Natural Law and Women’s “Rights” to Abortion

The legalization of abortion violates natural law. Natural law “is a system of right or justice held to be common to all humans and derived from nature rather than from the rules of society, or positive law.” Originally, natural law described the laws inspired by the God found naturally in the all humans. There are now two other generally accepted forms of natural law theory: secular natural law and historical natural law. Secular natural law describes the physical, biological, and behavioral laws of nature as understood by human reason, while historical natural law says that tradition, past experiences, and customs defines natural law (The Free Dictionary).

Although all these forms of natural law have different bases, there are similarities throughout. One of these similarities is that they all condemn murder as wrong and unlawful. Despite agreement across the board on the unlawfulness of murder, abortion has been legalized. A fetus, though still in the womb, is a living human being, for from conception, the child is alive. To deny this fact is to deny that a newly germinated plant is living just because its sprout isn’t above ground. Furthermore, federal and state laws punishing the killing of bald eagle eggs demonstrate the obvious: that life starts at conception, not birth. A child in the womb is simply more dependent on its mother than a child who has been birthed. The child is completely helpless and vulnerable to the decisions of the parent. This position of power does not give a woman the right or freedom to kill her child, but rather puts the woman in a position of responsibility to care for and protect her child according to natural law.

Women have right to choose if they want to engage in sexual activity, knowing that the pregnancy is a possible consequence, but they do not have the right to kill another human being. No one has this right! For, “the killing of any person is a contradiction of natural law. [Therefore], the killing of an unborn child (who has not even the means of self-defense) is to be treated in the same way” (Family & Life). Instead, by legalizing abortions, we have taken away the right of the child to live in favor of convenience and the so-called rights of the woman. No matter what we deceive ourselves into believing, the natural law written on the hearts of all humanity tells us abortion is wrong, as murder is wrong.

References:

“COMMON ARGUMENTS ON ABORTION EXAMINED | Family & Life.” COMMON ARGUMENTS ON ABORTION EXAMINED | Family & Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2012. http://www.familyandlife.org/resources/faq/common-arguments-abortion-examined

“Natural Law.” TheFreeDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2012.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Natural+Law

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3 thoughts on “Natural Law and Women’s “Rights” to Abortion

  1. I agree with this position, and I have lived on both sides of the issue. Because God has written His law on our hearts, it is evident that humans suppress, avoid, and/or avert The Truth by denying the insidious nature of their actions. By guilt, second thoughts, or regret there is effect of “natural law” and evidence of its violation.

  2. I find your post fascinating in that the way in which you tied it into our class was through its relation to Natural Law. You began by defining Natural law as “a system of right or justice held to be common to all humans and derived from nature rather than from the rules of society, or positive law.” This quote states that natural laws should be a common sentiment “to all humans,” and yet the anti-abortion argument is far from a unanimous sentiment, or it would not be legal in many places, would it? Additionally, I feel that abortion, above all things, is derived from the rules of society, as opposed to nature. The very basis of the anti-abortion campaign in many cases is religious groups who believe that all life is valuable. Although this is an honorable cause, it is in fact a very social one. Religion is not a natural law, it is a social law, as it varies dramatically from group to group. The debate over the truth in the ability of a fetus to process thoughts is one that is very much undecided. Lets say that science discovers that in the early stages of a fetus, it does not have the capacity to process thoughts. It is merely a composition of non-thinking cells. In this case an abortion is essentially no different than a women’s monthly menstrual cycle. I would not categorize that as murder. But the truth is that we have yet to find evidence to confirm or contradict this fact, thus the argument on both sides will remain a social issue until science can tell us otherwise. Because there is no overarching sentiment, nor any concrete evidence to confirm that an early abortion is any different than a menstrual cycle (thus eradicating the murder argument), the legality of abortion simply cannot be defined as natural law, but instead is very much a social opinion.

  3. I completely agree with bellathorntonclark that abortion is a social construction. Interestingly you (jblake3) start out by defining secular natural law and the historical natural law, however, your entire analysis is rooted in a religious view of biology and the law. You posit that fetal rights are more important than the rights of the woman carrying the child and you very harshly persecute mothers who make the difficult decision to have an abortion. As far as I know, in history there are women who have created abortive methods for the children they unfortunately cannot take care of and I feel that is part of the historical natural law. These women have evolved to use these methods for survival. What do you then think of women who need an abortion because of medical conditions, are they also going to Hell? Also, what about girls who are 12 and did not know about safe sex and are not pregnant and will lose their way by having a child, should they also be condemned to a life to economic and intellectual poverty? What about rape victims, are they also evil for the act? I merely feel you should open up your views to other possibilities that could force a woman to make such a difficult decision and consider a more secular and historical reading of natural law in relation to women’s rights, their bodies and what they have done and do to ensure their survival.

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