Depending on people’s backgrounds, some like to challenge the pro-life position on scientific grounds, others on philosophical grounds. A particular point of intersection of the two perspectives – and one that comes up often – is the topic of consciousness. The term carries with it a lot of interesting intellectual tradition. However, most either only consider a narrow portion of it, or make use of it simply to serve pre-established purposes.
This week, my colleagues and volunteers and I are at the University of Central Florida, debating university students on abortion and making the case, through conversational apologetics and abortion victim photography, that abortion is a human rights violation. As the inevitable pro-abortion protestors began to show up with their hand-made signs, I noticed that one argument was surfacing more often than most: “Reproductive rights are human rights.”
Like virtually all of pro-“choice” rhetoric, this statement is scientifically illiterate and misses the point entirely. Our case against abortion is a simple one: Human beings have human rights. Human rights begin when the human being begins, or we are simply excluding a group of human beings based on arbitrary criteria—in the case of abortion, age. Any inclusive human rights doctrine must protect all human beings.
It wasn’t a particularly normal Monday. On Mondays, I’m used to getting up at my townhouse in Southern Ontario, pouring myself a cup of coffee, and booting up my e-mail. On this Monday morning, I was standing with three friends and almost 800,000 other people on the National Mall in Washington DC, trying to stay warm while straining expectantly and intermittently at both the Stars and Stripes-bedecked Capitol building and the massive jumbotrons lining the Mall.
Pro-life social media feeds and media everywhere are lighting up with the dramatic escape story of Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese human rights activist who has been a loud and consistent critic of China’s brutal and bloody One Child Policy, which includes forced abortions and forced sterilizations.