If the unborn are not human, then abortion is the moral equivalent of mole removal and pro-lifers have nothing to disagree about. But if the unborn are humans, then abortion is murder even if the child is unwanted.
We know from embryology that when sperm and ovum meet, they generate a distinct new organism with it's own DNA. Though developmentally immature, a human life begins with all chromosomes present. Our hearts begin beating within 4 weeks and brainwaves can be detected by week 6. All systems are in place by week 8.
It's difficult to make a scientific case that the unborn aren't human, so educated abortion advocates focus instead on the philosophical question of "personhood". They come up with rules for what it means to be a 'person' who qualifies for human rights. There's no consensus on what these rules should be, but they usually fall into the categories of dependency, location, and level of development—none of which can legitimately disqualify someone from the human race. Their arbitrary standards are just as subjective as those that focus on race or gender and should be rejected.
DEPENDENCY: Abortion advocates claim that the unborn aren't humans because they're biologically dependent on another person to survive. However, diabetics, comatose patients, and newborn babies are completely dependent on other humans but it doesn't disqualify them from the right to live. We aren't justified in depriving anyone of life simply because they're physically dependent on another person.
LOCATION: Abortion advocates claim that we aren't humans until we exit the womb. However, our location has no bearing on what type of thing we are. There's nothing about the 8 inch journey down a birth canal that magically gives us our rights.
LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT: Abortion advocates claim we don't receive human rights until we are fully developed. However, a two year old girl is not less of a human simply because she doesn't have a fully developed reproductive system. We all vary in degree of development until we reach adulthood, yet everyone has human rights.
RESPONSE TO PRO-CHOICE ARGUMENTS
RESPONSE TO PRO-CHOICE ARGUMENTS
This argument makes the false assumption that only one body is involved. A woman's body doesn't have 2 sets of DNA, 2 brains, or 2 separate heartbeats. No one is against women discarding a mass of tissue, but when that mass of tissue is a member of the human race, it's murder. Women certainly have a right to control their body, but this right doesn't include harming others. You must prove that the unborn aren't humans before you can make the "choice" to kill them.
Pro-Choice material often refers to the Pro-Life movement as "Anti-Choice". It's a rhetorical trick to make Pro-Lifers seem as if they oppose decision making rather than abortion itself. But when the choice in question unjustly kills another human being, it's immoral NOT to be "anti-choice". There's nothing noble about defending a "choice" that destroys other humans.`
The central pro-life position is simply that abortion unjustly kills a human being. It's not exclusively religious and even atheists form pro-life groups. The Bible doesn't directly mention abortion, but even if it did it's irrelevant when forming laws. Scripture strongly opposes murder and stealing, yet we can't dismiss these laws simply because they're religious ideals.
Even if this is true it's irrelevant. We can't justify taking a person's life on the basis of pain. A doctor who murders a patient under anesthetic is still guilty even though his victim feels nothing. Arguing about fetal pain misses the entire point of the debate, which is "are the unborn humans who have the right to live?".
This argument fails on number of levels:
1. It suggests that people can only make moral or legal decisions based on their ability to commit the act in question. Not only does this standard exclude the men who legalized abortion in 1973, but also women who are barren or post menopause. The same logic would disqualify a quadriplegic from making laws against rape simply because he isn't physically able to rape someone. Even if we're unable to carry out an act, we can still make accurate moral judgements about it.
2. Even if we grant the flawed premise, it falsely assumes that men aren't involved in abortion. Male doctors regularly perform abortions and many of the the victims aborted are male. Unfortunately, men are very involved and affected by abortion.
3. If all men were to step back and let women decide the legality of abortion, the same debate and arguments would continue just as intensely. It's not a male versus female debate. You can't win a debate simply by dismissing your opponent on the basis of their gender; you have to address the arguments they put forward.
The debate is not about cases of rape and incest. Even when pro-lifers agree that it's okay to abort in these scenarios, they're still accused of depriving women of rights. The pro-choice position is that abortion must be available to everyone or it's a violation of freedom. But before we can consider abortion as a solution to rape pregnancies, we have to discuss the ethics of abortion itself. If abortion kills a human being, then aborting the unwanted child is the worst possible scenario for both the mother and child. The child will have her basic human right to life violated and the mother will carry the guilt of knowing she allowed it to happen. Abortion makes an already terrible situation even worse.
This is another dogmatic, arbitrary standard imposed on the unborn. There's no reason to accept the opinion that we somehow receive rights the moment our umbilical cord is severed. Conjoined twins are often completely dependent on each other because they share organs, yet we are not justified in taking their lives because they're not biologically independent. A person's Level of dependency has absolutely nothing to do with human rights.
People who shoot abortionists can't be called pro-life because they advocate and commit murder. The pro-life position is that ALL humans are valuable and shouldn't be murdered. Abortion doctors, Planned Parenthood supporters, and unborn babies are equally valuable human beings. It would be dishonest and inaccurate to associate violent terrorists with the pro-life movement, yet certain media outlets tried linking the Colorado Springs shooting to "Pro-Life rhetoric". Thousands of unborn humans lose their lives every day in Planned parenthood buildings across America. We should mourn the deaths of the 3 Colorado Springs victims added to their number.
No one is against reproductive choice. We all choose wether or not to participate in sex, which leads to the reproduction of human life. However, when a couple becomes pregnant, they no longer have the choice not to reproduce because it has already happened. It doesn't make sense to say you're choosing not to do something you already did, even if it was an accident. The only question is, what will you do with the product of your reproductive choice?
Risk of poverty is not a license to harm others. A single mother with 3 children is likely in poverty, but the solution is not for her to end their lives.
If a mother's life is truly in danger from a complicated pregnancy, all steps necessary should be taken to save her life, even if it means ending the unborn baby's life. It's better to save the mother's life then let both mother and baby die.
It's true that doctors should be the ones to give medical advice, however, they're not above morality or the law. Laws are necessary to keep medical practices safe and ethical. If a doctor gives advice to intentionally kill another human being, the government shouldn't just sit back and watch simply because he's a doctor. If the unborn are human, then it's wrong to take their life even if a doctor tells you it's okay.
This statement refutes itself because not everyone agrees with laws allowing abortion. Consensus is irrelevant when deciding public policy. What matters is wether or not abortion takes a human life. If there's any question about what the unborn are, we shouldn't take the risk of potentially murdering over a million people a year. The default position is to wait until we know for sure. We wouldn't demolish a building if there was any question that people were still in it.
Pro-lifers are not against abortion because they don't like it, they're against abortion because it unjustly ends a human life. We cannot reduce issues of life and death to personal preference.