Sunday, August 08, 2010

Another abortioneer who needs remedial biology

So, this young lady has a lot of opinions on abortion. Many of which are ridiculous and laughable. I would like to highlight my favorites and discuss it with you all.

Early on, she says, "It's obvious that biology says that a human being becomes a human as a zygote." According to the dictionary, a zygote is "the cell produced by the union of two gametes, before it undergoes cleavage."

So a cell. A zygote is a cell.
It does not seem to occur to Mr. Banana Grabber. that human beings begin life as one-celled organisms.

Apparently, the fact that a zygote is only one cell disproves its humanity. It doesn't. The zygote is a human being at its most primitive stage of development.

Aha! Primitive! You might say.

Yes: primitive: but equally human.

Just like primitive pygmies are equal humans.

"Primitive" does not disprove humanity.

Mr. Banana Grabber writes:
Later, she is asked what is the best argument she has heard from the pro-choice side? She replies, "The very best argument is that a fetus is not a human being... it's a clump of cells. That's a thesis. What is the evidence for that?"

Um, doesn't biology "obviously" tell us something about zygotes? That zygotes are cells? How do you need evidence to prove that a clump of cells is a clump of cells? If a zygote is a cell then it is a cell. I think she is trying to suggest what is the evidence that it is not a human being? I would suggest the evidence that it is not a human being is because it is not living outside the womb. Also, it is a clump of cells according to biology but I won't bother with that point.
He gets so many things wrong here.

First, he confuses "zygote" and "fetus".

They are not interchangeable. The zygote stage of human life lasts about twenty fours and is the very first stage of human life. The fetal stage of human life begins at about 8 weeks after conception.

They are not the same.

The "clumps of cells" argument-- that a fetus is a mass of indistinguishable cells is easily disproven. All you need to do is look at a picture of a fetus:

He continues:
This fetus-or-human is a very important distinction. There are those folks who think that once the egg is fertilized, bam, human. No ifs ands or buts. There are those who think that once a woman becomes pregnant, it's not a human until it is born. There are some who think that it's human in third trimester. There are some who think after 24 weeks it is human. People are ALL over the map on this. Probably because there isn't a way you can actually prove when humanness begins.
You can prove when a human being begins. What you need to do is figure out when there exists an organism of the species homo sapiens.

Clearly the coming together of two gametes from two human beings will produce offspring.

People may be "all over the map" about humanity, but society cannot be. We have to know who is a rights-bearer, and who is not in order not to violate human rights.

Our society claims to believe in the equality of all human beings.

Pro-lifers are following through on that conviction.
What I do know, is that I value the life of someone who already exists in the world, and is living
Fetuses exist and are living.
I value that more than a clump of cells. I value that more than a fetus. I value that more than a baby who is still in the womb.
Then he doesn't value all human beings.
An abortion to save the life of the mother is to preserve the life of someone who is already alive in the world versus a fetus/clump of cells/whatever you want to call in her stomach.
Stomach? Let's be generous and say he meant "tummy".
I don't see how creating an orphan and letting the mother die in childbirth is really keeping the justice.
There are other ways to save mothers other than abortion. Somehow that doesn't come up. The lowest maternal mortality rates in the world are in countries with restrictive abortion laws.
Revolutionary Vagina made an interesting comment:
Actually, that is the cellular/organismal definition of living vs. nonliving (e.g. petroleum, paper) and has nothing to do with the *moral* definition of life, which they also know full well. Here again, they are trying to take advantage of the popular conflation of the meaning of "alive" with, you know, having rights or conscience or feeling or personhood.
The question is: Are all human beings equal? Is human life sacred? Are human beings intrinsically valuable?

Before abortion supporters make their moral argument, they should get the biology right.