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Thomas Brenner, Fargo, Published August 02 2013

Letter: The woman should be only one making decisions for herself

After reading the opinion section Sunday (July 28), I had to write a reply to the letter about a human’s life ending as the heart stops beating.

The argument was that since a life stops when the heart stops, life should start with a heartbeat. “From the time our heart starts beating to the time it stops, we are the same person” the letter said.

I would disagree. I believe life begins with conscious brain activity, such as a child’s first memories, because memories make us who we are. Anyone who has witnessed Alzheimer’s disease progress understands this. It’s the memories we build with people we love throughout life that makes us not disposed of so quickly.

In the case of an abortion, the child was never able to create a memorable memory of themselves or for their family members. I would argue that people are never the same – we are constantly changing as we make and record new memories. I also believe that people’s experiences create and shape their principles. Hence why everyone is different.

Abortion is a challenging issue because it does conflict with many people’s personal beliefs and principles. But since these are personal beliefs, why do they have to be imposed on everyone? Why can’t a woman decide whether an abortion is the right answer for herself? Why is it some people’s mission to save “human beings” whom they have no association or knowledge of? Why is it an unborn fetus, instead of a refugee, veteran, or starving child, since they have no associations or knowledge with these people, either?

I would not mind never seeing this issue discussed again – then attention could be switched to issues that are further up on the priority list. But I know that probably won’t happen within my lifetime.

I am 24 years old, and after studying exponential trends at college, I understand that overpopulation is looming and accurate thus far.

The idea that overpopulation would become a problem was first proposed by Thomas Malthus in 1798. He was a mathematician and reverend who believed that the exponential growth of humans would outpace the linear growth of food and resources supplied. Malthus’ ideas influenced Charles Darwin. I believe overpopulation is fact enough for our nation to be offering women the choice.

The woman should be the only one deciding what happens to her, and if she is not mature enough to make the decision, hopefully there are some loved ones there to help guide her.