Self-Evident Truths: A Defense of the Pro-Life Position

Today, upwards of tens of thousands of people will be marching in Washington D.C. against what they believe is one of the greatest injustices in our society today: abortion.

The question of abortion is relatively simple: is the unborn fetus a human life, or not? If the fetus is a human life, then the being has inherent rights, and society is not at liberty to dispose of the fetus as it pleases. If the fetus is not a human life, then the same rights inherent to born humans are not inherent to them.

Before continuing further, I wish to denounce the idea that because I am a man (and lack ovaries and do not get pregnant) that somehow I am disqualified from providing a defense of unborn persons. This notion is silly for a few reasons: 1) It is blatantly an ad hominem argument which is an informal fallacy in argumentation that states because there is something wrong with my person or beliefs then somehow my actual argument is discredited. It is an argument against my person rather than an argument against my position. 2) If because a person lacking specific body parts or hormones is enough to disqualify their opinion, then I suppose every single male gynecologist ought to retire. 3) If it is true I deserve no opinion on abortion because I am a male, then all male pro-choicers ought to be turned away at pro-choice events, and they should be rejected from the pro-choice community as a whole. Obviously, because I am a male does not disqualify me from making a coherent argument against abortion.

Further, it should be clarified that this argument is not an attack on women. By all scientific accounts, an unborn fetus is distinct from the woman’s body. Arguing the pro-life movement is an attack on a woman’s body is completely unfounded, primarily because: 1) There are pro-life women. If this argument was an attack on a woman’s body, then there would be no pro-life women. There do exist pro-life women, so they must be either sexist against themselves, deluded, or part of some mass conspiracy to oppress their own bodies, or they understand that pro-life position is not an attack on the woman’s body. 2) Also, biologically speaking, an unborn fetus is not a part of the woman’s body. The fetus possesses unique DNA and genetic code at conception with its own blood type as early as week 5. It is, by all scientific accounts, not part of the woman’s body.

The key question of abortion is whether or not the fetus is a human life. Even though I have a philosophical background, this question simply cannot be decided by pure reason. Philosophy can be used in determining the ethical implications of whether or not the fetus is a human life, but it simply cannot answer the question of life itself. For that question to be satisfied, one must invoke science, specifically, embryology and genetics. Since I am not an embryologist nor am I a geneticist, I will invoke expert opinion upon this matter.

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“In short, a fertilized egg (conceptus) is already a human being.”

Erich Blechschmidt, Brian Freeman, The Ontogenetic Basis of Human Anatomy: The Biodynamic Approach to Development from Conception to Adulthood, North Atlantic Books, June 2004. pp 7,8

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“Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

“A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”

Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 8th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. pp. 15, 2

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“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”

Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8

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“Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”

Carlson, Bruce M. Patten’s Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3

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“The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”

Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3

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“It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material 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.”

Human Embryology, 3rd ed. Bradley M. Patten, (New York: McGraw Hill, 1968), 43

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Dr. Jerome Lejeune of Paris, France was a medical doctor, a Doctor of Science and a professor of Fundamental Genetics for over twenty years. Dr. Lejeune discovered the genetic cause of Down Syndrome, receiving the Kennedy Prize for the discovery and, in addition, received the Memorial Allen Award Medal, the world’s highest award for work in the field of Genetics. He is often called the “Father of Modern Genetics”. The following are some notable statements by him:

“After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into existence. This is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”
– 1989 court testimony in Tennessee, cf. also Louisiana Legislature’s House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice on June 7, 1990

“The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.”
– The Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, Report to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, First Session, 1981

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“Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”
– The official Senate report from Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981

Background on the Committee testifiers:
A group of internationally-known biologists and geneticists appeared to speak on behalf of the scientific community on the subject of when a human being begins. They all presented the same view and there was no opposing testimony. Among those testifying:

Dr. Micheline M. Mathews-Roth, Harvard medical School
Dr. Jerome Lejeune (“Father of Modern Genetics”)
Dr. McCarthy de Mere, medical doctor and law professor, University of Tennessee
Dr. Alfred Bongiovanni, Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Dr. Richard V. Jaynes
Dr. Landrum Shettles, sometimes called the “Father of In Vitro Fertilization”
Professor Eugene Diamond
Gordon, Hymie, M.D., F.R.C.P., Chairman of Medical Genetics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester
C. Christopher Hook, M
“Human development is a continuous process that begins when an ovum from a female is fertilized by a sperm from a male. Cell division, growth, and differentiation transform the fertilized ovum, a specialized cell called a zygote*, into a multicellular adult human being. Most developmental changes occur during the embryonic and fetal periods, but important changes also occur during the other periods of development: infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.”

“Although it is customary to divide development into prenatal and postnatal periods, it is important to realize that birth is merely a dramatic event during development resulting in a change in environment. Development does not stop at birth.”

The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology Fourth Edition,a medical school textbook on embryology by Dr. Keith L. Moore.

*Later in the same passage the term zygote is defined: “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being.”

(Dr. Moore is an anatomy professor and associate dean of basic sciences at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. He is former head of anatomy at the University of Manitoba and chairman of the anatomy department at the University of Toronto.)

Other terms follow as defined in
The Developing Human:

Embryo. This term refers to the developing human during the early stages of development…. The embryonic period extends until the end of the eighth week, by which time the beginnings of all major structures are present.

Fetus. After the embryonic period, the developing human is called a fetus. During the fetal period (ninth week until birth), many systems develop further. Though developmental changes are not so dramatic as those occurring during the embryonic period, they are very important.

Other quotes from the book, used to train obstetricians to be:

“In addition to caring for the mother, obstetricians must guard the health of the embryo and the fetus.”

“Human development begins at fertilization, when a male gamete or sperm unites with a female gamete or ovum to form a single cell called a zygote (Gr. zygotos, yoked together). This cell marked the beginnings of each of us as a unique individual.”

***

“Since the old ethic has not yet been fully displaced, it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not so often put forth under socially impeccable auspices.”

“A New Ethic for Medicine and Society” California Medicine: The Western Journal of Medicine, 113, no. 3, (1970), pp. 67-68.

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By all scientific accounts, the human life begins at conception. Everything which follows during the pregnancy all the way until the human being ceases to grow and develop is simply building upon the foundation which is already established at fertilization. This process landmarks the single best definitive time at which human life begins and there is no equivalent. At conception, the zygote possess a unique genetic code and DNA and is, by all scientific accounts, a species of the human race.

Zygote, embryo, and fetus are not a separate species. These are stages of development for what has been a scientifically confirmed human being. There does not exist a single, scholarly journal within the realm of academia which contends life begins at a point later than conception.

Based upon these findings, there exists nearly universal consensus in the scientific community in numerous fields that life begins at conception. The idea this topic is a muddied issue or that the scientific community is deeply divided is simply a lie. There exists no such disagreement. The proof has been put into place: life begins at conception. Many pro-choice advocates have been forced to concede life begins at conception or else contradict science completely.

Due to the overwhelming weight of the scientific data, it is unavailing for the pro-choice community to scientifically argue that life does not begin at conception as there exists no justification for it, and because of this data many pro-choice advocates have opted for a more philosophical approach as to when personhood (as opposed to life) begins.

Many pro-choice persons, in an attempt to defend the morality of abortion, have made a transition from focusing on the life of the fetus to the personhood of the fetus. The issue of the humanity of the child becomes secondary to the personhood of the child. In their view, if an unborn fetus possesses a certain capacity (let’s call it “C”) then such a being is a person and has the same rights as any other born person. If an unborn being does not possess C then they are not a person and are able to be aborted.

The problem with this argument is that it is terribly arbitrary. There exists no objective standard by which one can say a fetus with or without C not a person. It is not even clear which attributes define personhood (as opposed to what defines humanity). What makes a being a person for one individual may not qualify as a person to another individual. It is also unclear as to whether or not the distinction between life and personhood is even justified. Why should such a distinction exist in the first place? If the fetus in question is a human life and not just “a bundle of cells,” why should it lose rights because it may not be able to perform certain functions such as intentional action or self-sufficiency outside of the womb? Such arguments could even be applied to human beings outside of the womb. Persons under a coma or who require life-support to live would not be considered up for any kind of post-birth abortion equivalent just because they fail to meet some kind of arbitrary criteria the pro-choice community likes to apply to unborn fetuses.

The second problem with this argument is that it is completely ad hoc. The term “ad hoc” is Latin which means, “for this.” To call an argument ad hoc is to say that the argument is only formed for a particular purpose only. Those within the pro-choice community who advocate such a policy have formed the distinction between personhood and humanity for the purpose of side-stepping the scientific data in order to forward abortion; it exists for no other purpose and it cannot be applied to any other scenario. In fact, such a redefinition is just grabbed out of the air rather than being founded on any objective principle. It is simply an attempt to justify abortion, and, as stated above, would be deemed unjust if applied to post-birth individuals who fail to possess C.

In this way, the sum of the pro-choice arguments are rather arbitrary and ultimately fall to subjective preference rather than consistently applied, objective standards.

In determining whether or not a fetus should be aborted, there should exist an objective standard that is not relative to any person. If the choice of an abortion is purely arbitrary to the mother, then what follows is the mother being able to dispose of a child anytime because she wishes. Obviously, hardly any pro-choice advocate wishes to detract any kind of objective standard. Therefore, a reliable basis for determining the cut-off point at which a person can get an abortion ought to be determined.

The question is then: how can one establish a reliable cut-off point which is not simply based upon the subjective whims of the mother? There is no general consensus within the pro-choice community as to when personhood begins, and whatever C is has not proven to provide reliable consistent ethical results. It is not grounded in science. Philosophy is no help either. The pro-choice community’s feet are planted firmly in mid-air.

However, the pro-life community has offered such an objective grounding which rational individuals can agree on, and that foundation is science. The accumulation of scientific data provided earlier demonstrates the universal view of the scientific community upon the topic of when life begins, and their conclusion was conception. Until the pro-choice community can provide an objective framework to define life which works better than the one provided by embryologists and geneticists, they are unjustified in their contention that life (or personhood) begins later than conception and therefore embryos and fetuses do not have rights.

What are the moral implications of this view? If the unborn being is a life at any point in pregnancy, then the fetus possesses the same innate rights inherent in every human being that,”…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life…” (The Declaration of Independence). Every human being possesses the right to life, and no moral being can dispute this claim or else we descend into the same trap the Nazis, slave owners, and perpetrators of genocide fell into. Namely, the trap that a group of people can determine which lives are more valuable and of greater significance than others, yet this is exactly what the pro-choice community has determined. One does not need profound knowledge of the last time a group of people decided some persons were worth less than others. History is littered with such occurrences. 6 million Jews dead. An entire race enslaved by Americans and Europeans for multiple generations. 120 million dead as the result of the regimes of Russia and China in the 20th century alone. Nearly 60 million dead due to abortions in the US alone. 13 million dead due to abortions in China every year. The pro-choice movement falls to the same blunder.

So, what argument could still be made in favor of abortions? Could the argument still be made for their morality despite the fact that life begins at conception? Surely, it is sensible to say it is wrong to unjustly take the life of a human being; however, many would make the argument it is moral when the mother of the child consents to such an act taking place. The question which must be asked is which is greater, the woman’s right to choose or the person’s (both men’s and women’s) right to live?

The answer almost jumps out to the questioner, but the springboard off of which this question ascends is glued to the ground by emotional appeals and skewed facts by the pro-choice community. The right of the woman to choose an abortion does not exceed the right of the child to live. Life is more fundamental than abortion, and, in fact, it is the most fundamental of all human rights. The “right” to an abortion assumes the right of life for that person. No other rights can stand if the right to life is removed.

But is it moral to take a person’s life? Under certain conditions, yes. If you kill an intruder in your home in order to protect your family, you have not committed a moral atrocity. The intruder was in the wrong and posed a threat to the lives of your family, but an unborn child has committed no crime. There is no being more innocent than an unborn child. The only crime they have committed is being inconvenient, but inconvenience is not an acceptable basis for denying a human the right to live. This argument holds whether the mother is a teenager, whether she is a college student, whether she has time, whether she has resources, whether she is ready for the responsibility, etc. No amount of inconvenience is justifiable when it comes to taking the life of a human being. What the argument brings us to is the unborn child (at any stage in the pregnancy) being an innocent life worthy of our defense.

This argument effectively covers over 90% of reasons for abortions; however, despite the confirmed humanity of the fetus, some in the pro-choice community contend that this should be set aside in order for a mother to receive an abortion in special scenarios like rape, incest, health problems of the child or mother, or the endangerment of the life of the mother.

Each of these will each be answered in turn, but one thing should be addressed: none of these scenarios hold any weight in favor of abortions for the argument addressed above. Just because one believes abortion should be allowed in a special circumstance does not mean the allowance for the special circumstance should be given universal qualification in all cases. These special scenarios are independent of the argument above in that regard. I would also ask the reader to place their emotion to the side in going further, because these instances are prone to emotional appeals rather than rational argument.

Should abortions be allowed in the situation of rape? This case can be very emotionally charged, but here are two facts: 1) Rape is wrong; 2) Killing unborn human beings is wrong (per the argument above). The source of the pregnancy and whether the fetus is a life are two unrelated topics. Raped women undergo an incomprehensible amount of trauma, and their rapists should be prosecuted by the government. But this is unrelated as to whether or not the child is a life. Two wrongs do not make a right. The woman should receive counseling and be surrounded by people who love her and care for her well-being, but she should not be allowed to cancel the life of the unborn for the same reason that when a criminal kills a victim society does not execute one of the witnesses. The fetus is a life whether as a result of consensual sex or not.

Should abortions be allowed in the situation of incest? Similar to the situation above, source of pregnancy does not give allowance for canceling the life of a human. Although this issue can be tough emotionally, it does not follow an unborn child should be executed because the origins of the pregnancy is wrong.

Should abortions be allowed if the child will have health problems? The large majority of children with down syndrome are aborted simply because they have down syndrome. This slaughter is covered up with the idea it is really the parents the abortionists are thinking about, and they do not want the parents to become inconvenienced by a disabled child. A few things to note: 1) No amount of inconvenience establishes a permissible basis for executing a child. Regards of how disabled a child may be, that still is no ground for taking the life of a child. 2) This argument implies that a disabled child is worth less than a fully functioning, healthy child which disregards that the value of a child is independent of its health.

Should abortions be allowed when there exists danger to the mother’s health? Until now, I hope the reader has detected a common theme among the special scenarios. The goal of the pro-life community is to save lives, and the special scenarios are not adequate justification for taking a life because while a person may experience hardship and difficulties due to the scenarios above, it does not follow that a person should be able to cancel a life because hardship may follow. Just because one person may experience hardship, it does not follow that the appropriate response to avoiding hardship is canceling the ability for life to occur. Life is the most basic human right. Without this right, no other rights can stand. Now, in the instance of the endangerment of the mother’s health, abortions are not justified because although pain and sickness may follow, in this situation the mother’s death is not a viable outcome. As stated above, although hardship may follow, the goal is to save lives, and because the fetus is a life and the mother’s life is not threatened, abortion is not justified.

Now, what about if the mother’s life is in danger? Could an abortion be deemed a viable option?

This question is often thrown around for two reasons: 1) it has a strong emotional appeal, and 2) if it is admitted that abortion could be a viable option in these more than rare scenarios, then the pro-choice community can conflate abortion in this instance with abortion in other instances (like abortion on demand) and cover it with the pretense it is for the life of the mother. But the pertinent question to ask: is this question even relevant to the current medical landscape?

Briefly, no. There are an incredible number of layers to be peeled back with this question which addresses a large variety of instances and sickness. Of course not every pregnancy complication is exactly the same, so my focus here will be intentionally open-ended and broad in order to try and answer as much as possible. Although there are a number of complications that can occur with a pregnancy (including any sickness or disease coupled with said pregnancy), in most cases either one of two options can be actualized: 1) early delivery via C-section, or 2) the embryo can be removed (as in the case of an ectopic pregnancy).

The abortion procedure which is typically employed at the third-trimester typically takes a couple of days. Why? Because a needle must inject digoxin into the child’s head or heart which will kill the child. 2-3 days later, the mother’s cervix will be dilated to where the stillborn child can be born. Third-trimester abortions are often performed this way. Why is this information relevant to the argument? Because a mother usually does not have that great of a time span to prepare in advance. Most pregnancies which threaten the woman’s life surface as an issue with only 36 hours to treat the woman. An abortion performed “coat-hanger” method or an other botched or rushed method could cause irreversible harm to the mother.

This reason is why the two options mentioned earlier would be better. In both of the two options, the child is not forced to be lacerated or taken apart in any way. Also, these methods can be performed immediately and do not need extra wait time. An early delivery will deliver the child safely from the mother, and doctors can stabilize the mother in any way necessary to the situation. In early cases of pregnancy complications (like ectopic pregnancies), the embryo can be removed from the mother without being intentionally killed by the doctor.

Will the unborn always survive in every scenario? Unfortunately, no. Especially in earlier pregnancies, the likelihood of the unborn surviving the extraction from the mother is lower than would be otherwise. Again, there are always complications and one cannot anticipate every angle of every problem, but the point is that the unborn has a chance to survive without endangering the mother any more than the precondition already has her in. That’s the point. These two options bring about the potential saving of the lives of the unborn and the mother. That’s the goal; however, if the unborn child dies from being taken out of the mother too early, then there is nothing more to be done. There is a large difference between extracting the unborn child (at any stage) and having it die unintentionally and intentionally killing the human being. Also, there exist a number of complications which could occur with an abortion, making it a less favorable option. These complications include: infection, hemorrhaging, lacerations, uterine perforations and damage to the cervix, maternal death, and future pregnancy problems. These complications have a higher chance of affecting the mother later on in the pregnancy. These adverse risks of abortion when compared to the two options mentioned earlier which seek to save the lives of the child and the mother certainly make either one of the two options a safer and more reasonable alternative to abortion.

These special scenarios carry weight, and even if you disagree with my arguments in the special scenarios, I would certainly ask that you separate these scenarios from the abortion on demand which covers over 90% of the reasons for abortions. It is erroneous to conflate a scenario like rape with the everyday happenstance of abortion as birth control.

Finally, what about the claim that abortions can actually save lives? The argument is that if women were not allowed safe access to abortions they would get them anyway in unsafe conditions which could lead to their deaths. Is there any merit to this argument?

Not really. There are 5 problems with this argument: 1) If abortions are outlawed, this legislation will act as a deterrent for many women seeking abortions who would not break the law just for the sake of an abortion.  This statement is not a universal truth; there always exist exceptions. 2) This objection does not answer the ethics of abortion.

3) People respond to incentives. If a woman has to choose between a relatively unsafe abortion (putting herself at risk) and no abortion, she will most likely choose no abortion and just carry the baby to term. Will every woman respond this way? Of course not, but to submit that women (even the majority of women) will desire an abortion so badly that they will put themselves in these scenarios is a ludicrous assumption which requires justification. Allowing a place where a woman can get a safe abortion (even though no abortion is ever completely “safe” since a life is lost) only enables more abortions to happen in the first place (1).

4) The numbers which study abortion trends do not point to this conclusion. Often when people imagine illegal abortions, the “coat-hanger” method in a back alley comes to mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. Illegal abortions were business, plain and simple, and businesses need to keep the client relatively healthy and alive. Because of this, illegal abortionists would mostly (as much as 90%) be physicians and doctors operating off the record. In 1960, former Planned Parenthood director, Mary Calderon, wrote:

Abortion is no longer a dangerous procedure. This applies not just to therapeutic abortions as performed in hospitals but also to so-called illegal abortions as done by physicians…. Call them what you will, abortionists or anything else, they are still physicians, trained as such; and many of them are in good standing in their communities. They must do a pretty good job if the death rate is as low as it is…abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous (2).

She also noted the remarkably low numbers of deaths due to illegal abortions. Often the number 1.2 million deaths is thrown around, but as Calderon notes, “In 1957 there were only 260 deaths in the whole country attributed to abortions of any kind. In New York City in 1921 there were 144 abortion deaths, In 1951 there were only 15; and… the abortion death rate was going down so strikingly in that 30-year period….”

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who co-founded the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), said this:

How many deaths were we talking about when abortion was illegal? In N.A.R.A.L., we generally emphasized the drama of the individual case, not the mass statistics, but when we spoke of the latter it was always “5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.” I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too if they stopped to think of it. But in the “morality” of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics? The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason that had to be done was permissible (3).

Further data suggests the same. Dr. Christopher Tietze, former chief statistician for Planned Parenthood and the Centers for Disease Control, and the Center for Disease Control itself dispelled the false idea that illegal abortions were an epidemic among women before Roe v. Wade came along. This is a blatant lie. In some years, the number of deaths from illegal abortions would be as low as in the double digits. In the year following Roe v. Wade, the number of deaths due to illegal abortions were 39 and the number of deaths due to legal abortions were 24. Before Roe v. Wade, as Tietze contends, the number of women killed due to illegal abortions in 1965 in no way even surpassed 1,000 (4).

5) Finally, let us assume the numbers of deaths of women due to illegal abortions were as high as the pro-choice community erroneously claims; per the argument at the beginning of this blog, even if you want to go as high as 1.2 million woman deaths due to illegal abortions, that number would not be even close to the over 58 million children aborted since Roe v. Wade.

The idea that legal abortions can save lives is flat out false. This notion is an excuse to legitimize legal abortion as a moral good, but nothing could be further from the truth. Illegal abortions would not be the cause of an epidemic if legal abortion facilities were to disappear right out of the air.

This lays out the general pro-life stance on abortion. I do not expect every person to fully agree with my conclusions, but I do think they are logical, defensible, and help save lives. I ask the person to weigh these argument objectively and not to accept the sloganeering and rhetoric espoused by many in the pro-choice movement as a substitute for solid arguments.

Further notice that, although I am a Christian, I did not employ religious texts to make my argument. There exist a plethora of secular pro-lifers and any internet research would confirm this truth. The pro-life movement is not a religious movement although it is permeated with religious individuals. To say that it is an attempt to advance religion is blatantly mistaken by persons who do not understand our arguments.

Despite the arguments not being founded in faith, I do believe it plays a role in ministering to the women going through these emotional scenarios. What does the Gospel have to say to them?

He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like someone people turned away from;
He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.

Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses,
and He carried our pains;
but we in turn regarded Him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced because of our transgressions,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on Him,
and we are healed by His wounds. (Isaiah 53:3-5)

The Gospel presents to us God not as a faraway ruler who mandates others and detracts Himself from the human experience but as a Suffering Servant who Himself became acquainted with profound turmoil and grief. The root of the Gospel is to be founded in a King who overcame death and the grave not by force or violence but by humbly giving Himself up as a ransom for all. Christ suffers with us. He knows the pain of rejection, denial, betrayal, hatred, scorn, as well as physical pain in being beaten, whipped, and crucified.

If you have ever had an abortion, are considering one, or are scared of what lies ahead for your pregnancy, you are not alone. I cannot begin to resource the multitudes of pregnancy resource centers for every one Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinic, but here is a good place to start: https://www.care-net.org/find-a-pregnancy-center.

It is time society left behind this barbaric and unjustified practice and loved all women both outside the womb and inside it.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32, ESV).

(1) Stanley K. Henshaw, PhD, “Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion in the USA: Epidemiology and Public Health Impact,” Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy. Ed. Paul, Lichtenberg, Borgatta, Grimes, Stubblefield and Creinin. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 32.

(2) Mary Calderone, “Illegal Abortions,” American Journal of Public Health, July 1960, 949.

(3) Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D., Aborting America (New York: Pinnacle Books, 1979), 193.

(4) Cristopher Tietze and Sarah Lewit, “Abortion,” Scientific America, January 1969, Volume 220, 23.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sept. 4, 1992, Volume 41), Table 15.

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2 thoughts on “Self-Evident Truths: A Defense of the Pro-Life Position

  1. Pingback: The Pro-Life Ethic, Part One: Introduction and on Abortion – The Resident Theologian

  2. Pingback: Consciousness, Personhood, and the Fetus – The Resident Theologian

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