human-fetus

Responding to claims that the unborn are “not human beings” and “not people”

For those who are pro-choice, there seem to be two main lines of argumentative thinking. Many believe that abortion is a right of the mother because the fetus is not a baby or, more specifically, not a human being. Others believe that the fetus is a human being but that, however, a fetus is not a person under the law, therefore the fetus does not have any rights. Both views are flawed.

“A Fetus Is Not a Human Being”

For many who are in favor of legal abortion, a zygote, an embryo, and a fetus are potential human beings, but not actual human beings. They argue this invalid point despite the fact that from the moment of fertilization, a fertilized egg has his or her own unique DNA, different from any other human being on the planet, with everything from eye color to sex already determined. According to a popular pro-choice brochure, A Fetus is Not a Baby:

A fetus is not yet a human being. It is nothing but a clump of cells with the potential to become a human being. It is ‘alive,’ but that is also true of all the other cells in a woman’s body. It has no life of its own yet. It is not yet a separate life from the life of the woman in whose uterus it is.

But a “human being” is defined as “any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens; a person, especially as distinguished from other animals or as representing the human species.” There isn’t a definition of “human being” that excludes the unborn.

Additionally, many pro-choicers refer to a fetus as a seed, often comparing fetuses to chicken eggs and acorns. A.S.K. wrote in What is an Abortion and Why Women Must Have the Right to Choose:

Is it true that a fetus is a form of life? Of course it is. It is made up of live cells, it is growing and processing energy, it has the capacity to mature and reproduce, it has a genetic system and so on.

Will an abortion destroy this form of life? Yes, absolutely.

Well then, isn’t an abortion killing another human being? No, absolutely not.

A fetus is not yet a human being. It is more like a seed or a sprout of a human being.

First, born children have the “capacity to mature and reproduce.” but they haven’t reached that stage of development yet. Does that make a 10-year-old less human? Second, unlike a zygote, an embryo, or a fetus, an acorn or any other seed is nothing like a human fetus. An acorn is more like a human egg. In order for the acorn to become a tree, germination must take place, just as in order for a human egg to become a human being, fertilization must take place. The comparison is therefore nonsense. As for the chicken egg, it is not a chicken, that’s true, just as a human egg is not a human being. After fertilization, a chicken egg becomes an unborn chicken and a human egg becomes an unborn human being.

It is all basic science, backed up in medical textbooks that include Moore and Persaud’s The Developing Human, Larsen’s Human Embryology, Carlson’s Human Embryology & Developmental Biology, and O’Rahilly and Mueller’s Human Embryology & Teratology. Robert George, M.D. had this to say in his book Embryo:

Human embryos, whether they are formed by fertilization (natural or in vitro) or by successful somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT — i.e., cloning), do have the internal resources and active disposition to develop themselves to the mature stage of a human organism, requiring only a suitable environment and nutrition. In fact, scientists distinguish embryos from other cells or clusters of cells precisely by their self-directed, integral functioning — their organismal behavior. Thus, human embryos are what the embryology textbooks say they are, namely, human organisms — living individuals of the human species — at the earliest developmental stage.

“A Fetus is Not a Person”

Science and advances in technology have been able to prove repeatedly that a fetus is in fact a separate life and a separate human being from his or her mother. A common pro-choice argument in response to this fact is that while the fetus is a human being, he or she is not legally a person and therefore is not entitled to the same rights that you and I enjoy – mainly the right to life.

This is an argument we’ve heard before. Walter B. Hoye writes the following:

 [T]he slaves were considered property, not people, and were treated as such. The killing of a slave was almost never regarded as murder, and the rape of slave women was treated as a form of trespassing […]

From 1815 to 1830, the American Colonization Society: ‘Free black in our country are … a contagion.’

In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court decided: ‘A negro of the African race was regarded … as an article of property … a subordinate and inferior class of being.’

In 1858, the Virginia Supreme Court decision declared: ‘In the eyes of the law … the slave is not a person.’

In 1867, Buckner Payne, Publisher: ‘The Negro is not a human being.’

In 1900, Professor Charles Carroll: ‘The negro is … one of the lower animals.’

In 1903 Dr. William English: ‘The negro race is … a heritage of organic and psychic debris.’

In 1909, Dr. E. T. Brady: ‘They [Negroes] are parasites.’

Human fetus at 7 weeks of development.

Sound familiar? Pro-choicers hurl similar statements about unborn human beings every day. Despite knowing that fetuses are human beings, pro-choicers simply don’t believe they are human beings who are persons deserving of rights under our laws. They say that deaths of fetuses don’t matter and are therefore not murder. They say that since fetuses are inside the womb, they are parasites. They believe that fetuses are just tissue and cells. It’s important to note that these are just the subjective opinions of pro-choicers, not facts, just as pro-slavery beliefs were just opinions. None of the arguments are based on facts.

Thankfully for African slaves, some Americans stood up for them and after decades of arguing and warfare, marches, and demonstrations, African-Americans finally received the rights that they deserve as human beings. It’s been over 35 years since Roe v. Wade, but we still have a long way to go to win the rights of unborn humans. But it will happen.

Fetuses are human beings – this we know. But until our government recognizes them as persons, the war against legal abortion will not be won.

  • Botany

    While I don’t agree with most of what you’re saying, I don’t see the point in arguing something that has already been beaten to death. However, I really must point out an error in your basic science: an acorn is actually much closer to a human zygote than to a human oocyte (“egg”). An acorn has already been fertilized through the process of pollination; that is to say, it has the genome necessary to become an entire oak tree, just as a zygote has the genome necessary to become a human being. A bunch of acorns falling to the ground and not germinating due to conditions is actually rather similar to, say, the many fertilized eggs that never implant in the uterine lining, thereby never growing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lilian.stoltzfus Lilian Stoltzfus

      Thanks for sharing. While you and I probably would disagree in regards to abortion, I think your acorn analogy with the zygotes that never implant is more accurate, so thanks for the correction. :)

    • Marcifranseen

      We are comparing human beings to trees and babies to acorns in finding a justification for abortion. It’s an illogical argument which the author is attempting to point out. No, acorns falling out of trees and not germinating because of natural environment issues is NOTHING like fertilized, dividing, developing human beings not implanting in the womb because of chemically induced environment issues or dismembering a baby in the womb piece by piece. When we cut down a tree we do not call it murder, when we cut down a person we do. If anything, this argument reveals just how little human life means in the abortion industry, no more than an acorn.

  • Gabriel Martin del Campo

    As Archbishop Fulton Sheen stated very simply and clearly: “lilies make lilies, elephants make elephants, and human beings make human beings.” Why is this so difficult to understand for some?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1532223150 facebook-1532223150

    Actually, there are some great points about a fetus being a person in the field of pre- and perinatal psychology. Dr. David Chamberlain. He wrote “Babies Remember Birth,” now updated and retitled “The Mind of Your Newborn Baby.” In it, he not only talks about them remembering things in their birth, but them remembering things in the womb, and their amazing capabilities in the womb. I believe it was him who said that babies are capable of memories in the womb, BEFORE there are brain cells present to account for these memories on a strictly physiological level! And these are memories that can be externally verified. As a student of midwifery, I have long been fascinated by his work and that of others like Suzanne Arms, Karen Strange, Joseph Chilton Pierce, Thomas Verny, Barbara Stephens, and others who have delved into the capabilities of the baby in the womb and the impact of prenatal experiences on the developing person. Then in January, I learned that I am actually an abortion survivor. Because of my years of study of pre- and perinatal psychology, I knew that the memories that I started recalling were real, and that those early experiences had impacted my entire life, though I only recently have been able to put it all together. I would love to speak to pro-life groups about the fascinating implications of this research, and of my own story, for pro-life endeavors.
    Thank you, Ms. Flanders, for this excellent piece.
    Sincerely,
    Terri LaPoint

    • Terri LaPoint

      you, as well as the doctor you reference, are full of shit. any “memories” obtained through the use of hypnosis must be taken with a grain of salt.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1532223150 facebook-1532223150

        Why is my name there? I did not write this. That is not me. It is not anything I would ever have said. The ABOVE comment, which I signed, is me.

    • G. Spring

      Babies might remember being in the womb, or even birth. I have no opinion about that. But the idea that you can have memories before there are brain cells is total rubbish. If your supposed evidence of this is “memories”, then you are really lost. Memories are among the worst kind of evidence there is, since it is easy to document that people frequently “remember” things that did not happen (see, for example, almost anything done by Elizabeth Loftus). “Memories” for something that we fairly well know to be impossible are not worth the time spent to relate them.

    • Jean McMunn

      I am Terri LaPoint’s mother and what she thinks are memories of her birth and about being an abortion survivor are just figments of her very fertile imagination. I had a very easy pregnancy. She was 3 days early after 17 hours of mild labor. She and I were both so healthy that after we were released from Kenosha Hospital, we went shopping with her grandmother to buy little pink things. 47 years ago, we had to wait until the baby was born to know whether our baby would be a boy or a girl. We were shopping Kenosha by the time Terri was 22 hours old. I was so happy that she was 3 days early because her Daddy and I were so anxious for her to be born. My mother rode a Greyhound bus from Florida to Wisconsin to be there a week early, just in case. My inlaws had given me money for a trunk load of baby necessities. There was probably never a more wanted or anticipated baby! Unfortunately, she was also very spoiled. She grew up to be a drama queen – literally. Terri’s “memories” are a lies. I have tried to get her to call or e-mail me but she will not – instead she says that I am avoiding her. Family members who know the truth have filled me in on a lot of what Terri is saying on facebook (where I am blocked) and other websites – like “Abortion Survivors”, Dr. Gina’s Radio program, etc. They know the truth and stand firmly behind me as we pray for Terri. Thank you for hearing my side of this story.
      Jean McMunn, mother of Terri LaPoint

      • facebook-10139152267

        thankfully, the family knows better than to believe you. the truth is something
        that you do not know and the family is fully aware of it even they do not let
        you know (it is just easier to avoid your hate.) hopefully you will find the
        truth someday. but in the meantime, those reading this should know that you have
        spent your life telling and then running from one lie or another. Terri was
        unfortunately subjected to your lies and to your hate as she grew up. Terri was,
        also, blessed to have her grandmother’s love and care as part of her upbringing
        so that she understood that life wasnt about the lies that your wove, the hate
        that you showed or the selfishness you often showed when you deserted your
        children for days, weeks and months at a time. Mother’s who actually want their
        children dont run off to have affairs with one or more people and shun contact
        with their children. I am sure that the point is made without saying more. The
        wonderful thing is that Terri has learned to forgive her mother even as she
        continues to deal with this.

        As for the e-mails and the other contact
        that you mention, you know that it is not a loving relationship you want. You
        want to send more vile and hate her way. You are blocked because of your hate
        and your lies that you continue to try spread. Those you mentioned that are “on
        your side” just ignore you. They have also chosen to not deal with the lies and
        the hate you spread. They may seem to “side” with you due to lack of feedback,
        but that is their choice to not have any further dealings with you.

        People are praying for you, Jean McMunn, they want YOU to know that you
        can accept the truth you have worked decades to bury. Nobody is praying for the
        other way around. Even if they let you assume that is the case. And if they are,
        then they have talked to nobody but you and do not know anyone else to find out
        the truth from. And while this may sound like a he said/she type of discussion.
        The facts of the way you led your life since before Terri was born never once
        prove your version of the story. They prove, time and time again, that your
        children were only annoyances to you for the most part. And that you tolerated
        them at best for most of their childhood. That you choose to leave and disappear
        more often than you didnt. Someday when you come before the Lord, you will have
        to account for this. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else believes. You
        will have to account for that someday. And hopefully, before that day, you will
        decide to come clean about reality as it was lived, not as you created, even if
        it is only to yourself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1532223150 facebook-1532223150

      Truth is a wonderful thing. I do not lie. I grew up with all kinds of lies, lies that were plain to everyone around. I chose to always tell the truth instead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.heeb.1 Alex Heebs

    Ah, the old “acorn and oak tree fallacy”. Pro-aborts have been spouting
    that logical fallacy ever since Judith Jarvis Thompson used it in her infamous 1971
    paper. And the fact that they haven’t been able to figure out something so simple in 41 years shows how little they’ve thought about it. The only reason it works is because acorn and oak are different words (which is funny too, because acorn comes from the German “eik-corn”. Eik is the German word for Oak. It doesn’t sound as cool when you say “an oak is not an oak seed”).

    “Second, unlike a zygote, an embryo, or a fetus, an acorn or any other
    seed is nothing like a human fetus. An acorn is more like a human egg.”

    Now, with all due respect, I think the author came close but didn’t quit hit the crux of the argument. The acorn seed is fertilized. When you pick one up off the ground, it has everything it needs to grow into a mature oak tree, just like a human embryo. So it is essentially a developmental stage of an oak, and us fickle humans have chosen made the distinction between oak and acorn because they have different uses for us. But make no mistake, they are the same entity, just at different developmental stages.

    In the same vein, when the pro-aborts say “a fetus isn’t a baby”, they might as well be saying “a baby isn’t a toddler”, because toddlers, babies, and fetuses are all developmental stages of the human being.

    So the next time a pro-abort gets on their “fetus isn’t baby” stump, tell them they are right. Then tell them personhood is not a developmental stage.

    • P.D.

      In the same vein, when the pro-aborts say “a fetus isn’t a baby”, they might as well be saying “a baby isn’t a toddler”, because toddlers, babies, and fetuses are all developmental stages of the human being.

      using this flawed logic sperm are developmental stages of a human too. yet you carelessly murder hundreds of thousands each day. and women who do not get pregnant every time they ovulate are just as guilty. this makes you a hypocrite…

      oh and by the way, its pro-choice, not pro-abortion…

      • Grace

        @P.D., No that isn’t the same logic at all. Sperm are not whole humans, they are human parts, just like human skin cells are parts of us. We are not killing humans when we kill our skin cells. But when two parts (human egg and human sperm) combine, a new and distinct whole human being is formed. A sperm will never develop into an adult human. It is a part. A fetus WILL develop into an adult human, because it already IS a younger human. The adult and the fetus me were the same human person.

        • Milks

          Sperm cells WILL also develop into an Adult human being when fertilized so you are still killing millions of unborn “Human” beings. Also the Adult you and Fetus you are completely different. a Fetus is a few tissues and cells put together in the shape of a human. However a Human being is an Advance structure created of complex Tissues and cells and thinking and feeling, so on and so forth. The distinction between the two are vastly different. You wouldn’t Feel bad cracking an egg over killing a live chicken. Same concept.

    • Basset_Hound

      Several weeks ago, I pulled a two inch oak tree out of my garden. Guess what I found on the bottom? The tree was coming out of a fully intact…..

  • Babylover

    Actually, an acorn is more like a human embryo than human egg because the egg cell of the tree has already been fertilized by one of the sperm cells in the pollen by the time the acorn is formed. “Germination” is just the term to describe the baby plant inside of the acorn finally coming out of dormancy. But nice job on the rest of the article.

  • Erin

    Well, if we want to get technical, a fetus really is just a clump of cells and tissue. The problem with this arguement is so is a fully grown adult. It’s just that the adult is a much bigger clump of cells and tissue.

  • Mr. Balance

    I agree with all your arguments, but in my personal experience, most women, even prochoice women, are not so much concerned with the personhood of the fetus but of the circumstances of their life. I’ve had more than one prochoice friend admit to me that abortion is the killing of a person, or at least a potential person, but factors ranging from an absentee father, health, lack of support from families, etc., are the things that make women choose abortion. I am a single dad and was amazed at how cruel my prochoice AND prolife friends, for the most part, were at first when i said my girlfriend and i were going to keep our baby but not get married until we decided the time was right (we never did, but we both just attended the high school graduation of our wonderful daughter). I pretty much have always opposed abortion but have found few women have them because of their stance on “personhood” and more for their stance on their own life. That’s why I always offer support to women who get in these situations. I’ve been there and understand how thoughtless people can be when you’re in a jam.

    • matt

      I don’t think being in a jam or not having a father present to help raise the child condones murder. If a baby that is born for whatever reason is a burden to, say, a single mom, she can’t legally murder her child. You can’t just kill your problems away, as convenient as that may seem. Not to mention the unborn baby is not at fault for having a dead beat father, so why kill him/her for his father’s shortcomings.

  • Bill Monteith

    If the pro-aborts could actually prove that a fertilized human egg could end up being anything else BUT a human being(for example:a spleen or a gall bladder), their argument might have a liitle standing, however since we all know that that is not possible, they are rendered quite pathetic and sad.

  • Arielle

    I can agree that a fetus is a human being but still I dont think that abortion or just like you say murdering the unborn is immoral.please tell me something, arent hundred of thousand of animals such as cows ,or fish and chicken murdered daily to feed you and other human beings so that you can continue to live? and please dont tell me that they dont feel pain,or they dont have souls.any person who ever had a dog or a cat can very much tell you animals do have souls just like us.and please dont tell me that humans are superior in any form to justify this murders.I am by no means a vegetarian and I believe that murder is a part of the nature.thats what predators do.hell many animals kill their newborns.that’ s the way for species to survive, and trust me ,without abortions and contraception the human race will go down a road that results in its own destruction.

    • Autumn

      My main issue with your argument is that murder is specific to the killing of human beings by other human beings. So dogs and cats and cows are not murdered, they are killed. Dogs and cats and cows cannot murder others, they can kill. If you are religious, murder is wrong, killing is not. If you are a member of the majority of societies, murder is wrong, killing in not. By saying that the murder of the unborn is okay, than why is the murder of any other stage of development not okay?

  • P.D.

    “But a “human being” is defined as “any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens; a person, especially as distinguished from other animals or as representing the human species.” There isn’t a definition of “human being” that excludes the unborn.”
    no definition of human being that excludes the unborn?? your own definition as quoted excludes the unborn. it says an INDIVIDUAL of the genus homo. individual is defined as “single, seperate”. the early stages of the unborn clearly do not fit this definition because they cannot be separated from their mother. they are still considered part of the mother’s body and she can do with it what she wishes. if they truly are separate than abortion wouldn’t be (as you claim) murder, because the separate life would be able to continue “living.” you go on to challenge this way of thinking by saying “Science and advances in technology have been able to prove repeatedly that a fetus is in fact a separate life and a separate human being from his or her mother.” but this statement is a logical fallacy. appeal to anonymous authority. look it up. until you cite a credible source for this the statement will remain untrue as written.

    • G. Spring

      I fail to see the relevance of separateness. Conjoined twins are not separate, yet we would not deny one consideration because she is attached to the other. In any case, all talk viability, of separateness, of supposed “definitions of human”, miss the point entirely I think. If you’re not talking about brains and consciousness and pain and joy and experience then you are not talking about what is relevant. Consider the conjoined twins again. Suppose one had no brain. Suppose she had a head and a torso and a heart and a lung and an arm, but where her brain should be is only fluid. Such things happen. We know, surely everyone here KNOWS, that THAT twin will not open up her eyes and talk. Not ever. There is NO DOUBT about this. None at all. So what do we do in this case? It’s clear. We do not make the twin with a brain carry around her brainless (brain dead) sibling. We separate them, allow the brainless one’s heart to stop, and dispose of that body. We make this distinction because we know that one thing with a head and arms and a heart can think and dream and make plans and feel pain and the other can not. That is the only distinction that matters. The fact that they are unique, that they have human DNA, that they look human does not matter in the slightest. Or, it matters only to us observers, who can’t help but project a person inside any head we see. But we know that the twin with only spinal fluid where the brain should be is not the one we should save.

  • G. Spring

    I see no mention in this article, or for that matter in the referred pro-abortion link, to the brain. It is very clear that the seat of personhood, of experience, knowledge, consciousness, the ability to experience joy or pain, is in the brain. Any discussion of what makes a person without discussing the brain is sure to miss the point entirely. No one has any interest in preserving any particular cell with any particular sequence of DNA. Why would you? Unique DNA combinations are nothing special. Having human DNA is nothing special. Cancer cells have human DNA and unique sequences. So do your freckles. What is special about people is our ability to experience the world, to have feelings, to think. No single cell, no matter it’s provenance, can do this. I would propose a very simple rule: no brains, no person. If something doesn’t have a brain it can not be a person in any sense that matters. The 7 week fetus shown here has a brain, a very incomplete and only partially wired brain, but it has one. I suspect the fetus’ brain is not capable of thought or of anything we would consider conscious awareness, but it has a brain of some sort, so maybe we ought to give it the benefit of the doubt. At least that would be a reasoned position and something I could get behind. That 7 week fetus might be a person, and so let’s err on caution. A blastocyst used for embryonic stem cell research has no neurons, no brain, and so no subjective experience, and so no personhood at all. That really IS just a clump of cells. Treating that as a person has no justification in science. I suppose perhaps some people imagine that some kind of “soul” is planted into a fertilized egg, and that this soul experiences pain, pleasure, etc. You are free to imagine such a thing, but that is a purely religious view and has no basis, none at all, in any kind of science. If that is someone’s view, I encourage them to promote it, but please be honest about it and don’t pretend that science told you that a blastocyst is a person. Science is pretty clear on personhood in the limit, and in the limit, no brain = no person.

  • Timichael Anger

    All I have to say is that a unborn fetus is a human, its a human being. Once it has a heart beat I consider it as a liveing human being, a baby. Once you was the same. Let me ask this, Would you like it to happen if it was your parents talking about giveing you up? Just ask your self that question and please respond to what i said.

  • Quo Vadis

    I have been finding more often then not that Pro-abortion people are agreeing with the fact that a fetus is human. They are arguing more from the standing of bodily autonomy. It’s all about residency. The babies right to life for so called pro choicers is were the child lives. The baby is within the woman’s body there for we can kill it. At this point the conversation more often then not turns towards God. And I am shot down for being a religious extremist who wants to push her religion on others. I really don’t think we can win the pro-life battle without God. But how do we reach those that don’t have any belief at all?

    • Tarses

      I’ve run up against this very same argument. One woman told me, “No one has the right to use another person’s body against that person’s will.” Of course, she ignored the fallacy of her argument that she is “using” another person’s body by deciding to kill that person by defaulting back to the argument this article illustrates — that “a fetus is not a person”. I think the only way to converse with this type of person is to logically make the argument that the unborn child is human and that even though that child is “using the mother’s body against her will”, that is no excuse to kill another human being. And then pray. The person will not let the argument sink in immediately but over time and with prayer, that message may gnaw at them because they’ll be working on fixing the illogic in their own argument, even if they won’t admit it on the spot.

      • lmanningok

        Quo Vadis and Tarses: As I am not religious, I do not follow biblical rules in my life. America’s legal system is founded on the Constitution, which provides rights for persons born, not conceived. However, if you believe in the god of Abraham and wish to follow his teachings, study Job 10:18-19. In it, Job laments to his god, “Why then have you brought me from my mother’s womb? I should have died there and no eye had seen me. It would have been as though I had not been (italics mine).” Modern English would translate Job 10 as, “Why was I ever born? I wish I’d died before anyone ever set eyes on me. Then I would never have existed.” It’s crystal clear: The bible teaches that we don’t even exist until we’ve been born.”

        And note that Job did not designate the time at which existence begins as being brought into his mother’s womb…but out of it. Also, the Bible continually refers to “the breath of life,” not the conception of life. Guess when we take our first breath. Thus the Old Testament clearly teaches that human life begins at birth. This is less restrictive than Roe v. Wade.

        Furthermore, the New Testament doesn’t contradict the Bible; it lets the passage stand unchallenged. In fact, Jesus never mentioned abortion (or homosexuality, either, for that matter. Paul, of course, never knew Jesus and had no right to speak for him no matter what his own opinions were; so he can be ignored.) The New Testament is irrelevant in the subject of abortion; for Christians, only the Old Testament applies. For all Americans, only the Constitution does.

        • Brett

          So according to your argument, when the US government decided that slaves weren’t “real persons” and that was the law of the land, they had it right?

  • Lisa

    I wonder if the pro-choicers have simply forgotten the valuable lessons learned from Dr. Seuss; “A person’s a person no matter how small.”

  • lmanningok

    It’s insulting for any of the groups above to be compared to a zygote or blastocele or even fetus: We human beings have EARNED our right to be here…first by getting conceived in the first place, then just by staying alive for nine months while we are literally creating ourselves cell by cell. With so many chances for serious error, most fertilized eggs never get to the birth canal, let alone survive the trauma of birth. (We can name those situations miscarriages and stillbirths…or god’s premeditated murders; after all, god did know he was going to abort those fetuses when he caused them to be conceived, right?)

    Not all life is of equal value and never has been. But our democracy allows for the gradual recognition and acceptance that there is one classification of human being that must be considered equal: The living BREATHING person. The life of a living, breathing human being of any age is worth 100% more than that of a fetus. This is what separates all of us above-insulted people from a fetus: We struggled and overcame unbelievable difficulties for nine months to get here. And we succeeded. We’re fully HERE! We made it. The fetus hasn’t…not yet. It still needs the breath of life.

    Think of the fertilized egg as a runner at the race’s beginning, and the living breathing human being as the winner at the end. Which is worth more: The first step or the last? Hoping for the trophy or actually holding it? This isn’t just a metaphor…it’s reality.

    And it’s true just as a purely practical matter for any group…ancient or modern, global or tribal…because a human being, especially a grownup, is an investment of time and energy by the whole group in its success. It takes years for a child to be old enough to contribute materially to the group and must be nurtured until then. The life of a pregnant woman is especially valuable: She is the source of the group’s continuation; she proved herself of great worth by becoming pregnant; she is valued as a caretaker and mediator if she already has children. She is also expected to care for her husband and maybe mother-in-law. All this while, doing the hard physical labor of a rural woman. A very valuable member of the group.

    Life is not all of equal value. Think about that statement and you will have to agree: Given the choice of having an abortion or giving up the life of her child who enjoys the breath of life, what mother would choose the death of the human being rather than the fetus?