Many of us who are pro-Life Christians base this stance on Scripture and Church Teaching on the subject of abortion.
Many pro-Life Christians are familiar with these verses and others like them:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength),
The question, and the subject of this entry, is how do we pro-Life Christians articulate our views to non-Christians? After all, telling an atheist that God does not approve of abortion is not going to sway his or her position on the matter. How can we argue a Pro-Life position without using religion?
Fortunately for us, on the matter of abortion we can argue against it scientifically. From Biology, we know that every species of life has a unique DNA sequence. We can also determine whether a cell is living or not by observing the processes of mitosis and/or cellular metabolism.
In human development, shortly after the sperm cell enters the egg cell, the DNA from both parents is joined and the cell begins the process of mitosis. Clearly, using biological standards, this new, cellular organism is alive. If one was to extract the DNA from this cellular organism, one would find a human DNA sequence that is separate from the DNA sequence from the mother.
On a biological level, at the time of human conception, a new, human life has started with the potential to eventually reach adulthood.
When faced with these facts, pro-abortionists will usually make an argument about viability, and bring up the issue of miscarriages. This is a remarkably weak argument, as there is no way to predict everything that could happen in a developing child. Miscarriages often occur when the fetus is not viable, but that doesn’t lessen the sense of loss among many parents. Furthermore, not every miscarriage can be explained by modern medicine.
The next argument made by pro-abortionists is often the fact that the fetus is dependent on the mother for it’s survival; that it’s just a parasite. This is another weak argument, as no one disputes that a tapeworm is alive. While an unborn child does meet the biological definition of a parasite, this does not mean the unborn child is not alive, nor does it mean the child is not human.
As far as being dependedent on the mother, any mother will tell you that a 6 month old baby is also completely dependent on it’s parents.
From a medical ethics perspective, the only time an abortion can be justified is when the life of the mother it at risk. The reality of this situation is that BOTH lives are at risk, and the goal is to save the life you can – in this case, the mother’s life.
At this point, the pro-abortionist will often resort to an ad-hominem attack, shout something about keeping government out of women’s bodies (never mind that there is a 50% chance that an aborted child is female) and storm off, or – even better – they’ll concede the argument and you will be one step closer to convincing them that the Pro-Life stance on abortion is the correct one.