A Thought On Steve Jobs and Abortion

In the wake of Steve Jobs’ death, people reflecting on his vast legacy have been pointing out that he was adopted. His biological father was a Syrian immigrant who met his mother when they were both students. She became pregnant out of wedlock, and he wanted them to get married and keep the child, but her parents didn’t want her to marry a Muslim. So they split up, she had the baby alone, and he was placed for adoption by prior agreement between both his biological parents.

Now at the time, abortion was illegal, so it was not comparable to a situation today, where it is the widely preferred option. Nevertheless, people have speculated about what could have been and about what would have been lost. We wouldn’t have i-anything. We might not even have laptops or mouses. Aren’t we glad Steve’s mother put him up for adoption?

Yes, we are. But I think we should be careful here. Because I see this argument a lot: Just think of all the diseases that might have been cured, or the new inventions made, or this or that, if all the babies aborted in the last 30 years had been allowed to live. And there is truth to that argument. But should it be the only or even the main reason why we oppose abortion?

I don’t think so. I think we should oppose abortion simply because every unborn child is intrinsically valuable. It shouldn’t matter whether they grow up and, in the words of Saving Private Ryan, “cure some disease, or invent a longer-lasting light bulb, or something…” or not. It doesn’t matter if they’re disabled or healthy, retarded or mentally sound. It doesn’t matter if they invent the ipod or spend the rest of their life in the care of their parents because they’re never able to feed and dress themselves.

It isn’t wrong to speculate about what good millions of aborted infants may have done for the world. But it is worth recognizing that the loss of their lives should be considered enough of a loss all by itself.

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11 Comments

Filed under Faith and Culture

11 responses to “A Thought On Steve Jobs and Abortion

  1. quartet-man

    Of course murder is wrong and that SHOULD be enough. However, with some it doesn’t seem to be. To me, whatever we can do to get abortions to stop is good. If that means talking about what the baby might have done or what Jobs did do, the end result is lives might be spared. I liken it someone say to lose weight not because it is healthy or good, but because they want to look good or like a member of the opposite sex. Sure, they SHOULD do it for the better reason, but the end result is good even if they don’t. Now, ideally the “what’s in it for me” reason shouldn’t be needed., Just because God said so or it is the right thing to do should be enough. However, I would rather stop the abortions and then hope that later on I could get them to see it is wrong period and that each life is of value.

  2. I tend to agree that we should use a full arsenal of weapons against abortion. It is, in my view, the moral equivalent of slavery and the holocaust rolled into one.

    However, the argument of “what might have been” is one of the weakest arguments and should be used sparingly if at all.

    Based on statistics, it is more likely that a baby will grow up to be a criminal than a brilliant innovator like Steve Jobs. I don’t know the exact numbers, but there are certainly more negative outcomes than the extraordinary breakthrough geniuses.

    Therefore, it COULD be argued (percentage-wise) that based on the number of abortions, more crime has been prevented by them than potential cures/inventions/technological breakthroughs.

    I’m not arguing FOR abortion . . . just saying that there is an inherent flaw in this argument against it. Its logic is certainly a two-edged sword.

    • quartet-man

      I understand your point, but I don’t know how many would know or research percentages to refute the argument (meaning people considering abortions). Even so, I think the fact that it is a possibility could make a difference in some. Perhaps it should be used if other means don’t work because at that point, what does one have to lose?

      • Lydia

        Quartet-man, actually there was a rather infamous “research” article that came out exactly supporting the statistical point Nephos brought up. And a lot of times women considering abortions are in terrible situations and so they really are vulnerable to the idea that their baby has no hope, will be brought into a terrible situation, will end up being a criminal, etc. So I don’t think I’d tell a woman considering abortion, “Think of all the wonderful things your baby might grow up to do.” If she’s in a bad situation, she’d probably laugh that to scorn. Now, one thing we _can_ do more of is encourage women in crisis pregnancies to consider adoption. I’m a little perturbed by anecdotal information I’m getting that seems to indicate that crisis pregnancy workers are always assuming in conversation that the woman will keep the baby if she doesn’t abort: “You’ll make a great mother,” and so forth. I assume the intent is to get her to bond with the baby, but it could backfire: “I don’t _want_ to make a great mother. I know I _won’t_ make a great mother! I’m a drug addict, I have an abusive boyfriend, I should not bring a baby into this situation,” etc., etc. It seems that reminding the woman of the adoption option might bring more hope than anything else could in some crisis pregnancies.

  3. True story, S.G.Y., I once saw an “answer” to Tim Tebow’s supposed stance against abortion (which really wasn’t that strong anyway and I don’t even think I would have known it was against abortion if I hadn’t been told already) that was basically, “well, that’s great that Tim Tebow’s mother didn’t have an abortion. But her son turned out to be an awesome football player. What if he was some slob who lived in his mom’s basement and did nothing for the world.” I was disturbed by this because uhm, that slob is still a PERSON!!
    Great post!

  4. Good post! I agree that everybody, whether they make significant scientific discoveries or not, should live. The Bible says not to murder. But I don’t think it’s wrong to speculate on what the aborted babies could have done.

  5. Beth

    Yep. The longer I live, the more I understand how selfish I am and how inclined I am to judge the value of things according to how they help OR inconvenience ME. I can feel quite altruistic with many petty inconveniences, and serve other’s needs for a while, but let something land on me that threatens to thwart what I think are my basic needs or desires, and my altruism all but disappears. It’s my most tremendous battle in life, learning to die to myself. In reality, it’s everyone’s battle, and the point you made highlights that fact.

  6. mary

    To borrow from an old Monthy Python, ‘every sperm is sacred’. I love watching the BBC because I love humor and most American comedy goes to far. Of course, abortion is a tragedy and I think we should learn from our mistakes of making it legal and make it illegal. I know some who say any form of birth control is no better because it prevents birth but abortion ends life and that’s clearly murder.

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