Monday, February 9, 2009

Abortion results in the killing of a unique, living, human being

Such an emotionally laden statement that is. It is a profound truth for many and fodder for ridicule and angry backlash from others. We need to understand what is so offensive about this statement though. The pro-choicer would likely take offense to the "human being" claim. Some others might object to the "living" aspect of this statement. I agree this is an emotionally charged statement but is it disingenuous? Let's examine this more closely to see if there is truly anything misspoken here.

Abortion is the ceasing of an act in progress, such as aborting a mission, aborting an idea, aborting a pregnancy. Abortion is also known as a medical procedure that terminates a pregnancy and expels the fetus. Though abortion is intended to terminate the pregnancy of a non-viable fetus, it is currently legal in all states to terminate a viable fetus due to the "mental health" of the mother clause.

As I stated, abortion will result in the termination of a pregnancy which is intended to also terminate the life of the unborn, thus killing the unborn. Killing is not to be confused with murder which is an illegal act. Killing a fetus can only become murder if elective abortion is banned.

The unborn from the point of conception is an entity distinct from the mother. The conceptus has it's own DNA containing both sets of chromosomes which is required to be considered a human being. While the gamete cells (egg and sperm) contain 1 set of chromosomes each, they are not a human being themselves because they lack the other necessary set. The fetus has it's own blood type distinct from it's mother. The fetus even grows it's own placenta. The fetus is NOT a part of the mother as a kidney is. The fetus has a symbiotic relationship with the mother.

There is a consensus on the basic standards for biological life. This is not to be confused with the metaphysical and philosophical discussion of qualitative life, or "personhood". The biological standard for life is as follows:
Homeostasis, Growth, Reproduction, Absorption, Metabolism, Secretion, Irritability.
The conceptus maintains it's own shape in homeostasis, the cells will become larger in growth until the need to reproduce by splitting. The conceptus takes in nourishment and metabolises that nourishment to prepare itself for growth. The conceptus gives off heat, and as all single celled animals will do, the conceptus will instinctively move away from a source of irritation. The later stages of the unborn will follow this same pattern but the biological standard for life is met right from the very beginning.

This should certainly be the easiest to comprehend and yet the obvious will often evade the closed heart. Any DNA test done on the unborn, even at the point of conception, will reveal that this is human DNA.
A legal, medical, and general dictionary will all show that the definition for human is: any living or extinct member of the family homonidae. The conceptus, and older gestations, all fit this description.

This also should be too obvious to require explanation but I find myself compelled to discuss even this trivial matter. One only has to exist in time and space to fit the description of "being". To exist is to be in a state of being. To deny the unborn are beings is to deny their very existence in any variety.

Abortion results in the killing of a unique, living, human being.

Certainly this is an emotionally charged statement as well it should be. There is nothing dishonest about it except for those who would define words on their own terms. Whether you take this statement as a matter of unemotional fact or as a slap in the face of the benign message you would prefer to hear, The statement is true. There can never be progress as a people until we accept reality for what it is.


  1. I haven't seen this vid, but it comes highly recommended on Wizbang!. The girl is age 12, and she talks about why she thinks abortion is wrong.

  2. 'This is not to be confused with the metaphysical and philosophical discussion of qualitative life, or "personhood".'

    Why not?
    "personhood" has a definition just as any other word does. And that definition is "the state of being a person". Which leads us to the definition of "person" and that can be reduced to two words: "HUMAN INDIVIDUAL".

    So yes, the unborn exhibits "personhood".
    No need to dance around that word, its applicable to the unborn just as well as the born.

  3. Agreed on the usage of personhood as it applies to persons, but in this post I was making the point that life is defined on a biological level. This would mean all of life including animal and plant life. We cannot apply personhood to anything else but persons. Biological life can be applied to all life.

    The intent of the post was to show that the original staement was not in anyway disingenuous.