The fetus, at all gestational stages, from conception to birth, is a human being who deserves the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
My argument is made in two portions: 1) what is the substance and; 2) is there moral agency?
For discussion purposes I’ll use the word “fetus”, which has two meanings: 1) child/offspring; 2) a medical descriptive for the maturation stage of gestation after organ formation has completed. As most pro-choice advocates argue using “fetus” in a general sense, I’ll use it in that manner to mean offspring of either embryonic or fetal stages of gestation.
If you plan on arguing, you must present objective reasons which are descriptive of the “object” of the fetus, otherwise your commentary is merely opinion. Past commenters have called my valid reasoning “opinion” without supportive reasoning of why they thought it was subjective. Please don’t do that – I’ll address thoughtful arguments. If you want to bleat talking points, do so elsewhere.
1. What is the substance?
Abortion undeniably destroys and removes human flesh and blood. Photos and scientific evidence testify to the presence of human flesh and blood as the fetus.
- The living fetus is a self-organizing, growing, human being (homo sapiens) – scientifically the law of biogenesis shows that two human beings pro-create after their own kind, so each human fetus has both a mother – the pregnant woman, and a father. (Note present tense.)
- Each human fetus has a unique flesh/blood identity (DNA & chromosomal patterns, including gender). This flesh and blood is not an organ of the woman’s body. It is a separate human being. I could provide numerous scientific & medical references that speak to the human nature of the fetus which explain sperm and oocyte joining through development to birth. Feel free to consult a solid medical embryology text. From an intellectually honest standpoint, one must concede that the substance of the fetus, being flesh and blood, is indeed a living human being of the same substance basis as all other human beings, otherwise one must provide solid evidence to the contrary.
2. Does this human being have moral agency?
Philosophically, should the fetus be regarded as a human being when it comes to rights and responsibilities?
While scientific fact validates the fetus as a human being as far as flesh and blood is concerned, a valid argument must be made that the pre-born are not human being with an intrinsic right to life, to which all other human beings claim possession. Do not present Blackmun’s circular and irrational Roe opinion. (We need not answer the difficult question of when life begins…). As everyone was once a pre-born human being, the burden of proof rests upon the pro-choice camp in denying their own rights during some portion of their own life. If you wish to detach your “person” from your body (in effect splitting one human being into two or more elements) you must explain why destroying your own body would not destroy your person – the test you are establishing for the fetal human being.
Size, level of development, environment and degree of dependency are the only factors which differentiate between one’s pre-born self and where you are now. Morally, these factors do not negate the rights of human beings, including the foundational right to life, upon which all others hang. Throughout our legal system we have laws to stop discrimination against each of these factors. Also discriminating against pre-born humans on sentience fails when the same test is applied to other human beings. Such arguments present a functional or utilitarian description of human beings which lend themselves to cruel discriminatory practices.
On the moral agency factor of dependency – all rights come with moral responsibilities which cannot be rejected because we ourselves are a result of such responsibilities. Such responsibilities are upheld in law. The greatest is: do not murder, particularly those who are completely dependent upon us. We do not allow murder of our newborn children. Our responsibilities with regard to justice and to each other requires us to defend the innocent against their destruction at the hands of the powerful.
Disregarding the principle of defense of the weak and innocent invites brute force against them as a people group – which describes abortion perfectly. It’s also completely fallacious.
Brute force renders any question about the humanity of the pre-born superfluous – there is no reason to ask what it is if the sole intention is to destroy it.
If the fetus is an innocent human being, then no excuse, justifies their direct killing.