Updated: Sep 24, 2021
This past week, Texas Republicans passed the “Fetal Heartbeat” bill, a law banning abortion after the heartbeat of the fetus can be detected, usually around 6 weeks after conception. Many pro-lifers cheered this law as a victory for life while many pro-choice advocates decried it as an abomination, against freedom, and dubbed the Texas Republicans, the “American Taliban”. Regardless of the Constitutionality or practicality of this law, it opens the door to a real and legitimate discussion about the true nature of abortion, a discussion that is rarely had, but should always precede any public stance, or legislative action on abortion.
Many pro-abortion proponents hold that position because they believe a fetus is a mere “blob of cells”. But in reality, every human being can be characterized as a “blob of cells”. Look at your skin, look at your blood, look at your organs under a high-power microscope, look at any part of your body that makes you you, and you will see that the very things that we believe define who we are physically are simply a conglomeration of cells. So, to reduce a fetus to its base elements, and then compare those base elements to another being without similarly reducing that being is purposely misleading, and prejudicial against the humanity of the fetus.
Pro-abortionists have also argued that the fetus is too small to be human, measuring mere inches, or centimeters, or even millimeters. So, are we to claim that a person’s size is determinative of their humanity and their inherent value? Considering on average that men are 15-20% bigger than women, would that argument mean that men have 15-20% more humanity and more inherent value than women? Are little people less human, less valuable than larger people? Of course not, a human being’s size has no bearing on its humanity or its value, whether that size is 7 feet, 7 inches or 7 millimeters.
The question of abortion, and subsequently the validity of laws like the one in Texas, come down to the question, what is the true nature of abortion? And that can only be determined by determining when human life begins? If human life begins at conception, then an abortion is the willful taking of human life which means this law not only makes sense, but would be supported almost unanimously, even by those who are now the staunchest abortion defenders. But if life begins at birth, then abortion becomes an innocuous act, not much different than having a mole or a tumor removed, and this law and stances against abortion would in fact be a direct threat to the basic human and Constitutional rights of women.
To answer the question, when does life begin, we should do what many people in politics have been telling us to do recently about many other issues, “follow the science”. To determine whether a fetus is a living human being, three conditions must be satisfied, and science can help prove whether the fetus satisfactorily meets those conditions. One, is the fetus alive? Two, is the fetus human? Three, is the fetus its own being separate from other beings?
First, is the fetus alive? Moments after conception, the newly conceived egg is growing at a rate faster than any other time in its existence. Growth is life, and life is growth. Growth is a necessary condition and validation of life. So, the rate at which the fetus grows is definitive proof that the fetus is alive. If the fetus was not alive, it would not be growing, and there would no need to terminate it through an abortion.
Next, is the fetus human? Upon proving that the fetus is alive, then what is the nature of that life? Is that life human, or is it some other life form? When looking at the fetus’ genetics, we see that the fetus has human DNA with 23 sets of chromosomes. Any life form with human DNA is human, and a human life.
Finally, is this human life its own being, separate from other beings? Pro-abortion advocates will point out that a mole or a tumor on the mother is also alive, and has human DNA, and those cells are cut out of the mother’s body without moral reservations? But the DNA of the mole or tumor is the same DNA of the mother which makes the mole and tumor part of the mother, whereas the fetus’ DNA is distinct from the mother, making the fetus a distinct human life from the mother; the fetus is a human being living within the mother, but not part of the mother.
So, when pro-choice advocates claim, “my body, my choice”, they are making the false assumption that there is only one body affected by an abortion, when in reality there are two separate and distinct bodies involved. And if it truly is “my body, my choice”, what then is the choice that the baby is making? Does the baby want to live or die? Since the baby cannot speak, we can only ascertain its answer by looking at the baby’s actions which is to continue to grow, and to thrive, and to live. So, women who assert their right to an abortion by claiming individual sovereignty over their bodies can only do so by claiming sovereignty over another person’s body thus denying for that other person the bodily sovereignty they are claiming for themselves.
Pro-abortionists will claim that the fetus is not actually life, rather it is “potential life”. How can you call something that is doubling its size on a regular basis, “potential”? It is actual, not potential. Its life is happening now, in real time with every second it grows and thrives and lives.
Considering that both the mother and the baby are living human beings whose rights have come into conflict, whose rights supersede the other? The right not to have a baby versus the right not to be killed? The right to live, the right not to be killed supersedes all other rights.
After Joe Biden denounced the Texas Law, a male journalist asked White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki about Biden’s glaring hypocrisy between his outward Catholicism and his stance on abortion, and she replied “he [Biden] believes that it’s up to a woman to make those decisions. And up to a woman to make those decisions with her doctor. I know you’ve never faced those choices nor have you ever been pregnant but for women out there who have faced those choices this is an incredibly difficult thing.” She made it very clear that she believes that men by the very nature of being men should not have a say in the question of abortion. But considering that approximately 50% of the babies who are killed through abortion are male, makes abortion a male issue as well as a female issue.
Jen Psaki’s argument is very similar to ones that slave owners in the south made to shut-up northern abolitionist. They claimed that since slave owners were southern, and slaves were black, then white northerners should have no say in the question of the legality of slavery. Slavery does not affect them. But we know if it were not for white northerners standing up and fighting against slavery, that evil institution may still be in existence.
Martin Luther King Jr said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” So, it is our duty to stand up against injustice wherever we see it, not only when it directly affects us. As Edmund Burke once said, “All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” And to steal a modern phrase, “silence is violence.” That is exactly why people like Jen Psaki and pro-abortionists want to silence pro-life advocates, so their violence against 900,000 babies each year can continue.
Opponents of this law have referenced it to the dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, as if people don’t have say or control over whether they get pregnant, like getting pregnant is equivalent to contracting a virus or getting a disease. They make it seem that there are no safe and effective birth control options, and they have no control over whether they engage in sexual activity. For many years, people in this country have treated sex as a game, and not with the due respect its awesome life-giving power deserves. They toy with that power, and then want an “out” when that power asserts itself over them. So, they resort to believing the convenient lie that the life growing in their body is not life, that it is something different, something that can be discarded.
But their desire to get an abortion in and of itself contradicts their attitudes towards the true nature of abortion. Because if it was not life, and human life separate from themselves growing in their body, then they would not need to have an abortion. The very nature of the fetus that is about to be terminated, the human life that it is, is in fact the very reason why they desire to have it terminated in the first place.
We are continually told of the evils of American history by the very same people who support and defend this evil in America’s present. The taking of innocent human life is the taking of innocent human life whether it is by a slave owner’s noose, or a bullet fired from a police officer’s gun, or by a doctor’s scalpel and forceps. In every case, a beating human heart is stopped.
If science still has not answered the question of when human life begins, we can best inform our decision on abortion by asking two simple question; What is the result of taking the pro-life position, and you are proven wrong? And what is the result of taking the pro-choice position, and you are proven wrong? If the pro-life position is proven to be wrong, then you supported the births of 900,000+ babies each year. But if the pro-choice position is proven to be wrong, then you supported the killing of over 900,000+ babies each year. The first one, you can sleep well at night. The second one, would haunt your conscience for eternity.
The only circumstance that a moral person could even consider taking the pro-abortion position is if it has been proven beyond any doubt that the fetus is not a living human being, and in light of the scientific evidence concerning conception, gestation, birth, DNA which discredits that position, good and moral people would only become pro-abortion if they lie to themselves, ignore the science, and shut-up pro-life voices.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.