To the Editor:
The ignorant comments of Todd Akin regarding “legitimate rape” are only matched by the ill-informed opinion of anti-abortionists who equate a fetus to a child. Instead of viewing the abortion issue from the perspective of a fetus, we must view the moral issue from the perspective of a future child.
Morality demands that we prevent unnecessary pain and suffering in any person. However, a prerequisite for pain or suffering is consciousness. Every living thing will react to a stimulus, but lacking consciousness, a fetus cannot suffer any more than a chicken embryo in an egg.
Unlike a fetus, a child will be consciously aware of pain and suffering. Therefore, there is a moral obligation to only bring a child into this world when there is reasonable chance the child’s happiness will exceed his or her pain and suffering.
Such a moral obligation requires women who are emotionally, physically or economically unfit (such as drug addicts or persons with serious mental or physical incapacity) not to have children. Furthermore, it is immoral to bring a fetus to term with serious, incurable birth defects that will result in great pain and suffering.
On the other hand, it cannot be morally wrong to abort a fetus since no pain and suffering can occur to a pre-conscious fetus.
Since it is not known how long after birth that consciousness occurs, protecting a child from the moment of birth is a pragmatic law. Restricting abortion is forcing one’s religious dogma on everyone else.
Joseph L. Daleiden