Saturday, June 25, 2022

The same you

I became an opponent of abortion while in high school, some years before Roe, not because of my religious convictions, but because of what I had learned about biology. Since then my faith has certainly reinforced my belief that the lives of unborn human beings ought to be protected, but I think I would hold the same moral and political position if I were an unbeliever. Ryan T. Anderson and Andrew Walker:
.... Regardless of the unborn child’s stage of development, whether he is four weeks old or thirty-three weeks old, abortion kills the same person. Abortion ends a life—a human life, the life of a distinct and unique human being. The science couldn’t be clearer, nor could the ultrasound photos shared when couples happily announce a new baby is on the way. ....

The pro-life point of view is based on the undeniable biological fact that a human being exists from conception. The human embryo and fetus, no less than the human infant or adolescent, is a living member of the species Homo sapiens—a human being. “Embryo,” “fetus,” “infant,” “child,” “adolescent,” and “adult” are not names for different kinds of beings, they are names for the same kind of being at different stages of their natural development. The adult you is the same you who at an earlier stage of his or her development was the adolescent you, the infant you, the fetal you, the embryonic you.

This is not a religious belief but a scientific fact. Pro-life laws are built on that biological reality and on a moral judgment about the intrinsic equal value of human life—regardless of size, developmental stage, or cognitive abilities. ....

Moral claims are either good or bad, true or false, regarding the dignity of the human person. There’s no escaping it. To be pro-life entails insisting that the law protect the unborn. To extend legal protection to persons according to some other criteria, such as self-awareness or the immediately exercisable capacity to reason, is to place human dignity on a spectrum, an arbitrary spectrum at that. Those who would deny human dignity to unborn human beings—and thus deny them the law’s protection—are the ones who rely on an indefensible ideology (it doesn’t deserve to be called “religious”) that views some human beings as non-persons. How it is that that ideological belief can serve as the basis of our laws, but the moral truth of human equality cannot, is never explained. ....

People are free to have sex or not, but individuals should not be free to kill the children they conceive—at any stage. The child’s right to life entails the adults’ (the parents’) duty to care and thus places limits on our liberties. As a result, there can be no real right to abortion. Rather, there is the right of every child not to be the object of a choice whose specific goal is to end his or her life..... (more)
Ryan T. Anderson and Andrew Walker, "No, Overturning Roe Would Not Establish Theocracy," First Things, May 23, 2022.

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