Abortion isn’t Murder, Obviously

If someone told you they’d gotten an abortion, no matter how anti-abortion you are, you’d get over it. You wouldn’t be so horrified and disgusted that you’d never recover from the shock of that knowledge. Particularly not if it was someone you knew who was telling you this, someone you care about, maybe love. You might disagree with their decision, might be a rancorous prick about it, but you’d forgive them. Not that they need your forgiveness, it’s not your damn business to begin with, but for the sake of your own self-righteous dickishness, you can say you’ve forgiven them.

If this same person told you that they’d killed their infant or child, the outcome would be radically different. You wouldn’t forgive or accept that. You wouldn’t be able to get over knowing that this person you know and care about and maybe love had strangled or poisoned or bludgeoned a little kid to death, their own kid at that.

There’s a great deal of rank hypocrisy among the anti-choice crowd. People who declare abortion to be a sin akin to murder become morally flexible when their teenage daughter gets knocked up or they impregnate their mistress. Their beliefs only hold so far as they don’t affect them and those they love personally. Hell, people in those positions will do every damn thing to facilitate an abortion. And they’ll square it with themselves, because whatever bullshit they spout, their conscience affirms that aborting a fetus is very different from murdering a child.

If you found out that your friend or mother or sister or girlfriend or wife had gotten an abortion, you’d get past it, no matter how anti-choice you are, because you love them. If you love them, and it’s what they needed, you may have or should have helped or supported them with it. If, however, they had an actual living child, and they decided to kill it, and you continued to love and support them, there’d be something wrong with you. You wouldn’t be able to get the image of them throttling that child out of your head. Not so with abortion, which involves no throttling and no child, just a routine medical procedure. Whatever you think you believe about right and wrong, and life and murder, you’d know the difference between choosing to not bring a new life into existence and violently removing one from it.

My mother had an abortion. Learning that didn’t come as too big of a surprise and didn’t change the way I think of her or my love for her. If, however, she’d told me she’d had another child before me, but had then decided she wasn’t ready to be a mother yet, and so drowned it in a bathroom sink, I’d be petrified and we may not be on speaking terms.

If my girlfriend told me that she’d had an abortion it wouldn’t make me want to be with her less. But if she told me that she’d given birth to a baby and then snapped its neck and dropped it in the trash, I’d block her number and maybe change my name and address.

People who get abortions and people who murder are radically different people. There is no comparison between them and no moral equivalency between the two acts. One is a mentally ill abomination and the other is an ordinary person. One of them did something horrible and unforgivable, and the other made a big decision that’s not really any of your damn business unless they choose to discuss it with you.

When one has an abortion, they are not killing anything. You cannot kill what is not yet alive. It is

not a baby or a person but the idea of them, and ideas cannot be killed, rather they do not come to fruition. They are not nurtured and so do not grow and do not become anything. It can be difficult to not let an idea grow, to choose not to let it, because it is not something you want or can make room for in your life, but that’s your choice, and it’s worlds away from choosing to murder.


Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store