Stop telling me that we need to decide when an unborn child has rights.
And absolutely stop telling me that that it's a woman's right to abort a baby solely because it's her body and she can do what she wants with it.
Here's what I see:
We're in serious debate over whether someone who's brain-dead is actually dead and whether or not we should just pull the plug on life support. One of the main reasons this debate is so controversial is because the patient's heart is still beating. As long as that heart beats, there's a chance--however unlikely--that the brain-dead patient may come back. When the heart stops, it doesn't matter how conscious the patient was: he/she's not coming back at all.
Someone in a brain-dead state is essentially a potato. They do nothing for months, even years on end, causing significant distress for their families who hope and pray with all their might that their loved one will come back. But they don't know if that will happen. There's so much uncertainty. For many of these families, the decision to give up hope becomes the only thing left to do; their loved one is showing no signs of progression back to consciousness.
Now, let's continue.
Between 18-22 days after fertilization, an unborn child's heart begins to beat. But that's not all. The time spent in the womb is the fastest developmental period of our entire lives. Who do you know outside of the womb that's naturally and normally grown 18-21 inches in nine months and developed an entire body to fit those 18-21 inches?
No one? That's what I thought.
In the womb, the baby gains health according to the food it ingests. It's brain development progresses, in part, according to the drugs and alcohol that either do or don't enter its system. It gets hiccups and reacts in response to external stimuli. It pees and poops, too.
In all that time, not once is the child a motionless potato. It's growing and developing at an unprecedented speed and as long as the mother takes basic precautions during her pregnancy, the chances are extremely high that the child will continue to develop outside the womb. Its awareness will only increase and grow stronger. It will get an education and a job, make big life decisions, develop talents, and, you know, live.
Yet people are trying to convince us that it's okay to stop that development and potential in its initial phases.
Women scream that they have the right to do what they want with their bodies. Sure ladies, you do. But you don't have the right to decide what to do with the body that's growing inside of you. That body is not your body and you do not get to decide to terminate it. Unless you were raped, you had the right to not engage in the act that caused the pregnancy. Even if you were on birth control when you had sex, there was still a chance that pregnancy could happen. If that's not something you were ready for, then you shouldn't have done it. You do not have the right to end a child's life because you were caught off guard.
But wait, I can't say that. I mean, the jury's still out on whether the fetus is actually a person with rights, right?
The biggest mistake humankind ever made was letting science and politics have a say in this issue. This is not a matter of science or politics. It's a matter of right and wrong (and no, not all right-and-wrong situations are relative to your personal viewpoint). As soon as you know someone's pregnant, you know she's going to give birth to a human being, another of your species. That knowledge alone makes the child a person and that should be enough to defend it with everything in us. Why do you think women need constant reassurance when they choose an abortion? Why do they have a hard time watching the screen as it all happens? Why do you think they struggle within themselves to even make that decision? Why do many women have to go to therapy afterward?
There is no logic to any argument that ending a newly developing human life is acceptable. It's completely irrational that we would be willing to deny a member of our own species the opportunity to do what we're hard-wired to do: To live.