When does a human being become a person? Is it at the moment of conception, the first scream after birth or when certain capabilities are exhibited? Though the question is simple the diversity of answers leads to great debate.
Medical science makes it clear the fetus has a heartbeat at 21 days from conception. By the third week the baby’s spine and nervous system are forming while the liver, kidney and intestines are taking shape. Hands and legs begin to grow at week five and by week six brain waves are detectable and fingernails are developing. By week twelve unborn babies can suck their thumbs and by twenty weeks they can feel pain because their nerves, spine and thalamus are developed.
The unborn child is a distinctive work of art. Preborn babies have wrongly been referred to as mere “blobs of tissue” or “clumps of cells” by abortion proponents. One glance at an ultrasound screen can silence those lies. Modern technology gives us a window into the womb where we behold a complex creature that is far more than a bunch of cells clustered together.
Since the fetus is a person, it deserves protection. The unborn child is worthy of undeniable rights and privileges. Though the unborn child is carried in the womb of its mother, the fetus has a blood type, DNA and genetic code which are uniquely its own.
The Declaration of Independence proclaims that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Every human being regardless of their ethnicity, age, gender, physical disabilities or size should receive these rights.
The unborn child is one of the most vulnerable members of our society, yet sadly, the least protected. The maximum sentence for killing or injuring a bald eagle is $10,000 and up to two years in prison. The bald eagle is protected under federal statue as an endangered species we deem valuable.
All 50 states in the U.S have animal cruelty laws that protect animals from being cruelly mistreated, neglected or injured. While our animals are rightly protected, the unborn human child remains defenseless.
38 U.S states have fetal homicide laws, allowing a person who murders a pregnant woman to be charged with two counts of murder. These laws that protect the rights of the unborn child independently of its mother do not apply in the case of abortion. A 26-week-old viable unborn baby can be dismembered and killed without reason in a late term abortion.
The laws that once existed to protect the preborn child have been traded in for illusions of liberation, cries for choice and philosophies that exalt momentary convenience over character development. Where is the justice in all of this?
History has shown us that the majority or status quo can be wrong. We understand now that even when a government counts a man as 3/5ths of a person or property, he is still nevertheless a person. Though the laws in our country have radically changed over the last century regarding the preborn, their personhood has never changed. Though society frames its arguments to support abortion around the topics of a mother’s health, rape, poverty and teenage motherhood, a truth remains. In light of our justifications for violence towards the preborn, there is no good and morally upright reason to destroy the life of an innocent human. For in destroying the unborn, we unknowingly reject our compassion and destroy ourselves.