Thursday, February 11, 2016

De-Humanizing a Fetus

The discussion of life in the womb has been reinvigorated in America. Due to a recent event, the debate concerning whether or not a fetus is a human being has been brought to the forefront of issues trending in this nation. Though this focus will likely be brief, as some shiny object will come along and distract Americans from this all-too-important conversation, it’s encouraging that some individuals do care enough to talk about the issue of life, albeit briefly. 

You might be wondering what event has driven a fresh look at this topic.

Was it a generation of young people cut to the quick, ready to take on the barbaric ideals of those who have gone before them? Unfortunately not. 

Was it a small group — or even an individual — who took the nation by storm with logical, sensible, and empathetic reasoning? Nope. 

How about a massive wave of repentance, which swept the nation, causing people everywhere to ask themselves, “What have we done?” Not at all. 

It was a television advertisement for flavored tortilla chips

Only in America. 

The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (formerly National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) NARAL, sent out a tweet after the advertisement played during the Super Bowl. 

NARAL claimed Doritos was using an “anti-choice tactic of humanizing fetuses.” 

What an interesting response. 

Before I go on to break down the reasoning behind that response, it should be noted that this tweet is particularly strange because (1) it seems very unlikely that Doritos was taking any kind of stance on abortion in that commercial and (2) it seems even more unlikely that the content of the ad was a devised “tactic.” The commercial was fan-produced, made by a man named Peter Carstairs of Australia. According to, he thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny to have a little fun [making the commercial] in the hospital room, where everyone is supposed to remain poised, calm, and collected?” That hardly sounds like a campaign against abortion. 

 Nevertheless, NARAL felt compelled to fire back at the snack company because the fetus featured in the commercial was made out to be humanesque. The fetus sought after the tortilla chip, making movements to go after something he or she desired. The fetus revealed a will and displayed some strength and determination. These qualities could be classified as human; however, they’re also quite primitive. 

But here’s the issue: When the qualities of a human are recognized in a fetus, people are given the license to treat the fetus as if it he or she were actually human — and, presumably, that goes against NARAL’s position concerning what a fetus is. Interestingly enough, such a statement is not found on their website. The answer to the question, “What is a fetus, if not a human?” is absent, though it would have been very appropriate to provide an answer on this page or this one

(Note: If a reader finds their answer to that question on their website, please send me a link.) 

The big question I have asked internally in response to their tweet-heard-’round-the-world is, Why are they making such a big deal about this? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not because it’s an issue. It’s because this is the issue. 

NARAL may operate under the guise of women’s reproductive rights or individual liberties, but those ideals really aren’t at the core of their pro-choice rhetoric. The core issue — the fundamental belief that ties together every thread of the abortion tapestry — is that life is not life. Humans are not humans. A living being that consumes, grows, and has unfathomable potential is regarded as a mere inconvenient parasite. 

Fetuses have been portrayed by groups such as NARAL as “it” creatures. The fetus should not be called “he or she”; the fetus is an “it.” The fetus is a side effect of personal choices; thus, the side effect can be done away with in a personal way. Much like a hangover caused by the over-consumption of alcohol, the fetus can be taken care of with a pill or a trip to the doctor for a stomach pump. The fetus is not a human; the fetus is akin to an inanimate object that prevents someone from continuing on in life as normal. This begs the question… 

When a person’s humanity is taken away, what is left of that person? 

This is where it gets uncomfortable. 

There are countless beliefs in existence addressing who God is, who men and women are, and what the purpose of life is. Some people just punt the ball and discount any sort of objectivity on those issues. It’s their prerogative to take that stance and this post is not intended to convince anyone of a particular position on those topics. 

However, what must be admitted by all is that there are intangible aspects of humanity. Science can explain what elements people are made of, how reproduction works, and the causes of death. Science cannot explain, though, what causes men to do good or evil, why people fall in love, or what happens to a person after he dies. Science does not address the intangible aspects of humanity. It can’t. 

So if science cannot address this very important part of the human existence — something that, in part, makes a human a human — and if science decides to discount the notion of intangibles completely, what, in light of pure science, is left of a person? A person is no longer a person. A human is no longer a human. Life is not life. People are just collections of flesh, bone, and blood. 

It’s a fatally naturalistic view of the world. 

 Now therefore, the fetus, who is yet unable to speak, reason, put up a defense, or object to the act of abortion altogether, is at the mercy of individuals who consider him or her an inconvenient, parasitic discomfort. Despite the fact that left to the God-ordained order of nature, a fetus would continue to grow into a life lived outside of the womb, his or her humanity is not recognized. The standard operating procedure for abortionists is to treat him or her like an old, unpolished penny lying on the ground: take it or leave it; there’s not much value there. 

But as soon as humanity is applied to the fetus and he or she is no longer “it,” the entire game changes. 

This is why NARAL couldn’t help but respond to an advertisement for flavored tortilla chips, something so mild and seemingly meaningless. The recognition of fetuses as human is quickly followed by the recognition of abortion as murder. If this perspective became widespread, the pro-choice pretense of “reproductive rights” would be easily dismantled and there would be a revolt.

It’s my hope that this American conversation continues on and that the absurdity of the abortion mindset is exposed. 

Through the course of his or her life, a fetus will only be human. The child in the womb is not going to grow into an animal, plant, or some other kind of non-human life. The baby, carried by another member of humanity, will only reflect the qualities of personhood throughout his or her life. 

Much like his or her first months outside of the womb, the fetus is a human though he or she is completely dependent and unable to function independently. It would be a sinful shame for any of adult to take advantage of that reliance by murdering the innocent. 

Life is life. Humanity is humanity. And every child has the right to let his Creator give him breath.

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