Around 3.8 billion years ago life first appeared on this planet. Each and every one of us is part of this unbroken river of life. Each and every one of us is related in a very real physical sense to all life that has ever been.
Thus the abortion question of when human life begins is completely wrong. Life began long ago; each of us is simply a continuation of this life. Although it is difficult to truly comprehend, at one point in time each of us was a living sperm and a living egg. Note that whatever this thing we call life is, this sperm and egg were imbibed with it. Before that we truly were our parents and before that our grandparents, etc. etc. until the very beginning. It’s kind of like quantum physics; just because it seems incredible and is difficult to understand doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
The sperm and egg came together to form you, but the life that animated these special cells was there long before you were. Thus from a scientific perspective, the issue of abortion is not about the “beginning” of life or heartbeats or ultrasounds but rather a basic conflict of rights.
With the merging of the sperm and egg, a new human was started. Assuming nothing untold occurs and no violence is preformed upon it, this will lead to the birth of this new person.
Therefore the entire issue of abortion comes down to individual rights and where society draws a line in the protection of these potentially conflicting individual rights. With the merging of sperm and egg a new human begins and for at least a time, this human is completely dependent upon an independent human for its health and survival. Thus if a conflict arises in the following 9 months it is between an independent human and a dependent human. Whose rights should reign supreme? This is the only question that needs to be answered by society regarding abortion.
I believe most would agree the rights of the independent human supersede the dependent human’s rights at one second after conception. At the other end of the spectrum, I believe most would agree the rights of the dependent human reign supreme over the rights of the independent human one second before natural child birth.
Society enforces many contractual laws to protect the rights of all and this is no different. Of course people of good faith can and will have differences of opinion on where to draw this line. And yes, the decision might mean the death of the dependent human; from the dependent human’s perspective all abortions end in his/her murder. That is the hard truth.
It is a fundamental conflict where only one’s rights can rule supreme. Looking at abortion from this perspective, society would be wise to allow the independent human a fair amount of time to decide. But once this threshold is crossed, we would also be wise to demand the contract is enforced and the dependent human is protected by law until birth. At this point the independent human –or mom as she is called – can easily walk away from the dependent human – or child as she/he is called. Her contract by law has been fulfilled.
For those who lean towards dependent rights, through your words and actions work to see there are no unwanted pregnancies and thus every dependent human is desired and loved from the meeting of sperm and egg. Those who lean towards independent rights should do the same because although abortion may be legal, it still results in the murder of an innocent dependent human.
The most profound gift, the most profound private property we have is the gift of our lives and telling people how they must live, especially on a topic which is so fundamentally personal, is something we as a society should do very carefully. But let us also not forget that profound gift also applies to the dependent human.
Abortion is not about when life begins or when a heart starts beating or any other physical trait or technological miracle; it is about a profound conflict of two humans’ rights that has no easy answers.
John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change. He also holds a BS in Earth Sciences and an MBA and is the founder and President of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.eicenterprises.org, a USA-based 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world, primarily through K-12 education.