How is Selzez a Philosopher, as well as, a Doctor?
Abortion is a tremendous issue in our society today. As well as the article “Abortion” by Selzer, I have also read Mortal Lessons, a book he had also written. Selzer is an author who wrote in order to describe “unsparingly the surgeon’s art, opening up the body to view one part at a time.” The article “Abortion” classifies him as a doctor, but the way in which he writes makes him a philosopher as well. Selzer not only writes about the physical aspects of surgery, but also the emotional and psychological sides that agree with it.
In the essay “Abortion”, Selzer took presence during an abortion procedure: “I am present because I asked to be present. I wanted to see what I have never seen (p. 280).” What he had never seen before was something that shocked and amazed him. He though he saw the fetus “struggling against the needle (281)” trying to get away from it. He observed that the needle inside the woman’s stomach was moving and believed that to be the fetus fighting against what it instinctively knew as death. These observations, in my eyes, make him a philosopher. He not only thinks about the woman having the abortion but also the fetus that is being aborted. He links the physical act with emotions and psychological aspects, which make him think differently than other surgeons.
To have an abortion at all, I personally do not agree with. However, there are certain extents in which I think are right to have an abortion, such as being rapped. It is true that after anyone is violated in that way, no one is going to want to carry around a rapist’s baby to remind you of how you were abused. This is one way that I think is acceptable to have an abortion. To have an abortion because you are not responsible enough to use protection, that is you own ignorance. You should be mature enough to handle your own responsibility. It is not the fault of the fetus you are killing that should have to pay for your ignorance. Not only are you killing a living being, you are also effecting your own body as well. I have a friend, 21, that has already had four abortions. She does not use any form of birth control. She told me, “It doesn’t feel good when using a condom.” I told her there are other forms of birth control out there, such as the birth control pill. No, it is not a hundred percent accurate, but it is much better than having unprotected sex the way she does. She then answered me by telling me that she has tried but would always forget to take it. This, to me, is a form of irresponsibility. After having the last abortion, she called me up crying. She said that the doctor told her it is not healthy to have more than two abortions and by her having four already, he can predict one of two things. Either she will not be able to have children at all in the future or she will have complications becoming pregnant because of her weak uterus not being able to hold the baby. This may cause the death of the child as well as her life while having the baby.
Maybe it was the way my family raised me when I was a child that causes this to be such a sensitive subject to me. My mother always told, ” If you play with fire, you are going to get burned,” whenever the subject of sex came up in our conversation. We, however, have discussed that if I were ever to become pregnant because I was not responsible enough to use a condom or take birth control, she would not want me to have an abortion. If I were, she would not forgive me. Even if it meant having the baby and giving it up for adoption, she would still want me to have the baby. I cannot picture myself with a baby at this time, but she is right. By me having the baby would teach me to be more responsible in the future. I feel everyone must pay for his or her mistakes. Having an abortion is an easy way out that people use when they are not responsible enough to handle a situation such as this.
In conclusion, I feel Selzer is also against abortion. “I saw it. I saw. I felt– in that room, a pace away, life prodded, life fending off. I saw life avulsed– swept by flood, blackenedthen out (p. 283).” It seemed like he knew it was wrong but it was for a good cause. He knew the reason the woman was going through with this was because the woman wanted to decline the pain of childbirth and because it was not going to be able to be fed. My question is, “Why could she not have the baby and give it up for adoption?” Either way, in my opinion, she is going to feel an emptiness in her life, whether she is to have the baby and give it up, or like she did, go through with the abortion. Would she not rather have the baby and know that it was living a great life with a family that would take care of it, other than taking the life of her unborn child? Sometimes I wonder if people have a conscience or not.