Here is what Brett says about the clip:
The video mistakenly communicates that human life is valuable merely in virtue of its instrumental value.I must confess to thinking similar thoughts the first time I saw the clip. If that's the extent of our message--or even our primary one--we're not doing our job as communicators.
"What's instrumental value? [Citing Greg Koukl] Something that has instrumental value is only valuable in that it leads to something else that has intrinsic value. A classic example of something that has instrumental value is money. Money itself is not valuable, but it's valuable in that it can get something that has intrinsic value. Money might get you happiness. Money might get you pleasure. Money might get you friendship. Money might buy you mercy. In other words, the money has value in that it leads to something else that is valuable in itself. This is very important because something that has instrumental value is valuable in a very tenuous way."
But what if President Obama never reached the presidency? Indeed, what if his life was filled with hardships that he had trouble overcoming? What if he never went to college? What if he never found success in politics? What if he struggled with homelessness? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Would he not still be a valuable human being, with the fundamental right to life and worthy of protection? Yes, because the pro-life argument is that human beings have intrinsic value.
"Intrinsic value [again citing Koukl] is something that has value in itself. The value or worth that it has is inherent in its very existence. For example, love is something that most people would consider has intrinsic value. Love is something that is valuable in itself. Health is something that is valuable in itself. Happiness is something that has intrinsic value. Mercy or virtues or dozens of things are ends in themselves and have value. That's intrinsic value."
You see, it's not the potential in a human being that makes him valuable. He's valuable in virtue of the kind of thing he is. Human beings are valuable precisely because they are humans beings, created in God's image.
However, given the morally untutored culture we live in, the imagery and message of the clip may still prove helpful. It's hard to change how people think on abortion if you don't first change how they feel about it. On that level, the ad provides a valuable assist. For example, I've met many pro-lifers who initially joined our ranks because of a slogan I think suffers from the same problem Brett identifies above. The slogan reads: "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart." I dislike it, because elective abortion is wrong even if performed prior to the detection of fetal heart activity. Thankfully, many of those same pro-lifers have moved on to more sophisticated and intellectually credible arguments.
In the end, I'm more inclined to see it Brett's way than not. Instead of choosing between emotionally powerful messages and intellectual credibility, why not do both?