Abortion and Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Abortion in its simplest description, is the termination/ending of innocent human life while still in the womb. Embryonic stem cell research is the harvesting of embryonic stem cells for research and/or treatment of medical conditions in others. Harvesting embryonic stem cells results in the destruction of a fertilized embryo, and thus the death, of the embryo from which the stem cells are harvested.
The argument for the Pro-Life position is simple:
- It is wrong to unjustly take the life of an innocent human being.
- Elective (non medically necessary) abortion unjustly takes the life of an innocent human being.
- Therefore, elective abortion is wrong.
Considering that 'Life' is the first of three rights specified in the Declaration of Independence, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness", abortion and stem cell research are of significant concern, especially when we consider the reasons given for the justification for these practices.
One of the most common reasons cited as justification of abortion is in the event of rape or incest. However, rape and incest represent less than 2% of the abortions performed, according to the Guttmacher Institute's report Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions
Two health reasons sited in the 2004 statistics of the report are:
- Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus: 13%
- Physical problem with my health: 12%
NOTE: The Guttmacher Institute was started by Planned Parenthood, so they are not a pro-life organization.
The above reasons comprise less than 30% of the reasons used to justify abortion, but they are the often the reasons cited as justification. These reasons given totaling less than 30% of the abortions performed means that over 70% of abortions being performed are for elective, non-medically necessary reasons. They are performed due to financial and other non-medical reasons.
Wikipedia's Abortion Statistics in the United States
shows abortion numbers from 1970 through 2014. In 2014 652,639 abortions were performed. With less than 30% being performed for rape, incest, or potential medical necessity, that means that over 450,000 were performed for non medical reasons. The same article indicates over 45 million abortions have been performed during the years indicated in this report. If the percentages in the reasons are similar through these years, then the 70%+ figure would indicate that over 31,000,000 unborn have been terminated due to non-medically necessary reasons.
Would it be reasonable to believe that the lives of these 31,000,000 are a more important consideration than the mother's/parent's convenience, desires and lifestyles? Considering the reasons rape and incest represent less than 2% of the justification of abortion, that means that none of the 70%+ of abortions for non-medical convenience were forced pregnancies. That means that there was a decision to engage in sexual intercourse. Last I heard, outside of artificial insemination, pregnancy only happens through sexual intercourse. So 70%+ of the abortions taking place are taking place by those who knowingly decided to have a sexual relationship. Why are the unborn the ones paying the price for the choices of others?
What about Partial Birth Abortion? This process delivers the unborn baby feet first, and with the body delivered but the head still in the birth canal, the unborn is terminated. Terminating the life of the unborn in this manner is legal, but if the unborn baby is fully delivered and then terminated, it is illegal. What reasoning makes any sense that the 6" to 8” travel of the head of the unborn baby through the birth canal makes the difference as to the termination of the life of that baby being legal or not?
The reason for this concern with Embryonic Stem Cell research is that the destruction of human life takes place. Some are of the belief that the unborn are not actual persons till they are born, so that the termination of the unborn, either through abortion or embryonic stem cell harvesting, is fully acceptable. The links below show scientific and logical evidences for the unborn deserving the same full protection as any person who has already been born.
While the embryonic type of stem cell research is fairly well known, there is another type of stem cell research that does not cause the destruction of a fertilized embryo. It is called Adult Stem Cell Research. Adult stem cells can be harvested from various tissues, like umbilical cords, pulled teeth, etc. Those in favor of Embryonic Stem Cell Research again usually indicate that these unborn are not full human persons and so they shouldn’t have the rights that full human persons do. But should we arrive at conclusions based upon subjective feelings or objective facts? The following links indicate the facts of the processes and the ethical concerns raised.
Scott Klusendorf’s Presentations
What is the Issue?
What is the Unborn?
Why are Humans Valuable pt1?
Why are Humans Valuable pt2?
The Biblical Worldview of Abortion with Scott Klusendorf
When it Comes to Abortion, No One Talks about the One Question that Matters.
The S.L.E.D. Test
Precious Unborn Human Persons
The 180 Movie
Making Abortion Unthinkable
Making Abortion Unthinkable: The Art Of Pro-Life Persuasion
5 part teaching presentation by Greg Koukl
Making Abortion Unthinkable – Information and student study guides
One of the best Pro-life speeches EVER!
Antidote to Abortion Arguments
A Presentation By An Amazing 12 Year Old.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Questions
Part 1 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_XfihgY7ew
Part 2 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO_SPzFo3YQ
Life Training Institute
Canadian Center for Bioethics
Caution: Graphic photos on main page
Ben Shapiro Destroys the Abortion Debate (Compilation)
In this great compilation you can see Ben Shapiro very effectively using similar arguments Greg Koukl teaches in Tactics in Defending the Faith.
Some object to showing the graphic results of the abortion process because the pictures are much too offensive. The following three links show the reasons for doing this.
Should Pro-Life Advocates Use Graphic Images in the Fight Against Abortion?
Pro Life on Campus: Why the Dramatic Pictures?
Show the American people what an abortion is!
If you are a victim of abortion or have caused another to obtain an abortion, and you have come to the realization through the information and resources in this section that the decision was a sin, you may want to see a counselor at your church. God wants to forgive you of that sin, and provide healing for you.