A Bioethical Argument Against Abortion

Pro-lifers are often accused of forcing their religious beliefs on others. But we are not pro-life simply because that’s what our Catholic faith tell us. We are pro-life because it is a truth supported by faith, science, and reason. I had a chance recently to sit down with the top bioethics expert Carter Snead. I asked him from a purely bio ethical standpoint, what is your argument against abortion? I’d say the easiest argument to make in public terms that don’t depend on overtly religious commitment is the pro-life argument the context of abortion. It turns on two principles one is the biological reality of the unborn child’s identity.

Every embryology textbooks that is used today acknowledges that the human organism that is emerges from fertilization is a living member of the human species it’s a member of the species Homo sapiens the living whole human organism that directs herself along a developmental trajectory that is species-specific and it on her own power she needs of course like we all do a natural environment to support her life and so on and I say her because at conception there is sex. We have embryos are male or female and you can you can test for that in fact they do in sex selection in the context of IVF. Right. So the first idea is what we’re talking about here is a living member of the human species and that’s inarguable as a biological matte. That doesn’t require any religious conceptions at all.

And then the second argument is an argument about justice and equality which is nested in our nation’s most foundational documents most specifically the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and the idea that individual deserve equal protection under the law. If you’re going to exclude an entire segment of the human family from the protection of the law because they are small or dependent or biologically immature or incapable of certain temporarily incapable of certain kinds of high-level biological functioning, that’s an injustice of the highest order. That’s a legal form of discrimination and that argument doesn’t require you to be a Christian or a Jew or a theist of any kind. If you recognize the fundamental categories of biology and the principles of equality and equal justice under the law which we all do as members of America of the American civilization, then you should be able to understand and agree to the pro-life proposition”. “That’s a humans rights issue.” “Fundamental equality.” “You’ve been calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood from federal funding for Medicaid for years – yes – why is that?” “I don’t think any institution that provides abortion and Planned Parenthood, let’s just be clear, is the single greatest provider of – largest provider of abortion the United States. They make hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

They abort hundreds of thousands of children a year. I don’t think any institution like that should be should receive taxpayer funding as a mandatory legal principle I don’t think taxpayers should be required to hand their money over to an organization that is the largest provider of abortion in America. If Planned Parenthood – President Trump has made an extraordinary offer – one I’ve never seen made in the public square that if you stop doing abortions then you can get all this public funding. And i think that’s a fantastic proposal on his part because it will force Planned Parenthood to say because they always say – oh it’s only three percent of what we do. Well if it’s only three percent you do, shouldn’t be a big deal. Stop doing abortions and he gets a federal money, but if they refuse as they have initially refused to do that means they care more about abortion than any other aspect of their operation and that’s an important thing to reveal to the American people.” “And in fact, the President Cecile Richards said it was a vital part of what they do.” “That’s an ironic use of the word vital.” “Carter Snead, thank you.” “Thank you very much.”