My colleague, Cam, often tells people that he doesn’t use the principles he learned studying for his biology degree while having conversations about abortion. Instead, he uses those he learned in his ninth-grade biology class.
As many times as I’ve heard him say that and as many times as I’ve shared that simple science in my own conversations, I wasn’t fully convinced that was all that I’d need…until a couple weeks ago.
The basic questions of the Human Rights Argument – “If something is growing isn’t it alive?” and “If that living organism has two human parents isn’t it human?” – are powerful. I’ve personally witnessed numerous people change their opinion on abortion as they answered them. They’re simple, but they work!
The question which lingered at the back of my mind was: would they always? They may work ninety-five percent of the time, but if I met with someone from the five percent of the population who has dived deeper into the study of science. What would I say to them?
Well, that’s just what happened a couple weekends ago while our volunteer team was out knocking on doors. Paired up with one of our wonderful new volunteers, I began a conversation with a lady who was sitting out on her front step. When I asked what she thought about abortion, she didn’t hesitate.
“I’m pro-choice,” she said.
Then she brought up some of the difficult situations a pregnant mother may have to face. We talked through those and slowly made our way to the science of when life begins and the question, what are the pre-born?
That’s when she stopped me and said, “I know all about the science. I’m a scientist.”
I paused for a second, as thoughts such as why did I get this street? and she should really talk to Cam! raced through my mind. Thankfully, I remembered the advice I’ve heard so many times: stick to the apologetics.
So I said, “That’s really cool! So I guess you know then that the science is pretty simple. I mean, if something is growing – even from one cell, to two cells, to four – isn’t it alive?”
Her brow furrowed. “Yes, I guess so.”
“And if that living organism has two human parents, isn’t it human?”
I said, “Dogs have dogs, right? And we know that cats always reproduce cats, right? So what do humans make when they reproduce?”
“Well, another human.”
I smiled. “Right! So if abortion intentionally ends the life of that human, wouldn’t that mean abortion is a human rights violation?”
Our conversation continued for a few minutes after that and in the end she said, “I’ve never thought through abortion in that way before.” She agreed abortion is wrong and said she’d learned something from our conversation.
I had too!
I experienced something which had previously just been head knowledge. I realized that the science is the same for all of us, including those who have studied it at a far greater depth than I have, and the facts really are simple.
The question which remains is what will we choose to do with them?