Last week, 72-year-old Kermit Gosnell was charged with seven counts of murder, counts of conspiracy and criminal solicitation. The Philadelphia practitioner aborted fetuses that passed the state’s allowed limit, 24.5 weeks. If found guilty he could face the death penalty, according to a New York Times article.
But is abortion really murder? Is it the same as shooting or stabbing a man on the street? In those situations you understand the pain the shot or stabbed individual feels. You grieve for that person’s suffering, and the suffering of the inevitably affected family. You feel for the loss of life.
During an abortion, however, the family might suffer, but in most cases that same family sought out the abortion. Next is the grief for the sufferer—the loss of life. However, how much do you grieve the death of a cell, although that it is also technically a living thing. The difference, here is consciousness—can the fetus feel, and is it aware of its own life? So, does that child feel the scissor of Dr. Gosnell? Does it fear death or even know what life is?
Alex Garcia thinks abortion is the same as murder. “ No matter how you look at it, life is still being taken,” says the CCNY student. “I support abortion in rape cases, but other than that, an abortion should be considered murder whether it takes place before or after the 24 weeks.”
Student Lisbert Peralta agrees “In a sense it is equivalent to killing a person in cold blood,” she says. “I mean its a baby. I wouldn’t cry out bloody murder but I don’t find it right. Once you start seeing shape or form, its pretty hefty to kill it.”
Venus Escobar, also a CCNY student, offers an alternate opinion. “It is up to the girl that is pregnant with the baby, if she wants to have an abortion,” she says. “I don’t think that abortion should be considered as murder next to something like a shooting or stabbing. I don’t think it’s possible to know when a fetus is considered a child.”
Others feel torn. “Although you can see the figure,” says fellow student Phoebe Nguyen. “The fetus hasn’t fully developed, so for me it is not the same as murder, but is a difficult issue.”