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posted: 12/10/2011 5:00 AM

'Potential' life argument is nonsense

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In reply to the Dec. 1 letter to the editor "Abortion about ending potential life" from Theodore M. Utchen: Mr. Utchen wrote that a fetus in the womb is a "potential human being" and "an abortion does end the future existence of a potential human being."

First of all, the human being does, in fact, exist already, so it is nonsense to speak of a future existence. And secondly, as he himself attests, the fetus is human so I submit that if it is murder to kill a human being then, by definition, abortion is murder.

He also uses "independent" as a criteria of a life worthy of being allowed to exist. So does he then believe that people who are not "independent" such as the profoundly physically or mentally disabled and the very elderly unable to care for themselves, should have their lives terminated? After all, their lives have no more "potential."

The most interesting thing Mr. Utchen says is that "ending potentiality is not as serious an offense as terminating actuality". So he agrees that abortion is an offense after all. So perhaps we should consider it as manslaughter then, not murder? Where then are the penalties for that?

Mr. Utchen's arguments are dangerously flawed. I challenge him and anyone else who sees nothing wrong with abortion to open their eyes and realize that from the moment of conception there is a unique human being alive in it's mother's womb.

I challenge them to view videos and photographs of body parts of aborted "potential human beings" -- arms and legs, heads, fingers and toes, and then come back and convince me that fetuses are not human beings.

Patricia Racklyeft


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