The Abortion Debate Really Isn't That Complicated: Part 2
When my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child, we did the most millennial thing ever. We downloaded an app.
The app allowed us to track the growth of our new baby. One week she was the size of an avocado. The next week, a peach. Yes, I know it’s ridiculous. But it was fun.
The app told us all the ways our baby was growing and changing. It told us when she was able to hear us. When her organs were formed. When she was able to suck her thumb.
As we went through this journey as new parents, I thought back to what it must have been like for my parents. Or even my grandparents. They didn’t have an app. They didn’t know nearly as much about their unborn child as we do today. Ultrasound wasn’t even invented until 1956, and it wasn’t widely used in America until the 1970’s.
As time has gone on, we have discovered more and more about the unborn. Science and technology have revealed more about life in the womb than we’ve ever known. And as many are now realizing, it’s changing the abortion debate.
You see, for a long time, people have labeled Christians as anti-science. We are those crazy people who believe in a Creator, a global flood, miracles, and life after death. We even claim to have a personal relationship with a guy who rose from the dead.
But many are now making a bold claim: pro-life is pro-science. The March for Life, America’s largest pro-life rally each year, even used that statement for their theme this past year.
I wrote a post recently about how the abortion debate really isn’t as complicated as most people make it. I said that it all comes down to this central question, “Is the unborn child a person?” How you answer that question determines what you believe about abortion and takes you in one of two very opposite directions.
Because of science, that question is becoming easier and easier to answer. The more we learn about the fetus, the harder it is to deny personhood.
Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that protected a woman’s right to have an abortion, was decided in 1973. Do you know how much we have learned about pregnancy and the unborn child since then? Remember, ultrasound machines were just stepping onto the scene in the 1970’s. The internet was not invented yet. Post-It Notes were not even invented yet. Post-It Notes for crying out loud.
Check out some of these facts that science has confirmed about the unborn life, many discovered in the last few decades:
From the very moment of conception, when the sperm fertilizes the egg, a unique set of DNA is created, and the baby’s gender is already determined.
At 3 weeks, the heart begins to beat. Consider the fact that many women don’t even know they're pregnant at this point.
At 4 weeks, eyes and ears are formed, and blood is flowing throughout the body.
At 6 weeks, brain waves can be detected.
At 9 weeks, the baby can yawn and suck its thumb.
At 10 weeks, all the baby’s major organs are formed and functional, and unique fingerprints begin to form.
At 19 weeks, the baby can dream.
At 20 weeks, the baby can feel pain.
At 26 weeks, the baby can cry in the womb.
At 28 weeks, the baby can smell what the mother smells.
These are just a handful of the endless facts you can find and verify through a simple internet search. These are not pro-life opinions. These are scientific facts.
If a pregnant woman is not pregnant with a human life, then what is she pregnant with? And if she is pregnant with a human life, then isn’t that life just as deserving of protection and care as every other life made in the image of God? Science has confirmed what Bible-believing Christians have always known and taught. Life begins at conception.
Of course there are those that push back on this argument. Some seek a middle ground by arguing that life begins at viability. They believe that when the unborn baby can survive apart from the mother, then that life is worthy of personhood. But as science progresses, viability continues to come sooner. Just last month, the world’s smallest baby at birth was discharged from the hospital after she was born at just 23 weeks.
And what does viability really mean? The ability to survive on your own? That makes me wonder, is my two-year-old even viable?
“Well,” others argue, “maybe life begins at first heartbeat, or maybe when pain is felt, or maybe when organs are developed.” But I think this argument is going to continue getting more difficult to make. Because again, science has confirmed what no one can honestly deny. Life is a process that begins at the moment of conception.
That’s why we see such polar opposite arguments happening. There are those advocating for legal abortion up until the moment of birth, and then there are those advocating for a total ban on all abortions. Science has almost eliminated the middle way.
As a result, the abortion debate isn’t going away anytime soon. Instead, it’s shifting. The question is no longer, “Is the unborn child a human being?” The question is now, “Is the unborn child a person?” In other words, “Should we grant personhood to every unborn life, thereby granting them full protection, dignity, and rights?”
Make no mistake. This debate is messy, costly, overcrowded, and deeply personal for some. But it’s really not that complicated.
So log off social media, turn off the tv, close out this blog, and think for yourself. Answer the question: Is the unborn child a person?
Their lives depend on your answer.