Any minute one of our non-religious Revoistas will show up and lend credibility to the argument that the pro-life position need not have any religious basis at all.
Allow me to introduce myself:
My name is Uke, and I am a heathen.
In the most specific terms I can manage: I am an agnostic, with deist leanings (meaning, in lay terms, that while I have a gut feeling there is something bigger than myself, I have never seen proof of it so don’t feel comfortable in banking in it; thus the “I don’t know” of agnosticism suits me). I’m certainly not religious in any way. Don’t attend church, etc. I came to be this way, in part I suppose, because of my heavy self-investment in the sciences. I majored in biology with a minor focus on organic chemistry. In this way, I learned to demand an open mind of myself, and a commitment to only have gut feelings (i.e. intuition) about things until I could scientifically prove them (or see them proven).
I am also a heathen that absolutely abhors abortion, and believes that abortion is criminal. How can this be?
Quite frankly, it’s very, very easy to understand for me. I believe in Natural Rights. They are self-evident, that we have the rights of Life, Liberty and Property as per our very creation. God need not enter into it in any way, by the way. I was created, regardless of how.
In being created, I was given Life.
You taking that away from me now, as I stand here, would be a crime. It would be no less a crime if you killed me right after birth, or a moment before birth. In fact, it would be a crime all the way back to the very point where I had a life for you to take.
And NONE of that, as you can plainly see, has anything to do with religious teachings or assumptions.
Because, as I said, I am a heathen.
Now, it’s plainly obvious that a child isn’t given life merely upon being birthed. That’s simply absurd on its face, regardless of how some organization might pervert plain meanings of words to define it as such. Were this definition of life to stand, then it’s as variable as we want it to be. Child is born at 9 months, and he’s “alive,” great; if you want him “alive” a week earlier, just have a caesarian!
We’re now down to successfully birthing children down to, what? 20 weeks or so? That’s due to medical advances allowing for us to keep babies alive that only gestated for 20 weeks. And further medical advances will continue to bring that number even lower. What makes us think that we won’t eventually be able to remove the fertilized egg from the mother immediately after conception, and gestate it in a tube for 9 months?
So, using “birth,” or even “birth from the mother,” as the standard by which we judge the commencement of life is silly.
Some people assign independence as a measure to show when life begins, but this is also silly on its face. There are many people dependent upon caregivers, iron lungs, and whatnot in order to live. The infirm elderly, comatose patients, and damn 2 year olds wouldn’t stand a day without some form of physical assistance. Even those people that derisively call fetuses “parasites” don’t really get it; even if the relationship between fetus and mother is parasitic in nature (and you might find just a few arguments against that), so what? I haven’t ever heard of a non-living parasite.
Some people use a heartbeat as the indicator by which life begins. But that makes the window for aborting a non-life pretty damn short. A fetus grows a heart at Week 5. It begins beating at Week 6.
There may still be a point at which during the gestation (that is to say, after conception but before birth) at which we judge life to begin, but I’m not even so sure of it. The reason being that the state of “life” doesn’t require “sentience.” Pardon my triteness, but Life only requires Life.
Put another way, imagine that the movie monster from The Blob were to be real. The Blob, by any reasonable standard, is quite alive. It’s motile, it consumes, it excretes. And yet, it’s clearly not sentient (at least not as I recall… I’ll admit to not being a Blob aficionado). It doesn’t think, it has no self-awareness, and may not even be capable of feeling pain.
Okay, so by now you probably see where I’m going with this.
Let’s just say that at a certain gestational progress, humans don’t really look like much more than a little blob of cells. They don’t think, they don’t know about pain, love, Chinese food or how awful Nickelback is, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t alive nonetheless. They carry the characteristics required for life to exist. Hell, freaking mold on a piece of toast is alive and even it doesn’t groove as much as a little fetus does.
So, suffice to say that in my mind Life, the prime Natural Right, is given to a human long before birth, and possibly right back to conception. If that is so, it’s criminal to take that life, regardless of what some politicians say.
And I didn’t even need the Pope’s hand up my ass to tell you why I believe that.