Paul, you are misunderstanding. Following long established common law and cultural norms, the woman’s life would take precedence in a situation where the woman’s and the baby’s physical lives were at risk. What we are saying is that we must recognize that TWO human beings’ lives are at stake in every abortion decision. Both must be treated with respect.

Should the baby’s life be ended for eternity in order to avoid the months-long consequences of pregnancy? We are a compassionate people. There are pathways forward – either parenting or adoption that enrich, support and value both the woman and the baby. 

Why wouldn’t that fertilized egg have the same right to life? With its own unique set of DNA, that “fertilized egg” is a human being. A human is a human. The position of valuing one human life over another is the very basis of oppression throughout the world. Every human life has intrinsic value. When we start to put people in categories, we are all eventually put at risk.

Our nation’s body of law is all about establishing universal, objective human rights – that are not subject to the whims of bureaucrats, parents, or any other subjective decision maker. Our human rights should be protected on the objective basis of humanity. Please consider that the first right enumerated in our Declaration of Independence is the “Right to Life”. That right forms the foundation for all our rights.

Samantha, your original post was that personhood began at birth. The baby is WAY past a clump of cells at that point. 

Also, we have never claimed that the baby should have more rights than the woman – only that the baby’s equal right to life as a member of the human family should be respected.

Ken, we are not claiming superior protection for the unborn but rather equal protection based on the scientific, objective criterion of core identity. We again refer you to Steve Jacobs landmark study in 2019. The results showed that the vast majority of biologists – across various cultures – affirmed that each human life begins at conception. Jacobs wrote, “I found that 5,337 biologists (96%) affirmed that a human’s life begins at fertilization…” 

Here are some additional quotes from medical experts as to the identity of the beginning human being:  

Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School: “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…. It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception…. Our laws, one function of which is to help preserve the lives of our people, should be based on accurate scientific data.”     

Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris, was the discoverer of the chromosome pattern of Down syndrome. Dr. LeJeune testified to the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, “after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being.” He stated that this “is no longer a matter of taste or opinion,” and “not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.” He added, “Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.”     

Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic: “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” It is not our idea of conception or human identity that we are proposing. It is rather, established medical and scientific knowledge.  

Eric, the woman’s life, of course, should take precedence in a situation where she is in physical danger. That is correct long-established medical practice and law. There are cases where a doctor makes a poor medical decision and delays a therapeutic abortion. 

However, poor decision making by doctors occurs in every area of medicine. Sadly, doctors are not infallible and that will continue. However, the vast majority of abortions are purely elective – not due to medical issues. 

Michael, it most certainly matters when a human life begins. According to the Constitution, we are each “created equal”. Once a human being’s life begins they have “human rights”.

The question of life is fundamentally a scientific, biological issue. At fertilization, all 46 chromosomes scientifically identifying the being as a human being are in place. 

You contend that the fetus’s human life does not have the same value as an adult’s human life. On what scientific or philosophical basis do you make that contention?  

The position of valuing one human life over another is the very basis of oppression. Every human life has intrinsic value. When we start to put people in categories, we are all eventually put at risk.