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Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

Keeping a level head in the abortion debate

Recently, there’s been a whirlwind of abortion-related opinions on these pages (and our sidewalks). Honestly, it’s refreshing to see Mercer students actually care about controversial issues once in awhile. I figured I should jump into the fray and make a few compelling points.

1) When one says many wonderful friends or talented leaders were never born due to their abortion, they must remember that many murderers and criminals also never entered the world. This argument is bunk.

2) The pro-life moniker is inaccurate. No one is pro-death. Abortion rights proponents simply disagree on the definitions of life and personhood.

3) A person is not defined by a beating heart or functioning nervous system. Animals have those too, and we tend to eat them. While the definition of personhood is constantly debated, one criterion is consciousness (or the ability to regain consciousness, in the case of comatose patients with a reasonable chance of waking up).

4) The majority of abortions (96 percent or so) occur well before a fetus can even biologically qualify as a person. Twenty-two-ish weeks into the pregnancy might be a safe point to start restricting abortions, as the nervous system and higher brain activity can develop from there on.

5) Planned Parenthood self-reports that only 3 percent of their procedures are abortions, while the rest are health-related (cancer screenings, contraceptives, etc). No third-party statistics exist to confirm the organization’s claim, but I doubt the margin of error is enormous. Regardless, the defunding of the organization would be detrimental to the health of millions of women and men.

6) While religious folk are certainly entitled to believe personhood begins at conception, they cannot prove the existence of the soul using scientific methodology and therefore cannot impose their restrictions on others who do not share their beliefs. The United States is not a theocracy.

7) The Bible doesn’t say anything remotely clear about abortion. Seriously. Check with the Christianity department at any respected university. For obvious reasons, I’d trust scholars over assorted church pastors and pamphlets.

Boxes of chalk, along with comments on this opinion should be sent to


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