Yes, embryos are smaller thannewborns and adults, but why is thatrelevant? Men are generally larger than women, but size doesn’t equalvalue.
Level of Development:
True, embryosand fetuses are less developed thanyou and I. Should older childrenhave more rights than their younger siblings? Some people say that self-awareness makes one human. If thatwere true, newborns would not qualifyas valuable human beings.
Where you are hasno bearing on who you are. Doesyour value change when you crossthe street or roll over in bed? Locationcannot change the essential natureof the preborn from non-human tohuman. If the preborn are not alreadyhuman, merely changing their location, moving eight inches downthe birth canal, can’t make them so.
Degree of Dependency:
If viabilitymakes us valuable human beings,then all who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable.Conjoined twins who share blood typeand bodily systems would also haveno right to life.
Why is the only difference between abortionand unjustified killing the short distance of the birth canal? Stephen Schwarz uses the acronymSLED to show there are only four differences between a preborn child and a newborn: size,level of development, environment, and degreeof dependency.
Adapted with permission from: Klusendorf, Scott.
The Case for Life; Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture.
Visit www.prolifetraining.com for more information.
In short, although humans differ immenselywith respect to talents, accomplishments,and degrees of development, they are equallyvaluable because they share a commonhuman nature.magine that gov-ernments ceased toexist. Imagine thatcity hall, and the stateand federal capitolswere abandoned andovergrown withweeds. Imagine that police forces and the judicial system ceasedto have authority.Would rights, such asthe rights to life and liberty (commonly calledhuman rights), also cease? Would it be acceptableto kill my neighbor for my own self-interest?Would it be acceptable to enslave him? No. Rights must exist apart from govern-ments. Governments cannot create or destroyhuman rights, but should protect such rights. If a government fails to protect rights, this doesn’t preclude the existence of rights. It only meansthat the government has ignored or even scornedits duty.Human rights are encapsulated in the conceptof “personhood.” A person is one who has person-hood and therefore human rights. A non-persondoesn’t.Slaves, women, infants, Jews, and various“foreigners” are all groups that have at one time or another been denied either legal or moral standingas persons. While they were typically consideredhuman, their personhood and thus their humanrights were denied. The judgment of later genera-tions, however, has without exception concludedthat denying personhood to these members of thehuman family was a great moral evil.Today, many governments consider another group of human beings, the preborn, to be non- persons. Like 19th century African Americans, preborn humans are treated as property. In theUnited States, preborn humans may be killedthrough all nine months of pregnancy for anyreason whatsoever.Discrimination against preborn humanscan only be justified if there are morally relevantdifferences between born humans and prebornhumans. On what grounds can we deny person-hood (human rights) to humans awaiting birth? None.Politicians and judges have avoided the public debate over why we affirm the rightsof born humans, yet deny the rights of prebornhumans.Some abortion advocates say that prebornhumans don’t qualify as persons because they can’tyet reason. This is an invalid reason for denying preborn personhood. Consider people in a deepsleep, under general anesthesia, or in a temporarycoma. How about a month old infant? Or anelderly person who suffers from dementia? In allof these cases, the people are lacking mentalabilities such as reasoned thought, yet we readilyrecognize their personhood. Likewise, the preborn,though missing similar abilities, are still persons.Other abortion advocates claim that even if we recognize the preborn child’s personhood, themother’s right to bodily autonomy overrides the preborn’s right to life. They assert that one persondoesn’t have the right to use another person’s bodyagainst her will. If a toddler awakes at 3 a.m. indire need of assistance, can her parents ignore her,roll over and go back to sleep? Of course not. The parents’ obligations supersede their rights. Parentsmust use their bodies to care for their child. It’sclear that when we recognize the personhood of preborn humans, “bodily rights” evaporate in theface of parental obligation.Upon examination, attempts to rob prebornhumans of their personhood fail. They fail becausehuman rights are inalienable, inseparable fromindividual human beings.Humans, from the moment they begin toexist, are persons, and their human rights should be protected by law.
Keith Mason is Co-founder of Personhood USAand focuses on building effective strategies togrow the Personhood movement in the U.S.,establish new Personhood efforts, and impact the movement through key media driven events.To contact him call 202-595-3500 or visit www.PersonhoodUSA.com.
Pregnancy Care Center – 24 hour(English and Spanish)
National Life Center – 24 hour
Birthright – 24 hour
Help After An Abortion
Rachel’s Vineyard – 24 hour
National Helpline for AbortionRecovery – 24 hour
Abortion Recovery InterNational
L o g i c
Shouldn’t The LawProtect EVERYONE?