I posted the first picture and I see now how it’s scientifically silly, thanks to the pro-life poster, and I felt silly for a bit. Now reading the wonderfully worded pro-choice responses in very glad I went through that first phase of “d’oh” because what came after was worth it in my opinion.
It seems so obvious, yet so many miss what is blatantly there.
These analogies only work if you avoid those pesky “difficult concepts” from science: concepts like fertilization, species classification, and biological development.
Let’s start with the egg. They’re right: it isn’t a chicken, because it hasn’t been fertilized. Hens lay eggs whether or not they’ve conceived; this means that farmers can avoid chicken reproduction by simply keeping the roosters separate from the hens, without hurting egg production. The eggs sold in supermarkets are almost always unfertilized. What you’re eating is the stuff that would have nourished the chick before hatching, had a chick been conceived. (As our dear friend Phil puts it, “Eggs are chicken period. Have fun erasing that mental image.”)
If you were to break open an egg that was fertilized, you’d reveal something rather unfamiliar to your breakfast table:See the beak and the tiny little bird foot? Chicken. Very young chicken, but still chicken.
Let’s move on to the acorn. “An acorn is not a tree” is one of the oldest, easiest-to-refute, unoriginal, nonsense pro-choice statements in the book. It relies on a simple linguistic confusion. The word “tree” can be used in two subtly different ways. One use is to designate species: oak trees, pine trees, etc. Another meaning designates the adult stage of the plant, as in “I planted a sapling last August, and now it’s a tree.” An acorn is not an adult tree. It IS a member of its species: oak, pine, or whatever the case may be. Likewise, unborn children are human, but they are not adults (and obviously, pro-lifers have never claimed that they are).
The silkworm example is just ridiculous. Of course a part of the raw materials used to make a dress is not a dress. But embryos and fetuses are not “raw materials” for making people. The raw materials are the nutrients that we ingest— prenatally through the umbilical cord, in infancy through breast milk or formula, and so on. We don’t “come from” unborn children; we once were unborn children.
This brings us to the final image. It appears that this image depicts a moment just before fertilization; the sperm hasn’t yet gone in to mingle its DNA with the egg’s DNA. So, ironically enough, the pro-choicers are actually right about this— just not for the reasons they think.
But let’s pretend that it were really an image of the moment of fertilization. Human fertilization (also known as conception) creates new members of the human species. Newly conceived human beings are of course not adults yet, but neither are they mere raw materials. They are simply young, and look exactly how they are supposed to at this stage of their lives. At conception, they possess all the genetic information that will guide them through the prenatal period, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Every person, including you, can trace back his or her existence as an individual to this event.
Pro-lifers are at a disadvantage here. In general, people tend to prefer simplistic ideas to ones that take more time to explain, even if the latter has science on its side. The abortion movement has made very good use of misleading images and language. It’s up to us to improve public understanding, one person at a time. Please share this post with your friends.
There is a way to be pro-choice without being dumb. Really, there is. I don’t get why so many choose instead to rely on bad science, ignorance (witness: all the discussions on Jezebel where people are legit surprised to learn that a 5 month fetus looks like a really tiny baby, not a bowl of jello that hasn’t set long enough in the fridge), lazy short-cut rhetoric that preys on fear of rape, and classist stereotyping. It’s easy to say “well all pro-lifers are dumb fundamentalists” but then you find this post, by secular pro-lifers who um, actually get the scientific details right that you got wrong. THEN what? More name-calling and invoking the fear of white elites being overrun by po’ white trash ala “Idiocracy”? Or do you form a legit, logically and scientifically sound rebuttal?
why the fuck would i need a scientifically sound rebuttal when my argument is MY FUCKING BODY.
i mean i agree from a scientific standpoint, the above image is stupid and drawing on false equivalencies. am i fine with accepting that a fetus is a potential human being/a human being in development, i just think that as long as it’s in my fucking body i have a right to determine what happens to it. it’s not a scientific argument, it’s an argument about ethics: my rights, as an existing person outweigh the rights of a potential person. and no pro-lifers, regardless of class or religion, accept that. so fuck ‘em.
My mom has a rly coherent post about this.
omg I just typed that sentence.
But yes, my mom has a really coherent post about this that basically say “The fuck does it matter when ~LIIFE begins?” We can’t prove when ~life begins (What is “life” anyway, maannnnnnn. No, really) It’s not about when life begins. It’s about a person’s right not to have something they don’t want using their body for life support.
That said, I guess arguing the point that getting rid of a fetus is not actually comparable to killing a toddler can be useful. I try not to engage but I’ve seen discussions where the dialogue seems to be useful. I’ve seen interesting arguments made about what the Bible does/doesn’t say about life, but I’m not religious so it’s not really my place to say.
But I don’t think I need to go there? If someone needed to crawl up into my body and live there for a few months to live, I would be allowed to say “Uhm, no, this is my body GTFO.”
Or I could CHOOSE to let them. But even if we decide that the little lump of cells that first attaches itself to the uterus is a person with all the rights of a full grown person, it still doesn’t have the right to use someone’s body if they decide they don’t want it there.
But yeah, fuck whether life begins at birth, at conception or with every little sperm that gets flushed down the toilet, if someone doesn’t want someone growing in their body they have a right to do something about it. No one should have to be pregnant who doesn’t want to be pregnant.
Also as a note, after reading through book two of the Aeneid painfully slowly, Uterus has stopped looking like a word. Or I want to stick -que at the end of it. /Latin student problems