Abortion and Other Evils

In Defense of Pro-Life: Is a Fetus a Person?

Now for a post for which all have longed. If you have followed my blog for a while, you may know that I have posted two pro-life articles already, Pro-Life—Except in the Case of Rape or Incest? and Why a Catholic Cannot Vote for a Pro-Choice Politician. This, however, is the big one. My argument is as follows: the life of a human individual begins at conception and for that reason, abortion is basically the same thing as infanticide. I am not trying to be dramatic or invoke emotion. I am writing very plainly. This is a scientific argument. For a more philosophical one, see Sunday’s post: What Makes Us Greater than the Animals? Some would say that this is a religious argument, which is supported by the fact that I am posting this on a religious blog. That is very much true as my religion bans murder,🐼 but the belief that abortion is evil actually very old. The Oath of Hyppocrates taken by ancient Greek doctors stated: “Nor shall any man’s entreaty prevail upon me to administer poison to anyone; neither will I counsel any man to do so. Moreover, I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroy the child.”🐻 Note that moreover is used and it refers in this translation to the fetus as a child. Even today there is a group of Pro-Life secularists (atheists, agnostics, humanists, etc.) concisely called “Secular Pro-Life”.

Now is a fetus, in a scientific sense, human? If a sow gets pregnant, she will have a pig fetus in her body. If a cow gets pregnant, she will have a cow fetus in her body. If a she-wolf gets pregnant, she will have a wolf fetus in her body. If a woman gets pregnant, she will have a human fetus in her body. What else would the union of two humans produce? Besides, a fetus has forty-six chromosomes. It comes from human DNA. It is human.

Is a fetus alive? Of course. A fetus needs nourishment. Its heart is beating sixteen days after conception.🐷 What does an abortion do? Some would say that it removes the fetus from the mother’s womb. But what happens to it then? It dies. Therefore it must be alive. Someone might argue that as the fetus cannot live outside of the mother’s womb, it cannot be alive. But that only means that it cannot survive in certain circumstances. In certain circumstances, we cannot survive either, such as if we were hurled into the sun. A fetus cannot survive in very many circumstances, yet it is still alive inside the womb.

But of course it is living and it has human DNA. That is obvious. So do all our cells. How can we know that it is an independent organism? From what I can find, The definition of an organism is a living thing that has an organized structure, can react to stimuli, reproduce, grow, adapt, and maintain homeostasis.🐙 So, given enough time and the right environment (staying inside the womb), can a fetus grow react to stimuli, reproduce, grow, adapt, and maintain homeostasis? Does it have an organized structure? Of course. Note that a five-year-old cannot generally reproduce yet, but still is an organism as he or she has the potential to do so. A fetus is not like a cancerous tumor as tumors cannot grow into human beings.

But what of intelligence? Yes, they are human, but must you not also have intelligence to gain personhood? If that were actually true, one might wish to stop and consider whether pigs, elephants, and dolphins were persons as they come fairly close. Research suggests chimps in some ways to be our intellectual superiors or at least equals.🐝 But if intelligence actually made personhood, infants should not be persons either, nor anyone younger than at least three. Children that young could hardly be said to have much intelligence. Furthermore, if intelligence actually did generate personhood, smarter people would be much more persons than those who were dumber and gifted individuals would be much more persons than the intellectually challenged.

Alright, perhaps a fetus is a living human organism, in other words, a human child, but the fetus relies on his or her mother for life. What makes the fetus greater than a parasite? If we have helminthiasis and some parasitic worms are feeding on us, is it wrong to kill them? It is not wrong, but that is only because parasites are not human. A fetus is human. If a human princess were magically transformed by an evil witch into a hookworm because the princess was prettier than she as the typical fairy tale goes and then teleported into one’s intestines, it would be wrong to kill her on that account because she was an actual person. However, pregnancy is quite different from a parasitic infection as it is the natural way healthy children are supposed to be born. There are some times that pregnancy can threaten the life of the mother and the child, but that is relatively rare and I will not bother with such cases in this particular essay. But if someone says that if the fetus relies on his mother to live, it is alright for the mother to kill him, think about what that means. How is it alright that if someone is utterly helpless and relies entirely on someone else for his very existence for those nine months, the one he relies on to live can kill the helpless one? If a man is temporarily stuck on life support for nine months, is it alright to take him off of it and let him die? Does that not make it even worse?

So a fetus is a person, not only a human but a child. Abortion is a literal murder. I do not say this as people say taxes are murder, anchovies on pizza, are murder, and portions of a story can be murdered. Abortion is very literally a man-slaughter and not only a man-slaughter, but a baby-slaughter, and such a vile, heathen practice must end if we wish to call our country free.

Bonum Certamen Certemus

I am the Catholic of Honor


🐼Catechism of the Catholic Church ¶2320

🐻 Accessed June 20, 2020

🐷 Accessed June 17, 2020

🐙 Accessed June 18, 2020

🐝 Accessed June 19, 2020