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Goodbye Roe V Wade

Today the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that opened the gates to nationwide legal abortion. Since that time, at least 63 million Americans have legally been killed before their first birthday. Overturning Roe does not end abortion but simply sends the abortion question back to the states. This is not a total pro-life victory, but news outlets currently report that at least 13 states have trigger laws that will automatically ban abortion, and at least 13 more will likely severely restrict or outright ban the procedure. This means that over half of the United States will restrict or ban abortion nearly immediately which will save the lives of countless children. In my own state of Arizona, abortion just became illegal as of this morning. For those of us who love life, this is a day of great celebration – and of mourning about those for whom it is too little and too late.

“Blue” states, however, are prepared to double-down and liberalize abortion laws even further including promoting and legalizing “late term” abortion. Radical activists are calling for a “night of rage” against pro-life pregnancy care centers, churches and against the personal lives of pro-life Supreme Court justices. Threats against pro-life evangelical churches and pastors are flying across social media. Regardless of the threats, I for one am celebrating this ruling.

Roe vs. Wade was flawed from the start. That decision NEVER considered what abortion actually does to a human being from a scientific, moral or religious point of view. In fact, it DID NOT declare what is human life at all. In the Roe brief, the justices wrote,

We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the

respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer. [1]

But this is the supreme question – does abortion kill a human being? If the answer is “yes,” then the next question should be “does the state have a compelling interest to protect innocent human life?”

I think the answer to that question MUST be "yes" so it is my hope and prayer, now at the state level, that our elected leaders and judges will consider the following…

“Science” and the philosophy of science shows that human life is fully human from conception because a pre-birth baby will not suddenly develop into a frog or some other lifeform – it is one thing, and only ONE thing – a human being. We are a specific kind of organism with a specific life cycle from the start. As a specific kind of organism, the moment we begin to exist, we are a specific kind or essence of existence. We do not “become” human at some arbitrary point in our life cycle. Any effort to draw a line about “viability” or “personhood” at some point PAST the genetic start of the human organism is arbitrary – just “made up opinion,” not scientific fact.

The definition that human life begins at conception is the only definition that makes any rational or scientific sense. To explain this, philosopher David Oderberg points out that the essence of an organism, its “kind,” is that which “permeates the entirety of the substance that possesses it.” [2] In other words, we are not just the sum of our parts. We do not simply add up the number of cells in our body and call this “human.” This is because human beings have a wide variety of cells and some humans have more of one kind of cell than another (I'm reminded of this every time I step on the bathroom scale). In addition, human beings are also in a constant state of cellular change from fertilization to infant, to child, to adolescent, to mature adult and into the elderly stage. This means that no matter at what stage of development, the kind of organism – the essence - remains the same regardless of the number or types of cells a human possesses. This is so because the addition or deletion of any number of cells does not change the kind of organism. This is a good thing because if it were not the case, then short people would be “less human” than tall people because short people have fewer cells. But in fact, shorter, smaller or younger humans, or amputees for that matter, are not “less human” simply because these PEOPLE are missing parts; therefore, pre-birth babies are not less human because of the number of cells they have at any given point in their development. It therefore follows that to deny human dignity, personhood, or inherent human rights to any human being at any stage of development - from conception to old age - is irrational, not to mention ungodly and unbiblical.

From a Biblical point of view, Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” So – like other organisms, human beings were created as a specific kind and this Biblical teaching matches the scientific philosophy outlined above. God designed the development of the human infant as an automated, engineered process that is information specific. This means that every DNA instruction in the growth process, from conception onwards to old age, leads to only one end – a human being. No part of the information process in any growth stage, from conception to aged adult, will suddenly cause a human being to grow into a tuna.

In the end, each state in the union must now decide if the opinions and desires of fickle human beings have greater value than sound scientific philosophy – or our Creator’s instruction. Keep in mind, the whole notion of citizen’s rights that form this republic are based upon the opinion of the Creator in the first place! The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” If the authority of the Creator has no bearing on human rights, then our republic and all the rights it holds sacred are a sham.

[1] Roe v Wade. Library of Congress. Opinion of the Supreme Court, p. 159. https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/ll/usrep/usrep410/usrep410113/usrep410113.pdf [2] David S. Oderberg, Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy, vol. 11, Real Essentialism (New York: Routledge, 2007), 70.

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