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The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Audiences

The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Audiences

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The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Audiences
The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Audiences

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Published by: Francesca Sophie Scholl Padovese on Jan 21, 2013
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The Best Pro-Lie Argumentsor Secular Audiences
by cathy cleaver ruse, esq.rob schwarzwalder
 Abortion is unlike any otherissue debated today. Mil-lions o American womenhave aborted a child, andthe pain, loss, and emo-tional need to justiy what was done, both on the parto the mother and on thepart o her loved ones, is strong and deep.
  This means that, in any debate, you may ace an invis-ible thumb on the scale so that even the best logic willail to persuade. The best you can do is arm yoursel with the acts anddeliver them in what you hope will be a winning way or your audience – meaning you will need to make your case, in most instances, not in the language o aith or religion but in the language o the post-mod-ern secularist. What ollows, thereore, are the best arguments romscience, the law, and women’s rights to advance thepro-lie case against abortion.
Arguing rom Science
 The “classic” arguments rom the other side are col-lapsing under the weight o science. “No one knows when lie begins” and “It’s a blob o tissue” are rank-ly on the wane, especially in the context o surgicalabortion, which is how the vast majority o abortionsare done today.
Still, establishing the evidence o the beginnings o human lie will ground your argumentation in science,giving you a rm oundation or additional argumentsand preempting the charge that you are basing yourposition on aith or religious belie.
Cite the Facts
Here is a thumbnail sketch o the scientic evidenceo the existence o human lie beore birth. These areirreutable acts, about which there is no dispute inthe scientic community.
  At the moment when a human sperm penetrates ahuman ovum, or egg, generally in the upper portiono the Fallopian Tube, a new entity comes into exis-tence. “Zygote” is the name o the rst cell ormedat conception, the earliest developmental stage o thehuman embryo, ollowed by the “Morula” and “Blas-tocyst” stages.
 Is it human? Is it alive? Is it just a cell or is it an ac-tual organism, a “being?” These are logical questions. You should raise them, and then provide the answers. The zygote is composed o human DNA and otherhuman molecules, so its nature is undeniably humanand not some other species. This DNA includes a complete “design,” guiding notonly early development but even hereditary attributesthat will appear in childhood and adulthood, romhair and eye color to personality traits.
It is also quite clear that the earliest human embryo isbiologically alive. It ullls the our criteria needed toestablish biological lie: metabolism, growth, reactionto stimuli, and reproduction.
Finally, is the human zygote merely a new kind o cellor is it a human organism; that is, a human being?Scientists dene an organism as a complex structureo interdependent elements constituted to carry onthe activities o lie by separately-unctioning but mu-tually dependant organs.
The human zygote meetsthis denition with ease. Once ormed, it initiates acomplex sequence o events to ready it or continueddevelopment and growth: The zygote acts immediately and decisively toinitiate a program o development that will, i uninterrupted by accident, disease, or externalintervention, proceed seamlessly through orma-tion o the denitive body, birth, childhood, ado-lescence, maturity, and aging, ending with death. This coordinated behavior is the very hallmark o an organism.
 By contrast, while a mere collection o human cells
B      C      1     1     E      0     1     
may carry on the activities o cellular lie, it will notexhibit coordinated interactions directed towards ahigher level o organization.
 Thus, the scientic evidence is quite plain: at the mo-ment o usion o human sperm and egg, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive,and an individual organism - a living, and ully hu-man, being.
“Pro-choice” responses
Some deenders o abortion will concede the scien-tic proos but will argue that the entity in the wombis still not, or not yet, a “person.”“Not a person” is a decidedly 
argument:it has nothing to do with science and everything todo with someone’s own moral or political philosophy,though that someone may not readily admit it. Hereis a good time to recite the scientic proos, and may-be make a philosophical point o your own: We’reeither persons or property; and even the staunchestabortion deender will be reluctant to call a humanchild a piece o property.
 Others may suggest “humanness” depends on some-thing spiritual, like inusion o a soul, but to arguethere is no soul until birth or some other time is, by denition, to argue something incapable o proo. Another good time to recite the scientic proos. A brie word about the politicization o the denitiono “pregnancy.” While the science on when lie be-gins is clear, some still claim that “pregnancy” doesn’tbegin until the embryo implants itsel in the liningo the uterine wall, which occurs about a week later. Why? Politics and prot. Acceptance o an implantation-based denition o “pregnancy” would allow abortion providers to mis-characterize pills and technologies that work aterconception but beore implantation as “contracep-tion,” making them potentially less subject to regula-tion and certainly more acceptable and attractive toconsumers. Indeed, two institutes who support legal-ized abortion have pushed or this type o pregnancy re-denition or decades: the Guttmacher Institute(the abortion research institute originally establishedby the Planned Parenthood Federation o America)and the American College o Obstetricians and Gy-necologists.I your interlocutor raises this issue, point out that:(1) the word “contraception” literally means “againstconception,” thereore something cannot be said tobe a “contra-ceptive” i it
conception, and (2)the ertilization-based denition o pregnancy is stillthe predominant denition in medical dictionariestoday.
Cite More Facts onHuman Development
Human beings develop at an astonishingly rapid pace.Giving a quick recitation o the child’s development will weaken the “not a person yet” mentality.
 The cardiovascular system is the rst major sys-tem to unction. At about 22 days ater concep-tion the child’s heart begins to circulate his ownblood, unique to that o his mother’s, and hisheartbeat can be detected on ultrasound.
 At just six weeks, the child’s eyes and eyelids,nose, mouth, and tongue have ormed.
Electrical brain activity can be detected at sixor seven weeks,
and by the end o the eighth week, the child, now known scientically as a“etus,” has developed all o his organs and bodi-ly structures.
By ten weeks ater conception the child canmake bodily movements. Today, parents can see the development o their chil-dren with their own eyes. The obstetric ultrasounddone typically at 20 weeks gestation provides not only pictures but a real-time video o the active lie o thechild in the womb: clasping his hands, sucking histhumb, yawning, stretching, getting the hiccups, cov-ering his ears to a loud sound nearby 
-- even smil-ing.
 Medicine, too, conrms the existence o the childbeore birth as a distinct human person. Fetal sur-gery has become a medical specialty, and includes theseparate provision o anesthesia to the baby. You cancite some o the surgeries now perormed on childrenbeore their birth, such as shunting to bypass an ob-structed urinary tract, removal o tumors at the baseo the tailbone, and treatment o congenital heart dis-ease.
There are many others.I the medicine and science don’t persuade your au-dience, consider citing authorities rom the “pro-choice”
community itsel. Mention “Pro-choice”
should commit to memory: The Court ruled thatabortion must be permitted or any reason a womanchooses until the child becomes viable; ater viability,an abortion must
be permitted i an abortion doc-tor deems the abortion necessary to protect a woman’s“health,”
dened by the Court in another ruling is-sued the same day as “all actors—physical, emotional,psychological, amilial, and the woman’s age—rel-evant to the well-being o the patient.”
 In this way the Court created a right to abort a childat any time, even past the point o viability, or “emo-tional” reasons. Stated another way, the SupremeCourt gave abortion doctors the power to overrideany abortion restriction merely by claiming that thereare “emotional” reasons or the abortion. Abortionadvocates want to hide this, o course, but liberal journalists such as David Savage o the
Los Angeles Times 
have reported the truth about
, saying theSupreme Court created an “absolute right to abortion”under which “any abortion can be justied.”
Constructing aPro-Lie Legal Argument
 Explain what Roe means
 When you make the pro-lie case, explain the basicso the actual ruling o 
and then use the DavidSavage quote that
created an “absolute right toabortion” under which “any abortion can be justied”– this allows a liberal
LA Times 
reporter to make theexplosive point that
created an unlimited abor-tion right.Chances are your audience will not know that theCourt created an unlimited right to abortion, andodds are good that they won’t agree with it. They are not alone: “Most Americans avor legal restric-tions on abortion that go way beyond current law,”according to Lydia Saad, a senior editor or the Gal-lup polling company which has long tracked abortionopinion.
  The way Americans sel-identiy has changed dra-matically over the years. In the mid-1990s, “pro-lie” was a distinct minority view. But in May 2009, or therst time, a signicantly greater percentage o Ameri-cans sel-identied as “pro-lie” than “pro-choice.”
 Be prepared to cite these and other public opinionpolls rom various organizations (the last bullet pointis crucial, it means only a small minority o Ameri-cans agree with
):eminist Naomi Wol, who in a ground-breaking ar-ticle in 1996, argued that the abortion-rights com-munity should acknowledge the “etus, in its ullhumanity” and that abortion causes “a real death.”
 More recently, Kate Michelman, long-time presidento NARAL Pro-Choice America, acknowledged that“technology has clearly helped to dene how peoplethink about a etus as a ull, breathing human being.”
 Those who justiy abortion by claimingthat “no one knows when lie begins” are not arguingscience but rather their own brand o politics, philos-ophy, or even religion. Their argument is not about when lie begins but about when, or whether, that liedeserves legal acknowledgment and protection. Andthat brings us to our next topic: the law.
Arguing rom the Law
 Roe v. Wade
Most people do not really know what the SupremeCourt decided on January 22, 1973. They assume thatthe Court made abortion legal in the rst trimestero pregnancy only, and that it is subject to substan-tial limits and regulations today. You will be able tochange minds when you inorm them that neither o these assumptions is true. The Supreme Court in
Roe v. Wade 
did not createa limited right to abortion but a virtually unlimitedright to abortion throughout pregnancy.Here’s how: The case involved an 1854 Texas law pro-hibiting abortion except “or the purpose o saving thelie o the mother.” The plainti, whose real name isNorma McCorvey, desired a purely elective abortionand led suit claiming the Texas law deprived her o constitutional rights.Seven members o the Supreme Court agreed. Whileadmitting that abortion is not in the text o the Con-stitution, they nevertheless ruled that a right to abor-tion was part o an implied “right to privacy” that theCourt had ashioned in previous rulings regardingcontraception regulations. (“Privacy” is not in the texto the Constitution either.) They also ruled that the word “person” in the Constitution did not include aetus.
 For a debate on abortion policy, the most importantpart o the ruling to understand is the new “law” itestablished, and here is a description o it that you

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