An unavoidable conclusion


Andrew Dobbs of the Burnt Orange Report, a left-leaning Texas political blog, was appalled by news of infant euthanasia in the Netherlands. His dismay at that news led him along a chain of reasoning to a conclusion he did not expect to reach:

Still, this made me ask some tough questions. What is the difference between that infant and a fetus that is a few days or a couple of weeks from being born? What is the difference between that fetus and one that was first conceived months before? Are they living? Are they human? If they are a living human life, shouldn’t ending that life simply for convenience or social and economic stability be just as abhorrent as killing a new born baby or any other innocent human being? If they are living humans, clearly this is repugnant.

Avoiding all reference to religious considerations, he looked to science and logic for answers to the question, when does life begin?

While some see birth as the beginning, these theories tend to rely more on philosophical underpinnings- i.e. the recognition of self and so forth- rather than pure biology. This suggests that scientists- who are paid to not let personal or religious bias into their work- tend to regard life as beginning at fertilization. The pre-birth period is as much a part of life as infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age this seems to say. To end an innocent life in any of those other periods would get you sent to prison, possibly to death. Why is ending a life before that legal?

He goes on to pose counter-arguments -- a fetus isn't as developed as a baby, a fetus is totally dependent on its mother -- and to look at the hard cases like rape and incest which are often cited as justifiable reasons for abortion.

In the end, I am now on the verge of being convinced that life- scientifically, biologically and factually speaking- begins at conception, and after that any unnecessary ending of that life is in fact a grievous thing that should be made illegal.

Dobbs then looks at what needs to be done to reduce the number of crisis pregnancies and to improve alternatives for women facing a crisis. Finally, he faces the implications of his conclusion that life begins at conception:

If what I have found so far (and my search has not ended yet, nor will it ever likely) is accurate- that life begins at fertilization both by the independent definition of “life” and a scientific understanding of the life cycle- then abortion must end.

Choice is not a valuable argument as no one has the right to choose whether another human lives or dies except when that person poses an immediate threat to one’s own life.

Women’s rights is not a valuable argument in that no one’s rights include the right to kill an innocent human being, not to mention that at least 50% of the lives we are snuffing out are women who will never have a choice on anything.

Political difficulty is not an excuse as the history of our country is the history of oppressed groups taking on monumental difficulties to set themselves free, and in this case we must stand up for those who not only cannot speak for themselves, but are as yet unborn.

Finally, constitutionality is not a valid excuse as it is clear that if these embryos are living humans then Roe v. Wade was a bit of unconstitutional abomination on par with Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. In the end, if life begins at conception, we have no choice but to protect that life with every element of our law available to us. Democrats must take the lead, as only Democrats can protect life before it is in this world and after it is born. It is time for politics to leave this discussion and for level-headed and honest people to debate the issues with themselves and others in a respectful way.

It's worth reading the whole thing. (Hat tip to Wizbang.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 15, 2005 10:09 PM.

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