IT’S JUST COMMON SENSE
A Purely Secular Argument Against Abortion

November 2002By George D. Mullen

George D. Mullen is vice president of a major Wall Street brokerage firm, as well as chairman of the political reform movement The CyberNation of Freedom (www. CyberNationofFreedom.com). He is author of the book Peace in the Middle East (Ican Press, 1994) and serves on the Board of Trustees of Serving Hands International, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that specializes in feeding the poor in northwestern Mexico. He can be reached at gdmullen@pacbell.net.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed…with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This one sentence clearly defines the spirit of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, one of the most influential documents in human history. This spirit of the Declaration is so important because it is what ushered in the current era of individual rights. In the 226 years since 1776 the injustices that have plagued mankind from its very beginning have largely crumbled before our eyes: most monarchies and dictatorships have collapsed and have been replaced by democracies, bills of rights have been enacted in most nations establishing individual rights such as freedom of speech, the institution of slavery has been nearly eradicated, and women have gained equality in the eyes of the law in many nations. New injustices have reared their heads since 1776, but most have crumbled as well due to their inconsistency with the spirit of the Declaration, most notably Nazism, Communism, and apartheid. The world is far from being a perfect place, but it certainly has come a long way with respect to individual rights since the 18th century. Yet despite all this progress there is one injustice, gravely at odds with the spirit of the Declaration, that has risen to notorious heights right before our eyes: ABORTION.

The Truth We Seek

We all recognize that the killing of human life is the most egregious wrong we could commit in society, because it is a clear violation of the inalienable right to life, where “inalienable right” is defined as a privilege that cannot be legitimately transferred, taken away, or surrendered. We also recognize that the inalienable right to life of a fellow human being will always supersede our secondary rights: liberty, privacy, freedom of choice, etc. After all, there is no liberty, privacy, or choice without life first. Our liberty, privacy, and choice end where the line of another life begins. Therefore, the issue as it pertains to abortion is not one of liberty, privacy, or choice, but solely one of when the human life form becomes a human life. Or, more succinctly, when does life begin? This is the “truth” we seek, and it is a “truth” that does exist, for physical human life certainly has both a beginning and an end. Once we know when life begins, we must henceforth agree that killing a human being after that point is homicide.

Belief, opinion, and viewpoint are of no importance when it comes to a question that has an answer, a “truth.” Belief, opinion, and viewpoint only have jurisdiction in subjective areas where no “truth” exists, such as electing a national leader, choosing an education system, or deciding upon the necessary number of police officers a community needs. Because the question of when life begins has an answer (a “truth”), opinions have no bearing or influence upon what that “truth” is — yet people erroneously act as if it does. “I think it is, therefore it is,” has unfortunately become the mantra of those willing to think their “beliefs” determine “truth.” However, just because a majority of individuals once believed the earth was flat did not make it the truth. Likewise, how many times have we heard people say, “I believe life begins at conception” or “My opinion is that life begins at three months” or “My viewpoint is that life begins at birth”? Life certainly begins at some given point, and no opinion or even majority opinion will determine the “truth” of when that point is.


You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.



Back to November 2002 Issue

Read our posting policy Add a comment
Be the first to comment on this story!