“Well what about birth defects? Couldn’t abortion be justifiable when the fetus is deformed?” I don’t think a day goes by on college campuses during outreach that I don’t hear this objection. People don’t usually spend too much time pushing it after my initial question of, “So, is it okay to kill a person if they are born with defects?” Ultimately, like anything else in the pro-life debate, it comes down to the right to life, but let’s explore the faulty reasoning.
First of all, killing a person after birth on the basis of disability is morally wrong. So is the preborn a human being? Since we know from biology that the fetus is a unique human being, let’s consider abnormalities and disabilities. Sometimes these abnormalities are very severe, and sometimes they can be overcome. So in what case, whether severe or not, are we fit to judge whether a person deserves life or not? On what basis do we judge that a case is too severe? And why would this decision only be available before birth? Shouldn’t the parents be allowed to kill their disabled child after they are born and they know it’s too harsh a condition? Because if birth defects are a valid reason to kill a human being, than it should extend throughout that human being’s life. And if it is a valid reason, then they should be allowed to kill the baby regardless of the severity, even if that means the baby is only missing a couple of fingers, or is born blind. So who is the judge, jury, and executioner in this case? Perhaps a mother doesn’t want a baby with an extra toe. Perhaps a father wants to play baseball with his son who would be born with no arms. Are these valid reasons to end that child’s life, and if they are, why? Isn’t it therefore unjust that a mother or father doesn’t have the option to kill their disabled son or daughter they no longer want after they are born? Such a conclusion is immoral and inhumane.
Secondly, even in the most severe situations, situations that will result in the inevitable death of the child, it still isn’t justified. We ALL are going to die sometime, so just because someone is going to live a shorter life than the rest, isn’t that life worth living? Why should we take precious time from that child? Even in cases where the baby will die shortly after birth, is it therefore okay to kill that child and not give them every minute they were given in this life to live? Going by that same logic, anyone who will inevitably die, which is everyone, should be killed. You might say it’s about suffering, but I know of no one who hasn’t suffered to some degree. They deserve a fighting chance, and we should help them fight it. Shutting the door on them and saying they can’t make it might seem, to some people, the right thing to do, but it isn’t. Give them the chance they deserve, you’d be surprised at the outcome. Humans, we’re fighters, no matter what we’re born with, and I am continually surprised at what some people have overcome.
Thirdly, IF the child will only live for a short time, the only thing she will ever know is love. No neglect, no abuse, no mistreatment, no heartache. Just the loving embrace of her adoring parents. Some might buy the idea that ending this person's life is better than seeing them die, but nothing could be more compassionate than showing this child love in the short time they have to live. This baby is not being loved when they are sucked through a vacuum, or pulled apart by a pair of forceps. If she is going to die and nothing can save her, let it be in the arms of her loving parents, and not in the bottom of a dirty medical waste bag. She deserves better than abortion.
Humans, regardless of their imperfections and weaknesses, deserve life. It is often times the weak who humble those who are strong. It is the lowly who bring humility to the prideful. It is the “defective” who astound the qualified. It is my continued prayer that all children would be shown compassion and love in this society that worships pleasure and selfish desire. When we focus on accomplishment, money, and power, we often neglect those who couldn’t even dream of such things, but are often times the most joyous, the most passionate, the most creative human beings anyone has ever seen. Our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, became low for the iniquities and sins of us all, and yet many in our society see fit to kill the lowly instead of lend them our support and our compassion. Lord have mercy on this nation.