The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a foundational principle of our country. Without life, there cannot be liberty or the pursuit of happiness. For those most interested in defending our liberty, the right to life must take the place of most importance when considering our unalienable rights.
Every conception produces a human life. The question of when the life of a human begins requires no appeal to the Bible or any other religious book or belief. The concept of when human life begins is so simple that we learn it long before college. The science is already settled on that question:
“Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm represents the beginning of a human being.”
–Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1
“Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”
–Carlson, Bruce M. Patten’s Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3
“[A] fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.” –Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2
“Biologically speaking, fertilization (or conception) is the *beginning* of human development. Fertilization begins with the spermatozoon contacting the cells surrounding the oocyte and ends with the mixing of the 23 male and 23 female chromosomes. The result is a single-cell embryo called a zygote and it is the first cell of the human body. The zygote…contains 46 unique chromosomes with the entire genetic blueprint of a new individual.”
The debate among Abortion Rights Advocates largely revolves around the question of when this human becomes a “person”, whatever that means. To me, this is irrelevant. To consider viability (the point where the baby has a reasonable chance of survival outside of the womb) as criteria for when it is legitimate to end a human life is also irrelevant. An Abortion takes the life of an innocent human, whether or not they are defined as a “person”.
I do not consider Abortion Rights Advocates to be “pro-choice” because they believe in giving mothers a special right that no one else has, which takes “choice” away from the human living inside her. Bestowing on mothers a special right that allows them to terminate the life of another human is wrong, and deprives that human of their rights.
Reproduction has already occurred when the single celled embryo is formed. Generally speaking, that decision, usually either intentionally or through lack of planning, has already been made. The only decision mothers make now is a life or death decision. Why should they be allowed to take “health and reproductive decisions” away from the human living inside of her? Abortion is the ultimate human rights violation.
- An Abortion terminates the life of a human. This is not subject to anyone’s opinion and is scientific fact. Science teaches us that human life is a continuum that begins at conception and ends at natural death.
- The current debate among Abortion Rights Advocates is when a human life becomes a “person” with rights.
- I contend that whether or not this human life is a defined as a “person” is irrelevant. Arbitrarily assigning the term “person” to one human, but not another, allows us to perform all kinds of atrocities. Slaves were declared “non-persons”, just property. This allowed slave owners to “terminate” their lives without any repercussions. Jews during the holocaust weren’t considered “persons” by the Nazis and millions were legally terminated. Now, we consider humans that are early in their development (which is a continuous process) to be “non-persons” and “terminate” approximately a million human lives every year.
Abortions will likely never be illegal and even if they were, they would be as easy to obtain as illegal drugs or alcohol during Prohibition. The issue of criminality should be left to each individual State. Most people realize that Abortions cannot be stopped by outlawing them. Only when people realize that taking an innocent human life is a violation of human rights, will the number of Abortions be reduced.