Friday, February 19, 2010

The Abortion Debate (Part 2)

To show that a fetus is indeed just as human as a newborn or toddler, we can apply several criteria. These arguments are only a summary, but are enough to demonstrate this point, in most casual debates.


Genetically, from the very first, single-celled zygote, the fetus possesses the same DNA sequence as it would for the rest of its existence. Furthermore, it is a biological fact that the offspring of species X can only be of the same species. A pair of humans cannot produce a cat, zebra, quail, or anything other than a human being. Therefore, every fetus is genetically a human being.


Humans come in all sizes. Would we ever consider a person “more human” than another, just because he’s bigger than the other? Even more importantly, were you any less human as a newborn, than you are now, as an adult? So if a person’s “degree of humanity” does not scale with size, then it makes no sense to define an arbitrary size threshold, below which we declare a fetus “non-human”. In fact, if we (morbidly) decrease my size by lopping off parts, I retain my humanity, as long as I am still alive. Likewise, a fetus, no matter how undeveloped, is arguably still human, as long there is life in it. Ick… moving on….

By the way, the picture above was taken last month and shows the current Guinness World's Shortest Man (about 2 feet tall), standing next to the World's Tallest Man (about 8 feet tall).


Abortion proponents often argue that as long as the unborn fetus is inside the womb, it is part of the mother’s body and not an independent human being. However, we can make a strong case against this reasoning, by considering whether the location of a given mass (alive or not) affects its fundamental state. A few seconds of thought reveals the fallacy of the “still in the womb” argument. You are no less a human being, wherever you go, as long as you are alive. A paper clip is still a paper clip, no matter where it travels. Of course, if you toss it into molten lava, it will melt, but that’s because something else in that location (not the physical coordinates themselves) acts upon it, to change its state. The mother’s body does nothing harmful to the fetus; quite to the contrary, it provides nourishment and warmth, so that it can grow, as it was meant to.

To add another supportive truth, our courts will try murders of pregnant women as double-homicides. But if just the smaller of the two is killed in a medical facility, it’s called a "choice".

To be continued…

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