there will always be an abortion "issue".

    February 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • momoya

      That's a stupid statement. You know why? Because if everyone adopted your reasoning the abortion issue wouldn't exist. The abortion issue exists because there are folks who OPPOSE your view of abortion and so the viewpoint of your ilk is in dispute.

      Your little diatribe is just an explanation of why YOU don't like abortion; it doesn't explain why there's an ongoing issue.

      February 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  8. Rob

    If we outlaw abortion we would have to ensure that those kids that we force to be born will be cared for, fed, provided medical coverage, etc... so we would have to ensure that we raise taxes (you mean this wouldn't be for free?) to cover all of that – of course, we would then see the Pro-Life movement become the "Pro-Birth" movement as they would say that it isn't their problem once the child is out of the womb.

    However, lets be honest if you want to force something to happen then you have to take some responsibility for the outcome.

    Further, if abortion is outlawed have the guts to prosecute not just the doctor but the mother also for 1st Degree Murder and the father if he gave consent as an Accessory to Murder – don't just wimp out and prosecute only the doctor.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Oakspar

      Is that not the argument from Swift's "A Modest Proposal"? That the cost of feeding and rearing children being so great that if the government cannot step in it would be better to roast and eat the babies – a horror so shocking he was imprisoned for saying it.

      You cannot abort your way to prosperity – because life is a function of production. Abortion consumes resources to prevent the consumption of resources that would otherwise produce a person whose life production would dwarf that consumption. It is like paying someone $10 to stop you from investing $100 so that you have $90 of profit now instead of over $100 in the future.

      You can argue that aborting eugenically (handicapped children, poor parents, etc) might be stopping bad investments that would never return their cost of raising to society – but those are always red herrings – and eugenics has a shady past of its own to answer for.

      Society euthanizing the elderly, with or without consent, once they are no longer productive would be a more moral and more effective stance that arguing abortion for economic principles.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • momoya


      Your entire reply to Rob is a huge red herring. Rob's point was that if abortion is murder then you have to treat it as murder, and that will require a system of vice units and legal processing methods and so on and so on. Not only are you having to spend the resources to imprison women who seek abortions but the individuals that provide them. On top of that, society has to provide for all the additional individuals in the resulting population boom–once abortion is outlawed as murder.

      Nobody's talking about eating babies or killing old people. Don't litter the debate field with stupid strawmen; it's tacky.

      February 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • cactuslili

      Precisely, Rob. The pro lifers don't seem to mind imposing higher taxes on everyone in order to support the unwanted children who often end up on welfare. If they want all pregnancies to end in natural births, then let them support those children. Don't tell the rest of the taxpayers they have to abide by Christian beliefs and pay so much taxes to support children on welfare after the pro lifers successfully defend the right to life. My son just had his first child and would like to have another one, but he's worried he can't afford it. I don't think it's fair that he has to support so many unwanted children to the point that he cannot afford to have another one of his own. What's wrong with this picture?

      February 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  9. Dave

    Perhaps there is some common ground here. Maybe we could make progress on finding ways to make abortions less common, and to care for those who are highly vulnerable in our society.

    In a perfect world, there would never be a need for abortion on demand for other than strictly medical reasons, yet ours is not a perfect world. The paradox that our society seems to be this – conservatives need to do a better job of thinking through and communicating how a truly conservative position would impact outcomes, especially for the most vulnerable in society AND liberals need to do a better job of thinking through and communicating how a liberal position move outcomes from slavery (perpetual dependence on government) to liberty (the right for all citizens to life, liberty, and the ability to live according to one's own moral compas.

    At the end of the day, great nations are liberal enough to provide opportunities for people to work hard and live a life of purpose without being so liberal that those who choose to not work (as opposed to being unable to work) are given food, shelter, and medical care. There must be an available pathway to help those who seek to get off the doll make the transition while providing assurance that they will not be punished for finding work if they are later fired.

    There are arguments that can be made on both sides of the abortion argument. If both sides can agree on a common objective – to reduce the demand for abortions, maybe we can do something to make a difference in people's lives while we disagree over the larger issue.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • cactuslili

      Thank you for the voice of reason and compassion!

      February 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  10. errr

    If your to stupid to figure out how not to get pregnant you should get an abortion so as not to pass on your stupid gene's.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • justsaying

      You meant to say "you're," "too," and "genes." Maybe you should try to work on your own self intellectually before attacking others.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • errr

      oh no the self righteous grammar police are out again. This is a forum not a college paper sh– stain. Its kind of like texting, you dont worry about those kind of things. Unless your a self righteous sh– stain who should have been aborted.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • L

      "college paper"? Those things are taught in middle school, if not earlier.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • cactuslili

      I wish you'd learn to write English better before you call others stupid, but strangely enough, you do have a point! Oliver Wendell Holmes himself approved of eugenics in New England, which Hitler studied before starting his own brand of sterilization. We have to make a better effort, by both sides, to prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions, but women should still have the right to choose. If you believe abortion is murder and you murder the abortionist, two wrongs don't make a right and you are still guilty of murder.

      February 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  11. Vicky Tullman

    Wouldn't providing MORE access and availability of birth control be a good first start? Instead, the church that insists on virginity at all costs is more important than preventing abortions. My opinion is that if you don't believe in abortion.....DON'T HAVE ONE. But also, put your money where your mouth is and PREVENT them in the first place.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Bill

      Birth control (condoms, etc.) has been very available to the point that schools give them to their students, but that has not stopped unplanned pregnancies. Three-quarters of a million teens between 15 and 19 become pregnant each year, accounting for over 10% of ALL births each year. This is not about logic, it's teens doing what they want without thinking about the potential consequences because they know they can get an abortion and take care of it.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • momoya


      Ok, well at least you understand one situation in which somebody might want to kill another human. That's a step. The term "kill" is loaded because you wouldn't call it "killing" when a guy doesn't protect every single sperm–yet, it is destruction of human life. Now all you need to do is continue that line of reasoning into the arena where/when the sperm and egg have united. And by the way, people kill for other reasons to, not just for a greater good. All killing is essentially selfish. My country. My ideals. My god. Whatever.

      I'll not use "kill," but "eliminate." When a women eliminates a clump of living, human cells from a part of her body she is doing it because those cells are a part of her body that she doesn't want. Whether or not she considers that she is eliminating those cells for some greater good is irrelevant. They're her cells.

      The issue of when what organs develop and to what degree is irrelevant. What, once the kidneys are 60% and the heart 30% and the lungs 14.3204789% somehow that's when it's illegal?!?!? I have no interest in providing you a point at which it is wrong to "kill" a fetus because you don't know what to do with that information–as evidenced by your continued use of pejorative terms like "kill." Just pick a month that you might assume would be my answer and continue with your argument. You tell me when and why it's too late in the pregnancy for a woman to eliminate said cell-clump from her body, and make your point. I'm not going to play your game just because you claim it's the only one on laid out on the card table. It isn't.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • momoya

      @stay focused

      When do sperm and the egg cease to be human life?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • momoya

      Oops! A fetus becomes an individual "human" when it comes out of it's mother's body.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  12. DCadvocate

    As a member of this young generation you refer to as missing my millions of aborted companions, I respectfully disagree. I look at our world- the unemployment rates, the homeless rates, the drug addiction rates, the degradation we do to our environment, and I don't exactly wish we had millions more people in my generation to add to the problems. Thank God for abortion.

    Also, it might be time to open your eyes- on the college campuses I've been on, the vast majority of youths are pro-choice (including those who do not personally believe that abortion is moral but understand that they do not have the right to impose that belief onto the lives of others.) Plus, we are the people who are in our reproductive years- this is an issue that directly affects us. You'd be better off hoping that your elderly voters whose only lives are within the church hang on for a while longer than try to pin your hopes for an anti-abortion movement from the young people.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • momoya

      Not only that, but we have 7 billiion people on this rock that can only somewhat manage to feed 5 billion. The difference is currently being made up with fertilizers made from oil production that eventually kill the land on which they are used. We may live to see an age so crippled by overpopulation that abortions are standard and births very rare.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Mary

      I am also a member of that generation he speaks of. And I must disagree with you. While it is true the vast majority of people on college campuses are pro-choice, remember the bias that inherently entails. They haven't had kids. They've never nursed a newborn at the breast. They haven't had to sacrifice their sleep and sanity for a baby who one minute seems to be a squirming, crying annoyance, and the next is completely miraculous as he looks you in the eye, smiles and says "Hi." I used to be in that "I would never do it but I don't begrudge others" camp. I have since changed my tune.
      Abortion itself does not fit with other ethical determinations we agree upon within our society. We do not go speeding through school zones just because the kids should be in school. We don't drive drunk on a deserted road. Why? Because all of those actions have the possibility of killing someone. Neither pro-lifers nor pro-choicers know when life begins. In other segments of society, we have determined the ethical path to be the one of precaution. The one that avoids killing/maiming at all costs. And yet, when it comes to abortion we do not take this precaution. If someone showed me valid evidence that abortion was not eliminating a human life, I would be all for abortion. But no such evidence exists. In fact, babies in utero feel pain. Evidence exists to the contrary. I can not support other people possibly killing their children through abortion the same way I cannot support someone speeding through a school zone. Both are to dangerous and have the possibility of harm.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Mary

      Also, I object to the fatalistic notion that because the world is difficult today, we ought not add more "difficulty" to it. Because apparently human lives are the problem? Au contrare. The more people we have in this world, the more ideas we have. The more ideas we have the more likely it is we find the remedy for these 'difficulties.'

      I used to not want kids because I thought the world was going to hell in a hand basket. Then it occurred to me – who is going to change it then after I go? Who else but...my kids...in whom I can instill a love of all life, the planet, animals, and above all, human life. Because a life without a home is a homeless life. A home without a life inside is just echoing walls. Life trumps luxury any day in my book.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • momoya

      Mary, there is plenty of evidence out there for you to gather; why haven't you? An embryo is NOT a human life because of its complete dependence on another life. Your can still find abortion to be horrible, yet be in favor of others having the choice of what medical treatment to receive. You don/'t have to be pro-abortion to be pro-choice. Why do you want to take away another person's choice??

      Your analogy about driving through school zones is not appropriate because a bad scenario would be an unplanned accident. Abortions are intended; that's the purpose for everybody getting together in that room.

      As to humans being a solution to the world's problems: Yes, some humans have really great ideas, but not all. Yes, the human population is WAY, WAY out of balance, and so, humans are part of the problem. We don't have to bring our population under control, but eventually nature will do it for us by disease, starvation, or some other event that will wipe out billions of people.

      Making women carry to term does not mean that that person will have any good ideas; the good ideas are based on good nutrition and proper education. We can't offer good nutrition and proper education now, much less if every pregnancy delivers. You are thinking too locally and sentimentally. Look at the big picture. You can be anti-abortion, but don't be so arrogant as to take away medical rights from another individual; that's rude.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Mary

      Um, you don't need to school me on biology. I probably know a lot more about that than most. So if a life that is dependent on another life is not actually a life, then that means every infant ever isn't a life. So I guess it's okay to murder my newborn? Because he's pretty darn helpless unless I nurse him. He would sit around in his own poo all day if I didn't change him. My elderly father who has dementia. We should probably just get rid of him. He would forget to eat if I didn't remind him. He wouldn't be able to walk to the grocery store if I didn't push his wheelchair. People who depend on other people really aren't worthy of the term "life" are they? Wow.
      I have no desire to take away another person's choice. I want to give a person a choice. I want to give the baby the option of living if they desire. If they don't, they can miscarry (as 1/3 of all pregnancies do).
      The analogy is totally appropriate! How is an undesired pregnancy ever NOT an unplanned accident? Lol. Yes, abortions are intended elimination of a possible human life. My point being that the possible elimination of a human life is a risk not tolerated anywhere else in society.
      And you seem to think that unless we can assure that everyone has good ideas it's not worth the trouble of having them. Sure, lots of ideas in history have been stupid. But, not to get all kinderish on you, but those who don't try....don't succeed! The only sure way of failure is to not try.
      I'm not arrogant trying to take away another person's rights. I'm trying to give EVERYONE rights. Why can't the pregnant woman give up the baby to adoption? That at least gives the woman the CHOICE of keeping her baby, and the baby the CHOICE of living or miscarrying.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • momoya


      Oh, please! You know that there is a huge difference between a clump of cells and an elderly person with life's wisdom and vitality. Don't pull that crap; aren't you better than that? Cheese and rice. You have no idea how to state your position because you're too busy making silly, "Oees my gorsh, they wantin' to be killin' all kina pee-puhl what got a lil' sick or sumpum! Nex thang they be killin' da ole' folk for not da havin' enough of de life in 'em."

      Oh, and you kept stating how you didn't want to take away women's choice but give them choice, but you never got any further with it. Oh, yeah, you said you'd let them chose to carry the fetus to full term- Um, dumb, dumb, that's the choice that's the topic of the entire article. You're for giving women more choice but you don't say what that further choice is while you state that they have to carry their fetus to full term. So, you're not giving women choice, you're taking it away, and then you're so ridiculous as to claim you're giving a choice. Yeah, you're a typical pro-lifer, I give you that.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Believer

      Momoya since you do not believe that life begins at conception, at what point does life begin? When does the fetus become a human? And what are the factors that make it human?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • momoya


      Life doesn't begin at conception because life merely CONTINUES at conception. The sperm is alive; the egg is alive; when they combine at conception, they continue living but in a different manner.

      The issue isn't "life," as anti-abortionists claim; it's the "soul." Since science can't find the soul, and an individual has to have a well-working frontal cortex to assert that s/he has a soul (without providing proof), then it's a moot point anyway. It's wrong for believers to project their views about magical components of one species (human soul) onto the rest of society and claim to provide choice to women while taking it away. When pro-choice folks start talking like the pro-lifers, and the pro-choice side starts demanding that other women have abortions, then, and only then, will you people have an argument. Pro-choice doesn't project its views and force women to have abortions; pro-life DOES project its views and wishes to FORCE women to not have abortions. Pro-lifers support a rather arrogant and simple-minded view.

      February 8, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Believer

      Maybe you misheard me, when does it become a human life? When should it be illegal to kill? Because if you think about it without a soul all we are is just a bunch of cells.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • momoya


      As I said, human life merely continues at conception. Sperm is part of the human life; it's living when it leaves the body. The egg is human life regardless of conception. Perhaps you mean to ask about when "individuality" occurs, and that's a worthless debate that wouldn't get us anywhere.

      Society makes laws, not individuals. It doesn't matter what I think the law should be. What does matter, is people having control of their own body. You're not just a bunch of cells; you're an organism with a higher functioning brain. You don't have a soul. Soulless, as we are, we have the right to get rid of something living inside of us that we don't want living inside of us. It's a very simple concept. Why can't you understand it?

      February 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Believer

      Hold on did you say human life begins at conception? Also what is this brain that you speak of? O right more cells. Also the central nervous system forms in the third week of pregnancy. It is formed before most abortions are made. As for what I apparantly dont get, the thing I dont get is how someone could kill a human life on purpose, as you said conception is the continuation of humans. Which means that the fetus, which has all of the organs, including gender specific organs, is also the continuation of human life.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • momoya

      No, I did not say that life begins at conception; I said that it continues at conception. When the central nervous system forms is irrelevant. You don't understand how a person can kill a human life? Really? So you don't understand why soldiers kill?

      Abortion isn't about your feelings on the matter or when you think a magical body part (soul) infuses the fetus. Abortion is about women removing a part of their body because they don't want that part of their body.

      Fetuses develop their organs at different time, and again, that's irrelevant. Male fetuses have an open v.agi.na for the first few months. Sperm is a continuation of human life; the egg is a continuation of human life; why not argue for every sperm and egg? Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean you should try to stop others who do understand it. Why would you want to force women to carry fetuses to term against their will? Nobody is suggesting we force abortions against a woman's will.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Believer

      I understand why a soldier kills, it is for a cause a belief that is greater than oneself. He kills to defend himself his companions and his nation back home.
      The issue of organs is very important because you still have not answered the big question, at what point is it wrong to kill the continuation of human life, which we both agree continues with the sper.m and egg and why is it at that point and not before?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • momoya

      @Believer (posted on wrong post above)

      Ok, well at least you understand one situation in which somebody might want to kill another human. That's a step. The term "kill" is loaded because you wouldn't call it "killing" when a guy doesn't protect every single sperm–yet, it is destruction of human life. Now all you need to do is continue that line of reasoning into the arena where/when the sperm and egg have united. And by the way, people kill for other reasons to, not just for a greater good. All killing is essentially selfish. My country. My ideals. My god. Whatever.

      I'll not use "kill," but "eliminate." When a women eliminates a clump of living, human cells from a part of her body she is doing it because those cells are a part of her body that she doesn't want. Whether or not she considers that she is eliminating those cells for some greater good is irrelevant. They're her cells.

      The issue of when what organs develop and to what degree is irrelevant. What, once the kidneys are 60% and the heart 30% and the lungs 14.3204789% somehow that's when it's illegal?!?!? I have no interest in providing you a point at which it is wrong to "kill" a fetus because you don't know what to do with that information–as evidenced by your continued use of pejorative terms like "kill." Just pick a month that you might assume would be my answer and continue with your argument. You tell me when and why it's too late in the pregnancy for a woman to eliminate said cell-clump from her body, and make your point. I'm not going to play your game just because you claim it's the only one on laid out on the card table. It isn't.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • stay focused

      @believer ... good work ... though momoya will never answer you because once she does she will have to relent that she is making an indiscriminate observation. Her insistence that human life "continues" at conception is ridiculous. Human life doesn't happen until an egg is fertilized. Her made up science shows just how ignorant she and most of the pro-abort crowd is on this topic. They try to drag religion into it. Then they dispute scientific fact to support their faulty logic. It's sad really. So sad. People have lost the art of reason and logic.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • stay focused

      told you ... "I'm not going to play that game" ... because it's one she can't win. Typical response. Very well. Off to ignorance and assuage my conscience land with you. You go "eliminate" some cell clumps ... but if it was just "cell clumps", why has every woman I've ever met who's had an abortion express great pain and sorrow and lament over killing their unborn baby rather than feeling like they just clipped their nails? I mean, it's just a clump of cells, right?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • momoya

      @stay focused

      When do the sperm and egg cease to be human life? Is it during ejaculation or what?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Believer

      Ok so lets use the word eliminate. Im completly fine with the sper.m that dont fertilize an egg because that is natural, failure happens. What I am not ok with is when we eliminate the human life, which at that point is a cluster of cells. I also disagree with your argument that those cells are hers, they are the babies which is hers. The baby is hers so she can do whatever she wants with it. We both agree that eliminating a child is wrong why does it matter if it is still in the womb or not.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • momoya

      @ stayfocused

      It might have to do with the sort of women you hang out with. Of all the women I've known who've had an abortion, not a single one has expressed pain or sorrow. They're quite happy, well-adjusted individuals without much guilt at all. Yes, it's just a clump of cells, they just grow in a different pattern than nail keratin.

      Oh, and my well-written and thoughtful posts are evidence that I am "playing the game" with believer, I'm just not playing the game of accepting his ridiculous terms. If Believer wants to claim that abortion is wrong at a certain date then he should just come out and explain himself. I'm not the one saying abortion is wrong, he is. Do you understand, now?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • momoya


      You have no problem with human-life-sperm being "killed" eliminated; I have no problem with human-life-sperm-egg being "eliminated" killed. Now do you get it?

      Whether or not you agree with my argument is irrelevant. The cells inside a person's body and dependent upon a person's body are owned by that person. You can't dictate what a person can do with their insides. That's why it matters whether or not the cells are inside or outside the body. Now do you get it?

      In these posts, you keep talking about your opinion ("fine with the sperm that doesnt..."), and you keep wanting to know when I think a certain thing is right or wrong. The law isn't up to either of us, it's up to society. Why can't you defend your position without commenting on what you would do if you were king?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Believer

      I am saying my opinion as if I was not a king, I am just trying to show how its morally wrong, not trying to force anybody to do anything.
      I am ok when sperm die naturally, not when someone intervenes and purposefully eliminates it.
      As for being dependant on someone else and that someone else gets to decide, well we are all dependant arent we? Even when we are born we rely on our mothers for nutrients and sap our parents out of money for food and clothes. In todays world we are dependant on the power companies, on farmers and hunters for food. We are all a very dependant people and we wouldnt take to kindly if those people we depend on just cut us off and killed us.
      Also the cells growing as a fetus are not the woman's like her skin cells are. They belong to another person who we are eliminating so we do not see the person they could have been and the guilt is lessened. Saying that those fetuses are the womens because they are in her is like saying we are our houses people because we live in it.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Believer

      O and as for me claiming that abortion is wrong at certain dates, I am claiming it is wrong at all dates. I am asking you based on your beliefs where is the line between abortion being ok and when does it start eliminating children. When does it stop being eliminating a fetus, and moves up to eliminating children. When does your fetus become a child?

      February 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • momoya


      Yes, but your opinion isn't important to proving immorality. Prove immorality, if that's your objective.

      Of course we are all dependent on others. That's irrelevant. It's when something INSIDE YOUR BODY is dependent upon what you do with your body. Abortion is about what happens in the womb; why are you bringing up other scenarios?

      Can you really not see the flaws in your logic when you say: "Saying that those fetuses are the womens because they are in her is like saying we are our houses people because we live in it."

      Maybe you can't. Houses aren't alive and don't procreate. Does that help?

      As for your question about when a fetus becomes a child, I go with the medical facts: A fetus is a fetus until it comes out of it's mother's body.
      As to when it becomes a "child," I'll leave that up to the mother and father as I consider that to be a philosophical designation. For that matter, many religious people consider their "child" as existing before they even take any action to procreate.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Believer

      Maybe you can't. Houses aren't alive and don't procreate. Does that help?
      Your right they dont, but people do and they should. It is a beautiful thing.
      As for your question about when a fetus becomes a child, I go with the medical facts: A fetus is a fetus until it comes out of it's mother's body.
      If thats your prerogative then go ahead and do it. As for me I believe that fetus is just a label on a human just like african or american. Thats all it is just a label and does not change the fact that he/she is a person.

      As to when it becomes a "child," I'll leave that up to the mother and father as I consider that to be a philosophical designation. For that matter, many religious people consider their "child" as existing before they even take any action to procreate.
      Dont you do the same by saying it is a living human as a sperm or an egg? Also dont you see how slippery this slope that you are walking on is? By saying it is up to the parents then a parent could kill a 6 month old and just say I diddnt see it as a child/ human because of various reasons like he is dependant on my income etc...

      February 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • momoya


      Yes, it is my prerogative, as allowed by law and our society. Again, it just comes down to "As for me..." Why is your opinion important. I thought you were arguing that abortion is immoral, not your opinion.

      "Fetus" is NOT just another label, it is a medical term. I'm sorry you don't like that medical designation. You calling a fetus a "person," doesn't say anything about the supposed immorality of abortion.

      You were the one all caught up on when human life begins, not me. It's not a "slippery slope," because there's a physical barrier in place–the body. In the body, you can get rid of it; out of the body, you can't. Extremely simple. A baby is outside the body and therefore not a part of the mother. The only slippery slope here is the one you keep drawing in the air with your finger; every time I ask you to slide around on it in order to prove that it's not just in your mind, you can't, you just move your finger through the air again.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Believer

      It is immoral, but you are free to bee immoral if you want to just like I am. That is the beauty of free will. Just because we have differing opinions does not mean that there is no higher moral law.

      As for in the body and out of it that would be a good line, if thats the way the government saw it. Abortion is illegal during the third trimester, even though it is still in the womens body. Also medical terms are labels, we see something we label it. Everything is a label.

      In this we are just going to have to agree to disagree, we both said that it is human life the entire time, I say its wrong to eliminate that life you say it is ok to eliminate life if thats the womans prerogative.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • momoya

      It's immoral according to your religious values; why force others to act according to your morals? If there's a higher moral law you can prove it. Until then people have to decide according to their own conscience–not YOUR conscience.

      Yep, it's all labels. You've got it. It only makes sense to have different names for different states and environments. A fetus is inside the mother and hooked in for sustenance. A baby is outside the mother and not hooked in for sustenance.

      No, you say that microscopic human life is worthless in sperm and sacred when combined with a different type of cell a couple inches away. No wonder you have slippery slope mentality.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Believer

      What I meant with the labels is that they dont explain things, you have to look deeper than that?
      And as for me not caring about the sperm just because they diddnt reach the egg, I do care its just not immoral because it is 100% natural that they diddnt make it. However you say that human life is sacred when it is out in the open, out of the womb but it is not sacred when it is just inside of it by inches.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  13. Nother-Son-'O-Ursus

    It's so simple, really: We humans know the neaderthals want to control our rights to decide health cre as we see fit!
    There is NO legal issue here; It's a bad theology issue, and because I DON'T subscribe to the religions in question, I am EXEMPT fom following the the 'pray, pay & obey piety-brigade'.

    If I were harrassed by these hypocritical, war-promoting anti-abortionista's, I'd merely sue them on 'relgious-hate-crimes' grounds, as my pagan belief leaves ALL failed culture war issues up to me!
    I's surprised soemonehasn't done that already!

    February 7, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  14. erussell

    I'm all for free abortions for all registered Democrats. Heck, i'll even agree to pay higher taxes to ensure they can't pro create.

    February 7, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • Mirosal

      What about those who are "independent" or 3rd party?

      February 7, 2012 at 3:10 am |
  15. Anna

    Most pro-life people I know consider the life of all fetuses to be equal. Which is a wonderful concept, and in God's eyes, surely true. However, everyone I know who is pro-choice has parents who wanted them. Children raised in homes that are both unready and unwanting of the responsibilities that come with raising a child, are placed at a disadvantage so severe it is near incomprehensible- particularly if their mother did drugs while pregnant. Call me cynical, but it seems to me pro-life advocates only care about the child's life until it is born.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Anna

      Correction ***However, everyone I know who is pro-life has parents who wanted them.***

      February 7, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Chris

      We should spare those children who are "unwanted" future suffering by killing them in the womb? Surely we can do better.

      February 7, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Jo

      Unfortunately, we cannot. Abortion is not about the child being born, it is about the woman receiving it. Many cannot support a child upon birth much less find an alternative home and support. Therefore, the real issue is who is going to take in all of these unwanted children as opposed to canceling their births. Would you take them all in?

      February 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Becky Root

      Yes, once that all too valuable life is born, pro-lifers are fine to execute them 20 years later when shocked by their crimes.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  16. Missychelley

    All this debate over abortion misses the point. It isn't about a fetus; it's about whether a woman should be prevented from undergoing a medical procedure to remove something unwanted from her body. No one would question whether a cancerous tumor should be surgically excised. Why should they question whether a person who wishes to have an undesired fetus that will feed off the host body and cause pain, distension, and medical risk be removed through a process that is known to be fully effective and safer than waiting until it reaches a stage where it is expelled. If someone doesn't want to continue a pregnancy and suffer all the negatives associated with it, the allow that person their remedy.

    February 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • KatherineSoc

      wow you compare a child in the womb with a cancerous tumor..

      February 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • momoya

      @Katherine Sock Why beg off on that stumbling block? You're not going to let one disagreed-upon analogy hinder you from understanding the points Missychilly made, are you?

      February 6, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • momoya

      Opps! "Missychelley," I should have typed.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  17. To each its own

    Pro Lifers have decided live and let live, let life be protected!

    Pro Choicers have decided they don't care about life, let them be snipped!

    S e x is not only about recreation but also about procreation/responsibility.

    February 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Bob


      February 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Loose morals


      February 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Naughty Observer


      February 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  18. David

    Quite a contradiction for the liberals. They DON'T want government to dictate whether they can or cannot have an abortion but they DO want government to dictate whether they should buy health insurance. Which is it folks? More government or less?

    February 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • J.W

      Quite the contradiction for conservatives. The don't want the government to dictate if they should have health insurance but they do want them to dictate whether they can get an abortion.

      February 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Death Panels

      But only for people who think it's okay to force their religious world view on others. Even though the law says you are a human at 24 weeks that doesn't mean Christians have to stop growing up at that age...

      February 7, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  19. Rainy

    In NYS in 2009 45722 abortions were paid for by Medicaid. (vital statistics from NYS Dept of Health, obtainable on line)
    For those of us who believe that the right of choice should be made before the embroyo, fetus, or child is ripped apart; the cost to the taxpayers pales in the destruction of the innocents. We don't go into nursing homes and determine who is inconvenient and destroy their lives. We fought a war in the 1940's against mad men/women who played god and determined who had the right to live and die. The helpless and vulnerable need to be protected and aided.

    February 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • CB

      And had those 45,722 babies been born in 2009, there would be 45,722 more people that tax money would pay for to live, as clearly the parents were financially unable to support the estimated $10K per year cost to sufficiently raise a child if they were using Medicaid to pay for their heath care procedures. So if taxpayer money is your concern, I think you've got it wrong.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:07 am |
  20. Dado

    The best solution is this- let anyone who wish to abort their babies, do their thing and make sure those who are against abortion will have nothing to do with it.

    Meaning any pro-lifers can rest assured their taxes are not used to pay for abortion. Perhaps, people can identify themselves as pro-abortion or anti abortion in filing taxes, and therefore only taxpayers who fund abortion can claim government aid for the procedure. Isn't that fair?

    February 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Dado

      Three categories of people in the society- pro abortion, anti abortion, and those who don't care. In time, the outcome is predictable One of these types will be extinct in due time.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • CB

      I am pro-choice, but that doesn't mean I have any intention of ever getting an abortion. It just means that I don't believe anyone should dictate what a woman does with her body. Doesn't mean I like abortion, just means I support freedom of choice.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • cactuslili

      Yes, Dado. And if the pro lifers are so adamant about every fetus coming to birth, then they can absorb the costs for many of those unwanted children in their taxes. Leave the pro choicers out of it. I'm with CB. I've never had an abortion, but I did have many friends who did. I have to say, it seemed to be the best thing. They didn't want the children, they weren't in positions to raise them financially, they weren't married or in supportive relationships, and they didn't want to go through pregnancy. Religious issues aside, I think they made the right choice.

      February 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.