Our argument can be summarized this way:
- It is wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings.
- Elective abortion intentionally kills innocent human beings.
- Thus, elective abortion is wrong.
Most people agree with our first claim—that it’s wrong to purposefully kill innocent humans. That’s why we oppose school shootings, terrorist attacks, and other violent acts—because someone is intentionally killing innocent human beings, which is wrong.
The critical question, then, is: Does elective abortion intentionally kill innocent human beings?
Even abortion supporters admit that the embryo is human. For example, pro-abortion bioethicist Peter Singer writes, “It is possible to give ‘human being’ a precise meaning. We can use it as the equivalent to ‘member of the species homo sapiens.’ . . . In this sense, there is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being.”¹
Clearly, then, the embryo killed in abortion is a human being.
Still, some say that this young human is not a person—because she differs too much from us. But there are only four differences between an embryo or fetus and a born human: Size, Level of development, Environment, Dependency. These differences do not justify stripping personhood from humans.
We know this because newborns, compared to adult humans, differ in the same four ways: they are smaller, less developed, generally occupy different environments, and are more dependent on other people. But a newborn is no less of a person than her parents. In the same way, an embryo or fetus is no less of a person than her parents.
Therefore, elective abortion is the intentional killing of an innocent human being—a human who is no less of a person than the rest of us.
That is why we oppose abortion. Indeed, to oppose other acts of purposefully killing innocent humans while accepting abortion is inconsistent at best and bigotry at worst.
1. Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 3rd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 73.