The first basic category is "It's not a human being/person, it'sjust a blob of tissue." Within this you would place all the followingpro-abortion arguments:
1. The fetus is just a part of the woman's body
2. It's not a baby
3. An egg and a sperm are also human life; the fetus is only a potential human being
4. It's not a person, it has no meaningful life
5. Don't impose your religion on me
6. A fetus is not a person until quickening
7. Life begins at birth
8. No one can really know that life begins before birth
The list can go on, but the basic argument is that the unborn child is not a human being, from the moment of fertilization.
The response should always contain scientifically accurate facts about the generic biology of every member of the species homo sapiens. It should then apply those facts to the unborn child.
The primary focus of your answer is to restore a very real human face to that baby.
Whenyou do answer this question be aware that your response will probablyanswer other pro-abortion objections as well, since the core of theentire pro-abortion argument rests upon dehumanizing the baby. You willhave defined the real crux of the debate if you can solidly defend thescientific reality that these are unborn members of the human family.How?
One simple but effective way is to start with a few "fetalfacts." Highlight the extraordinary amount of new and ever-growinginformation we now have about the unborn child's life. Memorize atleast three facts about early fetal life, such as that the heart beginsto beat at 18 to 21 days after fertilization; that there are brainwaves at six weeks; or that at eight weeks all body systems arepresent, including little fingers and toes!
At this point inyour answer it is important to remind your listener that most abortionstake place between the eighth and eleventh week of the pregnancy - -about six weeks after the baby's heart has started to beat.
Don'tbe sidetracked by pro-abortion comments that typically come up. Themost common is to dismiss the undeniable facts of prenatal life asmerely a "religious" issue. Do not allow your questioner to discountthe scientific facts of life with misleading beside-the-point rhetoric.
Infact, it is precisely because of modern scientific understanding aboutlife in the womb that there are people of all faiths, and no faith,working in the pro-life movement. The cause of the unborn is theultimate human rights issue. While it may be tempting, and may in somesettings even appropriate, to engage in a discussion of the theologicalorigins for a person's pro-life position, usually the religiousarguments are just another attempt by pro-abortionists to evade thepowerful truth you are presenting.
Remember, as you go aboutestablishing the humanity of the unborn, encourage common sense toprevail. For instance, since the baby is genetically unique atfertilization, it is impossible to say he/she is just another part ofhis/her mother's body.
Another theme often put forward is that ababy isn't one of us until there is "meaningful" life, or until"ensoulment." Once again, recognize the sidetracking going on. Helpyour listener to realize that it is dangerous to apply an arbitraryyardstick of usefulness or other "quality of life" judgment todetermine who will be recognized as human beings with the right to lifeand who won't be. Such illogical prejudice opens the door to redefiningany of us out of existence based on someone else's idea of what is"meaningful" life.
The simple answer to all these relatedquestions begins and ends with the irrefutable scientific fact that atthe moment of fertilization two separate cells form one new life,genetically distinct in every way from every other human being onearth. The color of our eyes, the shape of our hands, even where we puton weight and when we will go bald was programmed into that one tinycell that we all began our lives as.
Stick with the "fetalfacts" on this one. Throw in a little humor and horse sense along withsome well-developed images of tiny little faces sucking tiny littlefingers. It will not be hard to tear down walls of apathy or ignorance.
*This article originally appeared in December 12, 1997 NRL News
Printed with permission from National Right to Life (www.nrlc.org ).