What if I told you there’s an easy way to make the pro-life case in the abortion debate? There is. We tend to get emotionally wrapped up in what is a highly controversial topic. And it makes sense; there are many factors and emotions that go into it. But we don’t have to resort to insults and logical fallacies. Here’s how I make the perfectly reasonable pro-life case for why abortion is wrong:
First, let’s establish the premise that the preborn are people.
Since the preborn has human parents, she has to be human. And from the moment of conception, the being that begins as a single cell is biologically different from her mother. She is a unique combination of her mother and her father who has never existed before. She is alive, and birth does not change the essence of what the preborn was before or will be after.
Because of these self-evident facts, I have to believe that the moment of fertilization is the beginning of the existence of each specific person. Science book after science book teaches this. (Here are “40 quotes from medical experts and textbooks that prove human life begins at conception.”)
Some will say that yes, it’s human. And yes, it’s alive, but it’s not a person. This is intellectually dishonest. We know from pure biology that from the very first moment of fertilization, the new being is neither the father nor the mother. She has her very own DNA, from the first moment of her creation. (In fact, here are “12 amazing facts that prove the preborn’s humanity in the first trimester.”) If you really love science (think molecular biology and human embryology), check out pages 22-30 in this amazing report. Amazing 3D ultrasounds, videos, and fun scientific facts about fetal development at all stages can be found online at the Endowment for Human Development.
We know that inside this new being, a heart begins to beat as early as 16 days after conception. We know that babies can hear music and appear to be singing along far earlier than we ever knew. We know that their abnormalities in the womb can often self-correct. We know that babies born long before their due dates can survive. We know from ultrasound technology that we can examine the human body parts that make up this being quite early in pregnancy.
How could this being be anything other than a person?
If one argues it is human, but not a person, then there has to be a moment in pregnancy or at birth when a being that is not a person becomes a person. Would that be when the preborn has the ability to feel pain and respond to stimuli? If that is the characteristic of being a person, born people who are in comas or cannot feel pain would not be people. Would this moment be the first breath upon being born? If that is the characteristic of being a person, then being on a ventilator would disqualify individuals from being people.
There can be no magic moment when a non-person becomes a person because life is a continuum from conception until death. We exist in different sizes, levels of development, environments, and degrees of dependency. But none of these factors change what we are from our first moment of existence: people. We’re all people with an inherent dignity that is unchanging.
This dignity demands we be treated with respect.
The next premise is that it’s always wrong to kill innocent people.
People who are born, most would say, deserve equal rights. Social movements often revolve around the express purpose of righting an attack on the dignity of certain groups of people. Throughout history, we’ve fought to protect the innocent because we know that nobody deserves to be killed. And we’re especially repulsed by stories of specific groups of people being targeted and killed.
Regardless of ability or disability, gender, religion, race, or socioeconomic status, our natural repulsion at violence and injustice shows us that this remains true: undue force upon innocent people is wrong.
Below is a video explaining one common form of abortion. With former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino’s description, it’s easy to see how abortion commits violence upon an innocent person.
If we agree that the preborn are people, and we know that killing innocent people is wrong, then abortion is clearly wrong. As someone who believes all humans deserve equal rights, I believe that abortion is a grave injustice. We rally and fight for Black lives and refugee lives and lives in third world countries. We inherently recognize the atrocity of ending these innocent lives.
Why are preborn lives any different?