Sunday, June 28, 2009

I liked Martin's comment over at Secular Right:

Lets look at abortion then:

The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (6th Ed.)(Keith Moore and T. V. N. Persaud, W. B. Sanders Company, Philadelphia, PA, 1998), which asserts:

“Human development is a continuous process that begins when an oocyte is fertilized by a sperm.” (page 2)

More to the point, the authors write:

“Human development begins at fertilization [with the joining of egg and sperm, which] form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized…cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” (page 10)

The authors of another embryology textbook:

Human Embryology and Teratology (Third Ed.)(Ronan O’Ramilly and Fabiola Muller (Willey-Liss, New York, NY, 2001), also state on page 8 that upon the completion of fertilization:

“a new, genetically distinct human organism is formed.”

So the pro-abortion position that a fetus is not human is anti-science; pro-abortionists maintain that a fetus at some arbitrary stage of development magically becomes human – this is a metaphysical claim, in principle unobservable and clearly against the empirical evidence. This position, therefore, does not reveal when a fetus becomes human but a personal preference for when we want to ACCEPT the child’s humanity. Abortion is therefore also anti-reason – it is the support of the killing of an innocent human and this is the absolute test case for rationality. If you do not know why it is wrong to take innocent human life then there is nothing I can say to you.


  1. You forget infanticide is an accepted right of parents in some cultures.

    Of course all "pro choice" advocates forget the same thing so your criticism applies to them.

    My own position is that I would not want to live in a human ecology where abortion was practiced but where infanticide by the parents is accepted.

    However, I would also defend to the death the right of others to allow neither or both, or the reverse of my preference (which is the present regime's preference).

    What I find objectionable about the current regime is the abuse of the 14th Amendment, and not just in the case of "pro choice" opinions such as Roe v Wade.

  2. It's just a fancy circular argument. Obviously if you start out with the assumption that it's wrong to kill any innocent "human life" than abortion is wrong.

    Making important moral decisions based on word games ("Zygotes are technically human organisms! And clearly they're innocent!") is silly... unless you've reached your conclusion before you began, that is.

  3. Yes, what JA said. Plus what Carl Sagan said:

    Abortion: Is it Possible to be both "Pro-life" and "Pro-Choice"?

    Sagan's piece is orders of magnitude more thoughtful than the simple-minded Christian approach to the subject, where the conclusions have indeed been reached before the questioning even began.

  4. "Zygotes are technically human organisms!"

    Technically. Said one guard to the other as they herded them into the gas chamber, "Well sure, technically they're human."

  5. pro-abortionists maintain that a fetus at some arbitrary stage of development magically becomes human

    False. There is a difference between human biology and human rights under the law. Setting birth as a boundary is far closer to biology than other arbitrary legal boundaries like turning 16, 18, or 21 - or even 25 in the case of rental car agencies - but it's still a legal line. The law is not obliged to set the legal line at any particular biological point, and as Jim has pointed out, even infanticide is often accepted. (At least two languages that I know of have distinct names for ghosts of infants abandoned to the elements.) Throughout history, unborn humans have enjoyed fewer legal protections than free-breathing humans. Such distinctions are even codified in the Bible.

    The pro-life position that human biology is immediately and unequivocally linked to legal protections and overrides all other considerations is as radical a social invention as gay marriage.

  6. Parents have some obligations to support their children, but their obligations are not unlimited. They are not legally obliged to donate their own organs or even blood to their children, not even if the child's life depends upon it. In short, children have no claim upon the physical substance of their parents, no more than any human being has such an claim upon the substance of any other human being. Therefore, a fetus, though it is indeed an innocent human being, does not have the asserted rights against its mother. Though of course, like any other human being, it should be entitled to the state's protection against outside assailants and against any state attempts to require its abortion.

  7. Technically. Said one guard to the other as they herded them into the gas chamber, "Well sure, technically they're human."

    See, there wasn't any "technically" about that. They were ACTUALLY human. Not ha-ha-let's-pretend-we-can't-tell-the-difference-between-a-zygote-and-an-adult "human."

  8. not too late9:06 AM

    Biological considerations were included in the Roe v. Wade decision. The term viability was used to create a guideline for states that might want to limit abortion after viability. The court used a thin veneer of science in the abortion discussion. Biology is often used in legal issues when dealing with those who cannot take care of themselves. Low IQ capital murder convicts can be spared the death penalty due to their incapacity, but a kid can't beat the death penalty.

  9. Anonymous2:01 PM

    Who cares? Most abortions are committed by Democrats.

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