October 13, 2012

Horse 1377 - Abortion is Murder

Abortion is murder.

Story. End of.

No correspondence needs to be taken into, no argument needs to be formed; nothing more should be said on the subject. Unfortunately more is said, and quite loudly too.
Almost without exception, in every single debate or set of questions posed to a candidate for the US Presidency, someone will ask where the candidate in question stands on the subject of abortion. It's almost as though the state of the economy, the impending debt problem, the questions of unemployment and lack of basic healthcare fade into the background. This single question has the potential to make people jump up and down and holler until they're blue in the face.

On Thursday night American time (about lunchtime Friday in Australia) Joe Biden and Paul Ryan squared off   in a debate as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had done the week before; as with any Presidential or Vice-Presidential debate, the question was yet again asked.

Paul Ryan had this to say about the subject:
"All I’m saying is, if you believe that life begins at conception, that, therefore, doesn’t change the definition of life. That’s a principle. The policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother"
- Paul Ryan 11th Oct 2012

I think that that is a pretty solid sort of principle to be working with. There have been so many arguments when it comes to the issue of abortion as to when a "group of cells" is human or not. Is it even possible to make an empirical judgment? If it is not, then logically Paul Ryan's position that life begins at conception is the only logical one to take; this is what makes Paul Ryan's comment so poignant.

If we expand our scope beyond the borders of the United States, it is worth having a look at the legal framework which we find ourselves operating in. Two of the purposes of the law are to act as a safeguard and as a standard; once you set up the standard you can then start making empirical judgments based on that standard.
If we are to be talking about an international standard, we'd need to find what international law says about such an issue; fortunately this has already been established.

In November of 1989 the United Nations opened the Convention on the Rights of the Child for signature and by September of 1990 it had gained enough signatures to be ratified and legally binding.
I find this particularly interesting:
"The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights."

As of the time of posting, there have been 193 countries to have signed the  Convention on the Rights of the Child but only 140 countries to have ratified it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the countries to have signed it but not to have ratified it is the United States. Personally I find it galling that the United States champions itself on human rights issues but refuses to ratify the vast majority of international conventions because of an arrogance which says that no international law should trump that of the United States; it is largely this reason that this debate exists in the United States at all. It should also not exist in Australia; the only reason it does is because of unconscionable people.

Take note of this from the preamble of the Convention on the Rights of the Child:
'Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth"'
- From the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Link: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm

I have read through the preliminary documents and it is obvious that the writers of the document assumed that there should be no legal difference between the rights of a child after or before they were born. For them there was to be no legal distinction drawn.
It is therefore safe to assume that the United Nations through the Convention on the Rights of the Child, has taken a legal position equal to that of Paul Ryan. If it is not even possible to make an empirical judgment as to when a  "group of cells" is human or not, then the clause "before as well as after birth" can only logically taken to mean that a "life begins at conception" and if this is true, then all of the rights that a child must also begin from that point.

If we look closer to home, we find that in New South Wales at least, the Crimes Act 1900 says in Sections 82 - 84 that if a woman herself or someone else either procures (s.84) or administers drugs (s.82 and s.83) or any instrument (s.82 and s.83) or other means to procure to abortion, they shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years. The very fact that it's mentioned in the Crimes Act 1900 means that it is a crime at law.
Link - http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/

The Crimes Act 1900 simply doesn't bother to deal with the issue at all. It simply states what is an is not a crime. The flipside to a negative, which is what the The Crimes Act 1900 is, is that there must be a corresponding right or freedom which is being defended.
In that respect, basically as far as the UN is concerned and the Crimes Act in NSW quite properly defends:
Article 6
1. States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
2. States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
Link :http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm

How can you suggest that  that every child has the inherent right to life and that the state should ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of a child if people are given the right to kill a child before they are born?
The fact that this debate even exists at all I just find abhorrent. The whole argument of "pro-choice" I see as a synonym for "pro-death" and "pro-murder". I don't frankly see how you can legally advance the cause of one person to kill another when that person who is unborn and has no choice whatsoever in the matter and who should be "entitled to special care and assistance," and have "appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth".
I challenge anyone to reply with any coherent argument against this, because I have looked into the abyss and have found nothing.

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