Monday, February 06, 2012
Pro-life advocates contend that elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenseless human being. This simplifies the abortion controversy by focusing public attention 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. Conversely, if the unborn are not human, killing them for any reason requires no more justification than having a tooth pulled.
Pro-life advocates defend their views using science and philosophy. Scientifically, we know that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. True, they have yet to grow and mature, but they are whole human beings nonetheless. Leading embryology textbooks affirm this.
Philosophically, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today. As Stephen Schwarz points out, difference of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant in the way that abortion advocates need them to be, as the SLED test illustrates.
THE SLED TEST
True, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant? Do we really want to say that large people are more human than small ones? Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean they deserve more rights. Size doesn’t equal value.
Level of Development:
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 younger ones? Some people say that self awareness makes one human. But if that is true, newborns do not qualify as valuable human beings. Remember: 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.
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-human to human? If the unborn are not already human, merely changing their location can’t make them valuable.
Degree of Dependency:
If viability makes us human, 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 because they all have the same human nature.
Ray Comfort recently came out with an excellent movie that does a fantastic job of helping people understand the logic behind the pro-life position.
College Area Pregnancy Center
6663 El Cajon Blvd. Suite L
San Diego, CA 92115
24 hour Helpline with counselors available (619) 337-8080
All services are Free & Confidential
Call today to make an appointment (619) 337-8080. Walk-ins are welcome. Located between 70th and College Ave. on the corner of El Cajon Blvd and Montezuma in the Music Trader Shopping Center.