|Taking Every Thought Captive|
A Brief Overview of
Day 1 – Fertilization! All human chromosomes are present and a unique human life begins.
Day 22 – The baby’s heart begins to beat with the child’s own blood – often a different blood type than the mother.
Week 6 – At this stage, brain waves can be detected. The child’s mouth and lips are present and fingers are forming.
Week 8 – At this stage, every organ is in place. Bones and unique fingerprints begin to form.
Week 17 – The baby can now have dream (REM) sleep.
Ø Since 1973 (when abortion was legalized in the U.S.) there have been more than 43 million abortions.
Ø The annual number of abortions has nearly doubled since Roe v. Wade, from 744,600 to 1,313,300 for 2000.
Ø For every 1000 live births, there are 306 abortions.
Ø There are more than 140,000 second and third trimester abortions each year.
After reaching a high of over 1.6 million in 1990, the number of abortions annually performed in the U.S. had begun to drop back to levels not seen since the 1970s. What follows is a simple outline to help you persuade other Americans to adopt a pro-life position in an effort to continue to bring down the number of abortions performed in the United States.
How to Argue Against Abortion
The unborn differ from the newborn in four ways that have disqualified them as persons (according to pro-abortion advocates). The acronym SLED is a helpful reminder of those differences. 1. First, size or physical appearance – the unborn doesn’t look like a person. 2. Second, level of development – the unborn doesn’t have the same abilities as real persons. 3. Third, wrong environment – the unborn isn’t located in the right place as real persons. This is implicit in abortion laws. 4. Fourth, degree of dependency – the unborn is too physically dependent on others to be a person; he is not viable and can’t survive outside the womb.
1. Size or Physical Appearance – Do humans lose value when they don’t look right? Does size equal value? Men are generally larger than women. Does that mean men are more human than women? Shaquille O’Neil is larger than Hillary Clinton. Does that mean Hillary Clinton is less human than Shaq? The term used to describe the destruction of groups of people based on their physical appearance is ethnic cleansing or genocide. But human value transcends physical appearance. Therefore, “not looking right” cannot disqualify a human being from being valuable.
2. Level of Development – Is a person’s value defined by his abilities, by what he can or can’t do? Do we forfeit our rights as human persons because we don’t have the capabilities others have? Do stronger, more capable, more intelligent people have more rights than others? Do human beings become disposable simply because at their level of development they are helpless, defenseless, and dependent? Human value transcends abilities or the lack of abilities. Therefore, missing abilities cannot disqualify human value.
3. Environment – Do humans forfeit their worth when they change locations? Baby Rachel was born prematurely at 24 weeks. She weighed only 1 lb. 9 oz., but dropped to just under 1 lb. soon after. She was so small she could rest in the palm of her daddy’s hand. She was a tiny, living, person. Heroic measures were taken to save her life. If a doctor had killed Rachel we would have recoiled in horror. However, if this same little girl was inches away from the outside world, resting inside her mother’s womb, she could be legally killed by abortion. Clearly, one’s environment can’t be the deciding factor. Changing locations is morally trivial. Environment has no bearing on who we are.
4. Degree of Dependency – Is human value determined by our degree of dependency on others? The unborn’s dependency on his mother for sustenance is irrelevant to the baby’s value. No baby is “viable” if degree of dependency matters. All babies need their mothers for feeding whether via blood (an umbilical cord), breast, or bottle. Human beings may be dependent on others for their survival, but they aren’t dependent on others for their value. All physically dependent people are at risk if degree of dependency determines their value – those dependent on kidney machines, pacemakers, and insulin would have to be declared non-persons. Dependency does not determine worth.
END NOTES 1. The abortion statistics are from National Right to Life, www.nrlc.org; the counter arguments are from Gregory Koukl and Scott
Klusendorf, Making Abortion Unthinkable: The Art of Pro-Life Persuasion published by Stand to Reason, www.str.org.
The SLED acronym originally comes from Stephen Schwarz in "The Moral Question of Abortion" (Loyola University Press, 1990, p. 17.).
1. The abortion statistics are from National Right to Life, www.nrlc.org; the counter arguments are from Gregory Koukl and Scott Klusendorf, Making Abortion Unthinkable: The Art of Pro-Life Persuasion published by Stand to Reason, www.str.org. The SLED acronym originally comes from Stephen Schwarz in "The Moral Question of Abortion" (Loyola University Press, 1990, p. 17.).