Can Life Have A Conditional Definition?


In Florida, a man is facing charges and serious jail time after tricking his girlfriend into taking an abortion pill which resulted in the death of their unborn child.

“Prosecutors claim that John Andrew Welden, 28, switched the label on an abortion pill bottle to make it look like Amoxicillin, a common antibiotic,” reports The Blaze. “After the woman, identified as 26-year-old Remee Lee, took the drug, she purportedly miscarried.”

Lee wanted to keep the child, but Welden wanted her to have an abortion. So he tricked her into getting one without her knowledge. Welden could get life in prison if convicted under the Protection of Unborn Children Act.

What’s interesting about this case is that, had the idea for an abortion been Lee’s idea, there wouldn’t have been a crime. In other words, the legal protection for the life of the unborn child was conditional, hinging upon the mother’s opinion.

Because she wanted to keep the child, killing it was a crime punishable by life in prison. But if she hadn’t wanted the child, killing it would have been a legal abortion.

This politically-driven definition of abortion is problematic. How can one person’s personhood hinge on another person’s opinion? Is that not what we had under slavery, where some blacks were considered property while others were considered citizens, all hinging upon circumstance?

It seems to me that an unborn child is either a life, or it isn’t. Science tells us it is a life. The law, unfortunately, allows for a much more flexible definition.