I came across a doozy of an article in the Birmingham Atheism Examiner. The article, “Against Abortion? Then don’t have one…,” takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the (atheist) abortion advocate’s argument — from dependency of the fetus and women’s autonomy to the theological nature of the pro-life argument and “huge difference between something being human and an actual living, breathing human being.” And more.
As is often the case, if you’re able to strip away some of the fancy wordage, the claims are fairly easy to debunk if you’re familiar with LTI’s training material:
1. The author writes, “The fetus may be life, but it is not independent life, and for that reason alone, the mother reserves the right to terminate her pregnancy” (emphasis mine). Hidden in this sentence and the paragraph in which it’s embedded are a couple of things — the assumption that the unborn is not a human being (we call this “begging the question”), and the assertion that the unborn’s degree of dependency is what makes him/her less valuable than a newborn. This is where the “D” in the “SLED” acronym comes in handy. The response straight from LTI’s The SLED Test card reads, “If viability makes us human, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them. Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life.” This argument by the author ultimately fails because when applied elsewhere, it leads to absurd conclusions.
2. Later, the author makes a separate claim following several paragraphs that describe the unborn’s early development (which I will address later). He writes, “So, to say that the termination of a human zygote, blastocyst, embryo, or a fetus before viability (there’s that “degree of dependency” thrown back in the mix) is a human being with a right to life is scientifically unfounded and rightfully illegal. (That’s quite a claim. If someone said this in conversation, it would be appropriate to ask how he or she reached such a conclusion.) There is a huge difference between something being human and an actual living, breathing human being. Even a fetus that is prematurely born or removed from a sick or dying mother is not a human being until it is actually apart from the mother,” (parenthetical additions mine). Now the author has combined the “D” from “SLED” with the “E,” “Environment.” The “huge difference” he seems to be referring to is the length of the birth canal — inches. But as we teach at LTI, “where you are” has no bearing on “who you are.” A change in location does not affect one’s value. Not to mention the fact that the author fails to explain why separation from the mother suddenly makes a non-human human.
More to come…