I was in my high school English class defending the pro-life argument when one girl raised her hand and said:
“What if a woman is assaulted and becomes pregnant? Are you saying she still has to keep the child?!”
And honestly, I just spoke. Words came out of my mouth without thought. It was so strange, and I had to stop and try to understand what I had said afterward. I said:
Love is laying down your life for someone else. Abortion is laying down someone else’s life…for you (Anonymous).
Many things have been said recently defending the rationale behind the pro-life position, so I feel I am in good company as today we defend the unborn, beginning from the perspective of science.
Scientifically speaking, we identify things with, and by, their potential.
For example, included in the definition of water is its potential to freeze at 0℃ and boil at 100℃, as well as the inability to ignite.
Identity and potential are so unshakably interwoven that if we were to hear of some “mysterious compound” catching fire (although we might not know anything else about it) we would know, and with certainty, that whatever it is, it’s not water.
Why? Because again, potential (like the potential to burn) and identity are intrinsically bound.
Yet, because a thing’s potential might come in and out of act (like water boiling at one time, and freezing at another), its identity is not dependent upon such potential being actualized.
For example, a particular portion of water may never reach boiling or freezing point, but that does not make it any less H2O, nor will anyone say it becomes H2O, at the moment it freezes at 0℃ or boils at 100℃.
In a similar way, dogs have the potential to bark, but no animal becomes a dog by barking; birds can fly, but they don’t cease to be birds while on the ground; man can reason, but he doesn’t have to in order to remain human or to be human in the first place. The mere potential for reason is sufficient.
And, he receives that potential at conception. Therefore, human life begins at conception.
Since justice demands “rendering to another what is due,” in other words, that people get what they deserve, then, since no one in the womb can do anything worthy of the death penalty, then abortion is, and always be, an injustice.
Additionally, every human being, at least in America, has certain non-negotiable rights, as the Declaration of Independence states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government…(The United States of America, Declaration of Independence, July 4th 1776) (emphasis added).
Having concluded the case from the scientific and judicial side, let us gaze for a moment toward the spiritual.
Good & Evil
Opposites betray one another, in the sense that in knowing one, we can get a glimpse into the other.
For example, from the notion of light, one understands darkness; from the notion of sight, one can imagine blindness. Thus, from the notion of supreme goodness, one gets a clue into grotesque evil.
The supreme act of goodness occurring on this Earth is that act of Christ crucified made present again in the Catholic Mass, where Jesus says, through the priest:
Take, this is my body, given up for you.
And its opposite, as Evil’s mockery against it, is that act whereby a mother, in taking the life of her own child, says with her actions:
Take, this is your body, given up for me.