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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Not all killing is abortion

Posted by Dan Blackman on 18 June 2013

You will hear the phrase "Abortion kills an Innocent child". Yes, an innocent child is killed, his or her life is terminated, extinguished. He or she ceases to be a living human being on this earth. He or she ends up dead.

However, abortion is more than just only a situation in which a child is killed, a moral wrong of the gravest kind. There are different types of killing - pulling up flowers or vegetables from the ground, killing germs, killing animals for food, killing in self-defence, accidental killing, the killing of a guilty person by a legitimate state (known as the death penalty). And then there is the deliberate killing of an innocent person, which we call murder.

You may have heard someone say that it's best to avoid saying "abortion is murder" as it's too inflammatory, it'll "put people off". However, morally speaking, abortion is murder, and it should be legally considered as such. In the UK we still retain the criminal offence of child destruction. We have the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which addresses crimes such as murder and manslaughter, and also includes the offence of attempting to procure an abortion. In the USA the then government passed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act 2004.  According to the pro-life organisation National Right to Life, there are currently 28 US states that recognise the unborn child as a victim of differing degrees of homicide and manslaughter. Yet to say that use of  the term "murder" should only be restricted to legal contexts would mean we couldn’t call all sorts of killings carried out the by the Nazis (or Stalinists, Maoists etc who were acting within their laws) ‘murders’ either – a morally obtuse position.

It seems fair to argue that some people are opposed to saying "abortion is murder" on tactical and oratorical  grounds - they don't want to put people off, or invoke a strong reaction from a listener. Perhaps it sounds a little too confrontational or even extreme. It might be upsetting to parents who have had an abortion. However, abortion is the murder of an innocent person, namely, the child in the womb.

Those prolifers who object to saying "abortion is murder" will often say that people who support abortion are deceptive in their choice of words and play word games that deliberately obscure the true nature of abortion. We hear phrases like "emptying the contents of the womb" and " gentle suction to remove the products of conception".

If a person refuses to and objects to saying "abortion is murder" there is a danger they will undermine the legitimate point they want to make against the deceptive use of language by abortion supporters. To some degree, they participate in the same obsfuscation they object to in others who do the same but to support abortion.

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