I just submitted this letter to my local newspaper. It succinctly explains the often-overlooked scientific arguments that support the pro-life position. If you like this letter, feel free to use as much of it as you want in your own letter to your local rag.
Let me first state that I support neither Kerry nor Bush in the upcoming election. (My candidate, Libertarian Michael Badnarik, sadly won’t be on the NH ballot.)
A letter in last week’s issue defending Sen. Kerry’s apparent contradiction when it comes to abortion claimed that determining when life begins is a religious issue, and therefore each person should be free to make their own “choice.” This commonly-used argument oversimplifies the abortion issue by ignoring the fact that there is compelling scientific reasoning against abortion. After all, there are even atheists who are pro-life.
Science, not religion, tells us that from the moment of conception a fetus has a complete set of human genetic material. We have identified no point in the pregnancy or birth at which something else is added to transform “tissue” to “a human being.” To allow abortion assumes that there is at least a period in a pre-born’s time in the womb that it does not deserve the same protection as an older fetus or someone who is outside of the womb. This is a serious assumption! Particularly when scientific advances have consistently moved our ideas of when a fertilized egg becomes a full human-being in one direction only – towards the point of conception. There is the life of a (potential, to some) human being in the balance, and we err on the side of murder?
That the pre-born baby needs the “life support” of the womb for awhile shouldn’t affect her status as a human being. After all, an infant is still completely dependent on others for survival, and that doesn’t make it our choice whether or not to let her live. To use another analogy, let’s say a person is on life-support in the hospital, but it’s almost certain that he will fully recover within 9 months’ time. Most, if not all, would agree that it would be unthinkable to unhook him from that life-support.
Just because pregnancies sometimes occur in difficult situations doesn’t change how we should view our options. Lots of humans can cause difficulties in our lives – mentally ill family members, special needs children, elderly parents with dementia, etc. There are various ways we can cope with these situations, but murder is not an accepted one. I think we’ve only gotten away with abortion all of this time because, unless we have an ultrasound, we can’t see the baby, so we can pretend it’s not a real person. Unfortunately, many young women who undergo abortions never hear these arguments, but later realize with guilt and sorrow the truth about the “choice” they made.