Destiny and Project: Abortion beyond the Womb

EssayAbortion
May 17, 2008

"Man is both destiny and a project."

The concept of living and dying, and indeed the line separating both, has become complex nowadays. Whereas in the ancient past, life and death were determined by whether one breathes or not, nowadays, an individual whose brain shuts down may be resuscitated back to life (Thomson, 2019). The differences become even more complicated when placed in the context of a fetus in its mother’s womb. The scientific community has not quite reached a consensus on when exactly life begins in the womb (Thomson, 2019). The fact of the matter is human life is not black and white which is why it is one of the most potent argumentative essay topics . Human life is not determined only by being alive—by breathing or self-awareness—but also by the possibilities of life—its potential ability to fulfill its destiny, which is deeply interconnected with everyone else’s in the world. What we are sure of, however, is when the potential for a new life is terminated—during an abortion. In this argumentative essay, the author argues against the legalization and morality of abortion . Abortion does not merely terminate the life of a growing human but, ultimately, terminates all possibilities not just for the child but for the entire world.

The main body, written following our guide on writing body paragraphs , centers on the quote saying “man is both destiny and a project.” What this quote implies is that what makes us human is not just our self-awareness or our ability for speech, as certain sciences propose, but also our potential for affecting the world around us. Man has a destiny that he/she is meant to do in their life but for this to happen since man is also a project, they must be given the opportunity to act toward their destiny. Included in the “project” is the culmination of actions done by the person and experiences with which he is enriched. The man’s own “project” is one that he defines. This is something that the hard sciences, or any field of study for that matter, cannot define.

Within the context of this discussion, determining whether an embryo is alive is much simpler than what the sciences offer. The fetus, though still inside its mother’s womb or perhaps in an incubator, is considered alive so long as it has the potential for life and fulfilling its destiny. An embryo should be considered alive as long as it has the ability to grow and survive inside its mother’s mouth for the first nine months and then, later on, outside. The only time an embryo or fetus should be considered deceased or dead is when the beneficial factors on which it relies must be rendered insufficient and detrimental so as to cause the eventual death of the growing child, such as in a miscarriage. In such a situation, it can be assumed that the child’s premature death is its destiny—even with the best efforts, it is beyond human control. The opposite, however, is true in abortion. In abortions, the child still has the capability to live but their life—and essentially, their destiny—is seized by external human control. When an embryo is aborted, its potential is terminated as well—the child is not given the chance to take action toward their destiny. 

Furthermore, abortion prevents a child from being a project. Every human child growing within the womb has not yet a chance to bring an impact on either himself or society. This ability to impact others and society is inherent in all human beings. Every action we make inevitably affects someone else and, therefore, brings us closer to fulfilling our destiny. However, this capability is annihilated by abortion since the child is terminated before it can even begin to make decisions for himself or herself. Without a project, man cannot be destiny. This argument is not about the child potentially curing cancer. Rather, this is about every human being having some impact on the world and history, no matter how inconsequential it may seem. Human life is valuable regardless of the magnitude of its contributions to society, so it is only right and just to give each life that opportunity.

The issue of abortion is not confined to the life of the mother or of the child alone but includes the rest of the world. As Heidegger (2010) explains, everything and being in the world is interconnected—even the smallest acts can have an impact on someone else or in the world. This is the nature of human life. So, to terminate a life before it has the chance to step into the world and impress any impact on it would gravely deprive the world of a multitude of possibilities of reality. Thus, in many ways, abortion limits the world of many possibilities. Such an impact should only be possible for human beings through living their lives, not by taking another, as is done in abortions. To abort a child is to strip it from the world, to isolate it from making its mark upon the world as the canvas of its project, rooted in the destiny in which it was born.

Pro-choice arguments focus on the right of a mother to make decisions for themselves and, in particular, their body. According to them, the woman’s life and her freedom to choose should take precedence over the potential life of an unborn child because the mother is already alive (Scarfone, 2020). They argue that, for most of these women who choose to have an abortion, this choice allows them the freedom to live their lives and fulfill goals they otherwise will not be able to do so with a child. This argument is quite similar to the argument presented above as it focuses on the individual’s potential as destiny and project. However, this is not sufficient to justify the termination of another life’s potential as destiny and project. 

Completing a pregnancy will not terminate the mother’s destiny. Naturally, should the pregnancy endanger the mother’s life, medical professionals are expected to do everything in their power to save both lives. It may even be said that parenthood is part of their destiny, a consequence of their actions. However, it will not prevent them from making a mark in the world. In contrast, abortion permanently terminates another life’s ability to do this. This is a rather unfair act toward a being who is yet to have a voice or agency.

Writings about the controversial issue of abortion should not be confined to concerns about the womb. While the mother is the primary stakeholder in a pregnancy, the unborn child also has a significant stake in it—their life literally depends on this pregnancy. It is important to remember in discussions pertaining to abortion that pregnancy is not the mere delivery of a child. Rather pregnancy carries with it a multitude of possibilities of reality that concerns not just the child but the world as a whole. As the thesis statement clearly states, abortion terminates all these possibilities, and to have it done over the whim of just one individual is unfair. Abortion deprives the child of the ability to be both project and destiny. It cannot fulfill its destiny if its life is disposed of before it is even given the chance at life. Likewise, the world is deprived of another being that is sure to impress a mark on it. In conclusion, abortion is not only disadvantageous to the unborn child but also to the world. 


References

Heidegger, M. (2010). Being and time. State University of New York Press. 

Thomson, H. (2019, November 20). Why the line between life and death is now more blurred than ever. NewScientist. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24432570-300-why-the-line-between-life-and-death-is-now-more-blurred-than-ever/ 

 Scarfone, M. (2020, September 23). If you're pro-life, you might already be pro-choice. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/if-youre-pro-life-you-might-already-be-pro-choice-146654

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