As A Former Fetus (Guest Blogger Jason Dollar)

I like bumper stickers that can actually and accurately catch the essence of a major truth. Like the one I saw the other day: “As a former fetus, I oppose abortion.”

Wow. This slogan deserves our applause. In 7 words it captures the essence of the pro-life movement and why there is such an outcry against the horrors of abortion in our country.

Notice it does not say, “As a former egg,” or “As a former sperm.” Why not? Because neither the egg cell nor the sperm cell is a person, and so cannot be equal with an “I.” Egg cells and sperm cells, for example, only contain half of the chromosomes needed to make an “I.” So to destroy egg or sperm cells is not the same as destroying a person, since the genetic code necessary for personhood is not contained in either one.

So when does a human being become a person (where person is more-or-less defined as an entity with the right to live)? Clearly, the line is drawn at conception, or very shortly thereafter (once the fusion of the 2 cells is complete). This is the place in time where a new entity is created that is neither the egg nor the sperm. The zygote contains all of the genetic information necessary for a human being / person to develop. The only things needed are time and place. No further genetic transformations will occur. There is no future line when a group of non-person cells somehow becomes a moral person with rights. The zygote is a moral person with rights, especially the right to life.

In other words, I am a former fetus. I did not become Jason Dollar at a later stage of development. I am a former zygote. I have changed in appearance through the years, but it is the same “me.”

To kill a fetus is to kill some I, or some person. Not a mere potential person, but an actual person. Though it might be argued that abortion is sometimes a justified killing of a person, say in cases where the mother’s life is at stake, the vast majority of abortions are done without sufficient justification. For example, when a woman becomes pregnant and claims she is not ready to be a mother, or cannot afford a child, neither of these are sufficient justifications for taking the life of another person. In these cases, abortion should be legally called murder, which is the unjustified killing of another human person.

For more read:
The Wrong of Abortion
by Patrick Lee and Robert P. George


AP Mattox said…
Thanks Jason , that's the best argument I've heard. We miss you Bro.
Anonymous said…
Nice! I enjoyed reading. You put it into perspective in terms that many would not dare touch. Nice writing.

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