The following is a post with response from the CARM discussion board on abortion with a person named Chad. The original post is in brown with CARM's response in green.
Tilk: Most pro-life advocates argue that abortion is the murder of children before they are born. Should there be ANY consideration of the quality of life for unwanted children. Consider this.
1) Legalized abortion leads to fewer "unwanted" babies being born, and 2) unwanted babies are more likely to suffer abuse and neglect and are therefore at an increased risk for criminal involvement later in life. The first assumption, that abortion reduces the number of unwanted children, is true virtually by definition. The second assumption, that unwanted children are at increased risk for criminal involvement, is supported by three decades of academic research. If one accepts these two assumptions, then a direct mechanism by which the legalization of abortion can reduce crime has been established.
Should society take unwanted children and bring them up using our taxes? I think the average cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years of age is approximately $190,000.00. As one who is against abortion and believe in the sanctity of life, would you consider increasing your taxes so that you could remove some of the burden from those of us who do not agree with you? Why? Why not?
Matt: First of all, you did not address whether or not the life in the womb is a child or not. You brushed that aside and then tried to show the advantages of killing babies in the womb.
Second, whether or not a baby is "unwanted" is irrelevant. Just because a human being is not wanted does not mean that the human being has no value or should be killed. In addition, there are huge numbers of families who are willing to adopt those "unwanted" babies. So, those babies are wanted--not unwanted.
If we were to follow your logic that unwanted babies are more likely to commit crimes in the future, then you are seeking to justify killing those babies due to the mere possibility of them committing a crime. Essentially, what you are advocating is killing people based upon what they might do--not what they have done.
You are correct that abortion reduces the number of unwanted children. Murder also reduces the number of unwanted people as does dropping a nuclear bomb on a city or poisoning the water supply, etc. If the reduction of unwanted people is the goal, then that opens us up for all kinds of genocide-type possibilities.
As far as academic research saying that criminal involvement is increased with unwanted children, does that academic research also tell us about the character of the people who would carelessly screw around, get pregnant, and have no qualms about killing a human life in the womb? It is that kind of attitude, and lack of character, that produces criminals. Those who value human life and seek to protect the weak and the innocent are far less likely to be involved in crime. Again, is the fact that the babies are unwanted the reason they are more inclined to be criminal, or is it because the parents of the children that would kill them have a poor moral basis on which to raise a child? The truth is that people need to start being more responsible for their own actions, their behavior, their children, and themselves, and stop blaming everyone else.
If you want a direct mechanism to reduce crime, then kill all people in ghettos, round up all gang members, all drug abusers, and kill them. If the support for killing is the reduction of crime, then why do you stop at babies? Is it because they cannot defend themselves and are easy targets; but the people in ghettos, the gang members, and the drug abusers would fight back? It is easy to kill the innocent and helpless, isn't it?
What we advocate as Christians is that adults behave responsibly and that they face the consequences of their actions. We advocate that society as a whole require this responsibility. We advocate that statistics and reasoning not be used to justify killing lest the Gestapo once again raise its ugly head and pronounce condemnation upon a people by accusing them of being parasitic, the source of problems, and unwanted.
If there is no value of life for the week and the innocent, especially those in the womb, then you lay the foundation for future murderous anarchy when despots who gain power use the same rationale to justify killing others.