Type: Controversial Essays
Sample donated: Marsha Bridges
Last updated: March 28, 2019
Max HoekstraDr. Van RysEng 2013 December, 2017Pro Life “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Straight from the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers believed in the right to life given to them by their Creator. In 1973 the supreme court made a law after the infamous Roe Vs Wade hearing that would claim more than 58 million babies lives to date. To take that into perspective four million people died in the Slavic genocide, six million Jews died in the Holocaust, and an estimated twenty million people died under Joseph Stalin.
History Today claims that The Black Death, which killed 60% of Europe’s population or about 50 million lives was the greatest catastrophe ever, however they could not have been more wrong. Abortion is the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Pro-life advocates contend that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenseless human being. This simplifies the abortion controversy by focusing on just one question: Is the unborn a member of the human family? If so, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong. It treats the distinct human being, with his or her own intrinsic worth, as nothing more than a disposable instrument. Conversely, if the unborn are not human, elective abortion requires no more justification than having a tooth pulled. As Gregory Koukl points out, “If the unborn are not human, no justification for elective abortion in necessary. But if the unborn are human, no justification for elective abortion is adequate.
” (Koukl, Precious Unborn Human Persons, p. 7) Here’s how to clarify things: Whenever you hear an argument for elective abortion, ask yourself if this particular justification would also work to justify killing toddlers or other humans. If not, the argument assumes the unborn are not fully human, like toddlers. But again, that’s the issue, isn’t it? “Women have a right to make their own private decisions.
” Imagine that a woman has a two-year-old in front of her. May she kill him or her as long as the killing is done in the privacy of the bedroom? Of course not. Why not? Because the child is a human being. If the unborn are also human, they should not be killed in the name of privacy any more than we’d kill a toddler for that same reason. Of course, abortion advocates respond that killing a toddler and killing a fetus are two different things, like comparing apples with oranges. But that’s the issue isn’t it? Are the unborn human beings, like toddlers? That’s the one issue that matters.
We can’t escape it. “But many poor women cannot afford to raise another child.” When human beings get expensive, may we kill them? Suppose a large family collectively decides to quietly dispose of its three youngest children to help ease the family budget. Would this be okay? Abortion advocates agree it’s wrong to kill the children, but insist that aborting a fetus is not the same as killing a child. Ah, but that’s the issue: Is unjustly killing a fetus morally the same as unjustly killing a two-year old? So, once again, the issue is the same: What is the unborn? “A woman should not be forced to bring an unwanted child into the world.
” Abortion advocates sometimes argue that killing the fetus is the more humane thing to do. “Who wants to be part of a family that rejects you? Everyone has a right to be wanted.” And if you aren’t wanted, may we kill you? Suppose a toddler is unwanted and we have good reason to think that by the time he’s five, he’ll also be abused and neglected. Should we kill him now to spare him future trouble?The answer is obviously no, but it brings us back to the one issue that matters: What is the unborn? Every one of these questions always brings us to the question of what is the unborn.In its 1859 Report on Criminal Abortion, the American Medical Association (AMA) understood that “the independent and actual existence of the child before birth as a living being” was a scientific truth. Nothing has changed since that time. For the past 150 years doctors have known that life begins at conception.
“It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material that each brings to the union that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.” (Bradley M. Patten, Human Embryology, 3rd ed.
, New York: McGraw Hill, 1968, page 43.) Prior to advocating abortion, former Planned Parenthood President Dr. Alan Guttmacher was perplexed that anyone would question these basic scientific facts.
“This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t part of the common knowledge,” he wrote in his book Life in the Making. (A. Guttmacher, Life in the Making: The Story of Human Procreation, New York: Viking Press, 1933, p. 3.) Not only is the case for life a scientific issues, it also has philosophical ramifications. Philosophically, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today. As Stephen Schwarz points out using the acronym SLED, differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant in the way that abortion advocates need them to be.
Yes, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant? Do we really want to say that large people are more valuable than small ones? Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve more rights. Size doesn’t equal value. True, embryos and fetuses are less developed than you and I. But again, why is this relevant? Four year-old girls are less developed than 14 year-old ones. Should older children have more rights than their younger siblings? Some people say that self-awareness makes one valuable. But if that is true, newborns do not qualify as valuable human beings. Six-week old infants lack the immediate capacity for performing human mental functions, as do the reversibly comatose, the sleeping, and those with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Where you are has no bearing on who you are. Does your value change when you cross the street or roll over in bed? If not, how can a journey of eight inches down the birth-canal suddenly change the essential nature of the unborn from non-valuable tissue mass to valuable human being? If the unborn are not already human and valuable, merely changing their location can’t make them so. If viability bestows human value, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them. Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life. In short, it’s far more reasonable to argue that although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal (and valuable) because they share a common human nature. Humans have value simply because of the kind of thing they are, not because of some acquired property they may gain or lose during their lifetimes.To review, pro-life advocates contend that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human organisms.
They are not parts of larger human beings (like skin cells are), but whole human entities capable of directing their own internal growth and development. Pro-lifers don’t look to theology to tell them these things, but to the science of embryology. Admittedly, science cannot tell us how we should treat unborn humans. It can’t tell us what’s right and what’s wrong. Is it wrong to torture toddlers for fun after beating your wife? Science can’t help you with that question. Nor can it tell us why the unborn human (or for that matter, any human) has a right to life. In short, science alone cannot justify the pro-life position, though it can give us the facts we need to draw moral conclusions on a host of controversial issues, including abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning.
Hence, the first step in resolving these issues is to state the proper scientific facts about the biological nature of the unborn entity. As we have seen, those facts are not in dispute: Embryology textbooks uniformly state that new human life comes into existence upon completion of fertilization (or after a successful cloning process).At this point, some abortion advocates pull out a standard debate-stopper: “No one can claim an embryo or a fetus is a valuable human being without bringing the metaphysics of religion into the debate.” To put the matter briefly, the Christian faith is historical and places a high value on realism.
The Apostle Paul says it well: If Christ did not rise from the dead bodily and historically, Christianity is one big joke. (1 Corinthians 15: 1-15) Of course, it’s possible Christian theism is mistaken in part or in whole (though I think that’s highly unlikely), but to say that believers can’t defend their views with rational arguments is simply false. A theistic universe better explains human rights and human dignity. For the theist, humans have value in virtue of the kind of thing they are, creatures who bear the image of their maker. At the same time, objective morals make sense because they are grounded in the character of an objective moral law-giver.
Having not even taken into consideration the horrors and evil that happens in abortion clinics, specifically planned parenthood, In the end it boils down to simple unrefuted facts. Life begins at conception, murder is the taking of a life, and abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, or the termination of a life. Abortionists have no right to bring faith into this, nor can they refute the overwhelming philosophical ramifications of abortion. Abortion is wrong morally, scientifically, and philosophically.