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If your interlocutor raises this issue, point out that: (1) the word "contraception" literally means "against conception," therefore something cannot be said to be a "contraceptive" if it allows conception, and (2) the fertilization-based definition of pregnancy is still the predominant definition in medical dictionaries today. Cite More Facts on Human Development Human beings develop at an astonishingly rapid pace.
Fetal surgery has become a medical specialty, and includes the separate provision of anesthesia to the baby.
You can cite some of the surgeries now performed on children before their birth, such as shunting to bypass an obstructed urinary tract, removal of tumors at the base of the tailbone, and treatment of congenital heart disease. There are many others.
Scientists define an organism as a complex structure of interdependent elements constituted to carry on the activities of life by separately-functioning but mutually dependant organs. The human zygote meets this definition with ease.
Once formed, it initiates a complex sequence of events to ready it for continued development and growth: The zygote acts immediately and decisively to initiate a program of development that will, if uninterrupted by accident, disease, or external intervention, proceed seamlessly through formation of the definitive body, birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity, and aging, ending with death.
Introduction Abortion is unlike any other issue debated today.
Millions of American women have aborted a child, and the pain, loss, and emotional need to justify what was done, both on the part of the mother and on the part of her loved ones, is strong and deep. This means that, in any debate, you may face an invisible thumb on the scale so that even the best logic will fail to persuade.
Abortion advocates want to hide this, of course, but liberal journalists such as David Savage of the Los Angeles Times have reported the truth about Roe, saying the Supreme Court created an "absolute right to abortion" under which "any abortion can be justified." Constructing a Pro-Life Legal Argument When you make the pro-life case, explain the basics of the actual ruling of Roe and then use the David Savage quote that Roe created an "absolute right to abortion" under which "any abortion can be justified" -- this allows a liberal LA Times reporter to make the explosive point that Roe created an unlimited abortion right.
Chances are your audience will not know that the Court created an unlimited right to abortion, and odds are good that they won't agree with it.
This coordinated behavior is the very hallmark of an organism. By contrast, while a mere collection of human cells may carry on the activities of cellular life, it will not exhibit coordinated interactions directed towards a higher level of organization. Thus, the scientific evidence is quite plain: at the moment of fusion of human sperm and egg, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive, and an individual organism - a living, and fully human, being. Some defenders of abortion will concede the scientific proofs but will argue that the entity in the womb is still not, or not yet, a "person." "Not a person" is a decidedly unscientific argument: it has nothing to do with science and everything to do with someone's own moral or political philosophy, though that someone may not readily admit it. If the science on when life begins is clear, why do some organizations claim that "pregnancy" doesn't begin until a week later, at implantation? Acceptance of an implantation-based definition of "pregnancy" would allow abortion providers to mischaracterize pills and technologies that work after conception but before implantation as "contraception," making them potentially less subject to regulation and certainly more accept-able and attractive to consumers.
Here is a good time to recite the scientific proofs, and maybe make a philosophical point of your own: We're either persons or property; and even the staunchest abortion defender will be reluctant to call a human child a piece of property. Others may suggest "humanness" depends on something spiritual, like infusion of a soul, but to argue there is no soul until birth or some other time is, by definition, to argue something incapable of proof. A brief word about the politicization of the definition of "pregnancy." While the science on when life begins is clear, some still claim that "pregnancy" doesn't begin until the embryo implants itself in the lining of the uterine wall, which occurs about a week later. Indeed, two institutes who support legalized abortion have pushed for this type of pregnancy re-definition for decades: the Guttmacher Institute (the abortion research institute originally established by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.