PCS343 – The Humanity of the Unborn Child
The following is a summary of the content found on pages 42-50 of Principles & Choices Book 2: Truth and Reason. To order the complete study textbook, click here.
Abortion and the Principle of Non-Contradiction – “Something cannot be both X and not X in the same respect at the same place and time.” A human zygote, embryo, or fetus cannot be both a “person” for someone who wants it to be and a “non-person” for someone who does not want it to be, in the same place, at the same time, in the same respect. It is either a human person or it is not.
Abortion and the Principle of Complete Explanation – “The best explanation is the one which accounts for the most data.” Arguments which hold that an unborn child is not a full human person because of some missing physical feature or biological function rely on arbitrary and subjective data, and do not take into account the full definition of a human person. The only complete and objective definition of a human person that does not fall victim to subjective interpretation is: “A living being of human origin which contains a real and existing power to direct its own development toward fulfillment through perfect Truth, Love, Goodness, Beauty, and Unity, and which will do so if all the proper conditions are met.” An unborn child from the moment of sperm-egg fusion meets this definition.
Abortion and the Principle of Objective Evidence – “For a claim to be reasonable, you must provide evidence that can be verified by others.” It is not enough to say, “It is a human person because I believe, or feel that it is.” Or, “It is not a human person because you have not convinced me that it is.” If you arbitrarily assert something without any verifiable evidence to back up your claim, someone else can arbitrarily deny your assertion, and the result is an illogical, irresponsible claim. In the early 1990s, Dr. Jerome Lejeune provided irrefutable scientific evidence that a single-celled zygote, even before it implants in the mother’s womb, has a full human genome, and proved that the genetic combination from both the mother and the father made the human zygote a unique, individual, whole human being (unlike a hair cell or a skin cell from the mother or the father, which is only a part of a human being).