Written by Olivia Carr
Within the scope of unexpected pregnancies, there are many questions pro-choice organizations and individuals often turn to for a quick “gotcha” effect on their conversational ‘opponent.’ Perhaps you are familiar with some of these: “what if a woman is raped?” or “the baby will just end up in the foster care system” or “have many children have you adopted?”
These questions—which often come across more like insults—are actually valid no matter how cunningly they are phrased. At the heart of each of these questions is a much deeper one: are you really as compassionate as you think you are? And this question is important, no doubt. Unfortunately, the passion-turned-hatred on both far sides of the abortion debate distracts from the reality that many people find themselves uncomfortably caught between the extremes. Either, they are convinced that abortion is wrong but cannot turned a blind eye to the suffering and tragedy that often brings about such a choice, or they believe that abortion should be an option for women in hard situations but feel terribly uneasy knowing that abortion ends a life.
While the role of compassion in bringing about an end to abortion that provides for, equips, and honors women cannot be overstated, there is another crucial piece of the abortion debate that frequently gets swept aside: science.
There is a reason that the rhetoric of the pro-choice movement has shifted over the span of the last several decades. It’s not very often that you now hear someone claim that an unborn baby isn’t really a baby, human, person, or living being. There’s a reason for that. The scientific community at large overwhelmingly favors the belief that life begins at fertilization, because fertilization results in a new organism: a zygote. Though you might see many misleading articles state that pregnancy does not begin until implantation (when the fertilized egg, a new human life, implants in a woman’s uterus), the reality is that when an egg is fertilized by sperm (typically occurring in a woman’s fallopian tube), a new human life begins.
In short, even anti-life physicians, biologists, and researchers supported and funded by secular institutions have published research and textbooks indicating this position to be true, and a quick google search on the topic is quite revealing.
If it can be almost unanimously agreed upon that the fertilized egg or zygote is a new human life, it might seem puzzling that the pro-choice movement has had a leg to stand on in their arguments for the ethics, legality, and accessibility of abortion. Because the science is near-conclusive to the fact that from the moment of fertilization—commonly referred to as ‘conception’—a new human life exists, the rhetoric of the pro-choice movement has shifted to exactly that: choice.
The argument that a baby in utero isn’t a person is not used as much these days (at least not intelligently). In order to compensate for this fact, the rhetoric of the pro-choice movement has shifted to referring to babies in utero as ‘embryos’ or ‘fetuses’ in an attempt to detract from thepersonhood or humanity of those babies. In reality, the terms ‘embryo’ and ‘fetus’ scientifically refer to stages of human development—almost like differentiating babies as newborns, infants, or toddlers, or referring to 10-19 year olds as adolescents. The terms do not define who or what the organism is; they only refer to what its stage in development is. Adolescents are no less people because of their developmental stage. Neither are toddlers. Neither are fetuses. Again, science supports the pro-life movement here. No matter the stage of development, the organism we refer to when talking about abortion is a human.
Because of these scientific realities, abortion advocates have shifted their claims. The argument isn’t really “is that a baby?”anymore, but “do we have the right to kill?” This is the reality of where the abortion movement is at today. Completely antithetical to science, yet largely accepted and even celebrated.
Now more than ever, a compassionate end to abortion is needed. Options United exists to make that possible. Please consider donating today to help mothers choose life.