# 1

Abortion is murder

This is a personal opinion that is not shared by the majority of people in western countries. Also, the anti-choice movement engages in semantic trickery when they falsely claim abortion is “murder”, or the fetus is a “baby” or “child.”

Murder is the killing of a person out of base motives, committed using insidious or cruel means. This has nothing to do with abortion. The fetus is not a person and does not have rights, according to international human rights agreements, Supreme Court precedents in various countries, and the constitutions of most western countries. In common law for criminal matters, the definition of a “person” is one who has been born alive.  Further, “fetus” is the correct term for a developing human in the womb, while “baby” and “child” refer to a born person. A fetus is completely dependent on a particular woman for its survival and is part of her body, while a baby is a separate individual.

Abortion is legal to at least some extent in almost every country, while murder is not legal in any country. Even in countries where abortion is strictly banned, the penalty for abortion is generally not as serious as for murder. For example, women and doctors in Ireland are subject to up to 14 years’ imprisonment, while the penalty for murder is life imprisonment.

The notion of fetal “personhood” has been taken to alarming extremes in the United States with the passage of “feticide statutes” in about 35 states that criminalize the wrongful death of fetuses in the womb. These laws have been primarily used to prosecute hundreds of pregnant women, even though anti-choice Americans claim they don’t want to punish women – instead they see women as ‘victims’ of abortion. But if abortion is “murder” it must mean that women are “murderers.” The anti-choice view reveals that either they don’t believe that abortion is murder, or they have a paternalistic view of women as incapable of moral decision-making, so like young children, they cannot be held responsible.



Center for Reproductive Rights, Who’s Right to Life?

Wikipedia, Abortion in the Republic of Ireland

National Advocates for Pregnant Women (U.S.), Punishment of Pregnant Women