Friday, October 14, 2011

Prochoice Debunked

Abortion is a heavy topic for some. It stirs up feelings of anger and passion when brought up in any public forum. On the social site Twitter, there is a group of so called "prochoice" who tweet away on abortion and so-called women's rights. They battle, insult and push for abortion by any means. This includes presenting feminist rhetoric in the guise of science and belittling anyone who defends life by claiming their rebuttals are "religious" in nature.

I myself have been engaged by some of these posters. They hashtag "#prochoice" to every respond, and retweet a prolifer's tweets in order to get a collective band of prochoice to join in with mockery and other nonsensical tweets. It is unfortunate, but is the reality of how ignorance of biology and embryology can fuel so much anger, hate and nonsense. I will try my best to highlight what I have seen on twitter from those who call themselves "prochoice" and answer them directly using solely science. Here it goes:

1) Women's rights

What is a right? According to Merriam's dictionary it is: : "being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper <right conduct>" Pro abortion people often present abortion as a "right" for women. But is abortion really a right? The answer is no. Abortion, nor the erroneous term "reproductive rights" are not mentioned in the United Nation's "Declaration of human rights"
The idea that abortion is a right stems from feminist rhetoric. No one has a right to kill any human life. Abortion is not a "right" neither for woman, man or child. 

2) Bodily autonomy

Many push the idea "this is my body" to justify abortion. The logic flows as such: A woman is pregnant, carries a fetus, so therefore it is her body and she can do whatever right? Wrong. The woman and fetus are not one in the same. Human beings reproduce sexually. That means, that a male and female must have sexual intercourse - the male must ejaculate sperm into a woman and a woman must have an egg ready to be fertilized. 
In order for a woman to say that the fetus and herself are "ONE" body, she would have to reproduce asexually. Asexual reproduction is defined as "one individual produces offspring that are genetically identical to itself. These offspring are produced by mitosis" - (

Moreover, a fetus and woman have different DNA and blood types.- (O'Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss) A fertilized egg has 50% chromosomes from the mother and 50% of the father. ( A fetus in gestation also might have a different gender if the child has XY chromosomes. So the idea that "this is my body" has no foundation in biology/embryology. The woman's body is hers, and the fetus' body is his/her depending on what gender the fetus is. There are two distinct bodies, not just one.  Moreover, if the "this is my body" argument is true, why do women come out alive most of the time after an abortion? She should have been aborted in the procedure as well.  

3) Fetus is an aggressor

This is one of the strangest arguments to date. Some claim the fetus somehow attacks the woman. However, biology teaches otherwise. A woman's body is designed to reproduce. She has ovaries, fallopian tubes, a uterus, and vagina. The ovaries regulate hormones and also produce eggs with the genes of the women. These eggs are released at different intervals and wait for fertilization in the Fallopian tube. - ( (

Once fertilized, the egg travels to the uterus as a zygote. It implants and starts to gestate. -(
This fertilization, or conception is the beginning of a new human person - “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being.” - (Moore K. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology.)

Moreover, a female's pelvis is different than that of a male. It is wider and symmetrically set up to hold and deliver a baby. - ( ) The vagina/cervix itself dilates during birth in order to allow a baby's head/body to pass through. - ( That being said, a woman's body is biologically and naturally designed to house and help develop a zygote, embryo, and fetus. To say the fetus is an aggressor is not science. It is hateful feminist rhetoric based on fallacies. 

4) Fetus is a parasite.

This is another strange argument presented by some prochoice advocates. They claim at fetus is a parasite or parasitic because it is "living off" the mother. Once again, this attack on human life is based on fallacious feminist rhetoric. All life comes from a beginning point. No one or thing appears "fully developed." 

A cat does not fall out of the sky fully developed, neither does a dog, fish or human being. All organisms; plant or animal begin at one point. From that point they go through a series of developmental stages that do not end at birth. -( ( ( ()
This is how it has been for however long life has existed on this planet called Earth. 

Now, is a fetus a parasite or parasitic? The answer is no. A parasite has to be of another species. It invades a different species and survives off of it. "A parasite is defined as an organism of one species living in or on an organism of another species (a heterospecific relationship) and deriving its nourishment from the host (is metabolically dependent on the host)"-(Cheng, T.C., General Parasitology.) The relationship between a zygote, embryo, fetus and the mother is solely dependent, not parasitic if we are to believe the biological classification of a parasite. Now, there are changes in the woman that are caused by the pregnancy; however they are related to hormonal changes, not disease as would be the case in a parasite invading a host. 

A fetus does not cannibalize his or her own mother. This relationship is called "motherhood." If a fetus were a parasite, it would not have come from within the woman's own genetic material. The woman's immune system would attack it as if it were a foreign body. The antibodies of the woman actually help with the growth and development of the fetus and placenta. -( The idea that a fetus is a parasite or parasitic is flawed and not compatible with science. The fetus lacks the qualities for being classified as a parasite. Claiming that a fetus is a parasite because he/she is dependent on the mother is absurd and a misuse of definitions. It is a misrepresentation of the natural function of reproduction and pregnancy. If a fetus were a parasite, then the mother is one as well; however, that is not the case, because for a parasite to be classified as such, it would have to be of a different species invading another species. A parasite is a parasite, and a human fetus is a human fetus. Prochoice cannot twist taxonomy to suit feminist rhetoric. They are both incompatible to one another.

5) The Unborn are not persons.

Bullies often attack smaller persons than themselves. They mock them, tease them, treat them as insignificant. Well the same is pretty much done by prochoice advocates. They claim that the fetus is not a person because he/she cannot "feel, think, or are sentient." Some go as far as to merely cite laws to claim their position is correct. However, let's study the issue. 

What does it mean to be sentient? It means: "responsive to or conscious of sense impressions <sentient beings> awareness> ( So to be sentient, that means we have to be aware, or conscious. We have to be able to feel and perceive. 

The real question that needs to be asked is: is sentience a prerequisite for a human being to be "human?" The answer is no. Human beings as highlighted in the previous answers do not appear fully developed. Each human person goes through a series of changes and growths. This starts from conception and ends at death. If death was non existent, then we would age and age and age. This is the normal stage of life. 

Whether or not a fetus is aware or sentient is inconclusive at the point. However, we do know that brain waves have been recorded as early as 5/6 weeks. ( These brain waves demonstrate that this organism is not a "blob of cells," but rather, it is an organism of a particular species in gestational development. They show that there is brain activity. The fetus is alive! If uninterrupted, it will be born and will continue this development as it grows and changes. To say a fetus or younger is not a person because it is not sentient is erroneous and a conclusion based on lack of evidence. 

First, we do not have enough science to say this. Until we can decipher the brain waves detected in fetus's, we cannot assume they are not aware, are not thinking, and cannot feel. Second, human life is a process of development. We are not born with everything. Even an infant is not totally sentient. The phenomenon of Object Permanence shows this. Object Permanence is "a child's ability to know that objects continue to exist even though they can no longer be seen or heard." - 

When an infant is shown something in front of his/her face, he/she will respond as if he/she is seeing it or hearing it. However, when the sound is gone or the object is placed behind the infant or even on the side, he/she will think it disappeared from existence. An infant is not aware of the 3D environment he/she is living in. His/her perception is limited, that is to say, his/her sentience is limited. 

Now this begs the question: are infants human? According to prochoice logic, the answer is no. Infants are not fully aware or sentient, so they are not human. If anything, prochoice might claim they are "half human." This logic is fallacious. Sentience, awareness, and/or feeling are not requirements for human traits. Some infants, toddlers, children and adults have Congenital insensitivity to pain, or CIPA. In this disorder, those affected cannot feel pain or have sensation. They can touch scolding hot water and not feel it despite their skin boiling off. 

Now, by prochoice's logic, these people are not human either because they cannot feel or have sensation. Furthermore, some mentally challenged individuals are not fully aware and need help with even the most basic needs. Are they not human because of this? In reality all the above are human. Human life is a process. It begins at conception. A zygote, embryo, fetus and infant all have the same DNA - if not killed in abortion of course. When you and I were zygotes, embryos, etc, we just were at a different stage of development. We were not of a different species when we were in the womb. To claim a preborn human is not human or a person is absurd, just like thinking an infant is not a person because it is not fully aware.

A human is a person despite of what stage of development he/she is in or what state of health it is in. Laws cannot define personhood. In the USA, laws considered African Americans 3/5 human. Imagine that! Black people were only 3/5 persons/human beings, and people back then were pro and against this idea just like people are pro "preborn are persons" and against "preborn are persons" today. History seems to really do repeat itself. But just like this idea of blacks being 3/5 dissolved with protests, education and an end to the attitude of prejudice, so too will this discrimination towards the preborn end. 

6) A fetus is a "blob of cells" "tissue."

Prochoice advocates disregard the destruction of a fetus by claiming it is merely "cells" or a "tissue." It is a "cancer," or a "tumor' as I have seen some post on twitter. According to the medical dictionary and fetus is: "The unborn offspring from the end of the 8th week after conception (when the major structures have formed) until birth. Up until the eighth week, the developing offspring is called an embryo" - ( ) 

Now notice that the definition says, "when the major structures have formed." What are these major structures? They are organ systems. Biology teaches that life takes different forms. The most basic form is a "cell." A cell is a structural biological unit of an organism - ( Some definitions add the word basic to this. - ( In layman's terms, a cell is a building block of life. They contain a nucleus with DNA, cytoplasm, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, etc. 

When these cells are together, they form cellular tissue. - ( This cell tissue can come in many different forms; i.e, connective, smooth, epithelial and so on. When these tissues come together they form what is called an organ.

An organ is defined as "A group of tissues that perform a specific function or group of functions." - ( This definition seems to match the prochoice's one of a fetus. However, notice the error in classification. A fetus is "unborn offspring from the end of the 8th week -when major structures have formed.." so a fetus cannot be an organ or a "group of tissues that perform a specific function.." as prochoice suggests. A fetus is an organism, or "am individual living thing that can grow, respond to stimuli and so on." - ( Once again prochoice rejects biology in favor of feminist rhetoric which contradicts truth.

7) Abortion is not murder/killing. 

This statement made by prochoice deals more with the llegal definition of it. Prolife people when they say abortion is murder do not speak of it in legal terms. They are speaking of it in the way any dictionary would define it as: "the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another:" - (

The legal definition of it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. - ( However, the general idea is there: the intentional killing of a human being. Is abortion murder? Technically speaking yes, under current abortion laws, no. Abortion is murder in that it is the intentional killing of a human being by another. I have already shown how biology and embryology articulately presents the unborn as human beings in its early stages of development, so it would be foolish to deny science and claim abortion does not kill human beings. Here are some quotes from experts:

“A zygote is the beginning of a new human being.”
-Moore K. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology.

"By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."
- Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman, Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic

"Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man, from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the uterus."
- The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial,

"The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote."
- Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins,

"The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote."
- Sadler, T.W. Langman's Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins

"Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity."
- O'Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss

"Every baby begins life within the tiny globe of the mother's egg... It is beautifully translucent and fragile and it encompasses the vital links in which life is carried from one generation to the next. Within this tiny sphere great events take place. When one of the father's sperm cells, like the ones gathered here around the egg, succeeds in penetrating the egg and becomes united with it, a new life can begin."
-Geraldine Lux Flanagan, Beginning Life

"Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization."
-The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic, 2006

"The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual's unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated."
-In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005

"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."
-Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
Harvard University Medical School

"I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception."
-Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni
Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania

"The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception."
-Dr. Watson A. Bowes
University of Colorado Medical School

Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being - a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.
-Report, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session 1981, 7

I can go on and on, but we get the point that a human being begins at conception/fertilization. If science is right and human beings do begin at conception, then destroying that conception is killing and if it was done intentionally, then it is murder. The Unborn Victim's Act also shows how intentionally killing the offspring of a woman is murder. The law even calls the unborn, "children."- 


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