How to Propose a Pro-Life View in Three Easy Steps
What if you found yourself in a conversation about your pro-life views. How should you proceed?
1. Keep the main Issue the main issue: Pro-life advocates contend that abortion intentionally kills an innocent human being. This simplifies the entire controversy to just one question: Is the unborn a member of the human family? If so, killing him or her to benefit others is a serious moral wrong. Instead of recognizing the inherent moral worth of these human beings, they are treated as nothing more than a disposable instrument. However, if the unborn are not human, elective abortion is fully justified. In short, the abortion debate is not about trusting women to make their own personal decisions, or the right to privacy, or about forcing our morality on others. Thus, the real issue that divides us is clear: Is the unborn one of us?
2. Use Science: The facts of embryology establish that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. Ture, they have yet to grow and mature, but they are whole human beings nonetheless. Leading embryology textbooks affirm this. Embryologists Keith L. Moore & TVN Persuad write: "A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization" and "marks the beginning of each of us as unique individual."
3. Use Philosophy: There is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today that justifies killing you at that earlier stage of development. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not good reasons for saying you could be killed then but not now. Stephen Schwarz suggests the acronym SLED as a helpful reminder of those non-essential differences:
SIZE: You were smaller as an embryo, but does body size determine value? Of course not!
LEVEL of DEVELOPMENT: You were less developed as an embryo, but infants are less developed than teenagers physically and mentally. Do we think they have less value? Of course not!
ENVIRONMENT: Where you are has no bearing on what you are. Does an eight inch journey through the birth canal change the essential value of the unborn? Of course not!
DEGREE of DEPENDENCY: You depended on your mother for survival, but does dependence on another human determine value? Of course not!
(Consider those with disabilities, or conjoined twins, for example.)
In short, humans are equal by nature, not by function. We all differ immensely in our respective degrees of development, but are nonetheless equal because we share a common human nature. We had that human nature from the moment we began to exist If that isn't true then human equality is a fiction.
What to Pray for Today:
1. Pray that this Issue is Simplified
Abortion is seen as morally complex, but it's really not. The status of the unborn is key. Pray that you and your family, and your pro-life friends would have confidence in the truth and act when called upon to do so.
2. Pray for Courage
We all know how hard it can be to speak about this issue when we have the opportunity. Pray that you and your family, and your pro-life friends would have confidence in the truth and act when called upon to do so.
3. Pray for Access
Pray that pro-life faculty in secular universities will have academic freedom to present a persuasive pro-life case to the age group most at risk for abortion.