Abortion is one of the most intensely politicized debates in modern America. It has been transformed from a sensitive, emotionally complex moral conundrum to a piece of party politics. Opposing abortion is now considered a marker of being an antediluvian Republican —and supporting it signifies a bleeding-heart liberal. Both positions are immediately dismissed by their opponents without any possibility for productive discussion. This is an unfortunate side-effect of the twenty-first-century trends of political polarization and simplified journalism. Instead of delving into complexity, we avoid the burden of critical thinking and use social media slogans as a substitute for real beliefs. However, let’s take a second to suspend our assumptions and approach the issue as human beings rather than Republicans or Democrats. If we do so, I believe all of us will conclude that abortion should be illegal.
Firstly, abortion is a violation of the sanctity of life. The indisputable value of human life, regardless of any other circumstances, is one of the foremost values of our generation (Feldmann et al.). We stand against bigotry and fight for marginalized communities to be recognized as human beings and be granted equal protection of the law. It is both legally and socially sanctioned to discriminate based on race, sex, nationality, or age. Within the last five years, we have completely overturned our parents’ values and marched on the streets for LGBTQ, black, refugee, and women’s rights. However, the value of children’s lives has not been recognized just because they have not been born yet. Perhaps the issue of abortion is a test of how humane and tolerant we really are as a society and whether our beliefs in equality and the sanctity of life ring true. Will we legalize the murder of unborn children just because they are not here to speak for themselves and defend their humanity? Would we continue to support this position if any other group was targeted for such laws?
Human life begins at the moment of conception. This assertion is above political or religious debate; it is simply a statement of fact supported by scientific research. Insisting otherwise ignores the biological reality of our existence. The American College of Pediatricians has confirmed that upon fertilization, “a human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism,” different from an adult individual only in form, not nature (de Miranda & June). Therefore, the rights of a fetus should be respected just as much as an adult individual. Delineating between life and “personhood” is a manufactured dilemma that will never attain a satisfactory answer and only obfuscates the central issue. History has numerous examples of how artificial, self-referential definitions of “personhood” have been used to deny basic human rights to certain populations (Rajasekar). Our legislation should not depend on arbitrary philosophical positions but rather on empirical evidence. So far, the evidence shows that life begins at fertilization, and thus abortion is an immoral infringement upon it and should be banned.
In conclusion, abortion should be illegal because it violates the sanctity of human life that has been scientifically proven to begin at the moment of fertilization. Over the last few years, we have become known as the generation that fights for the law and society to recognize the humanity of marginalized communities. However, we are unable to do so for unborn children just because abortion is framed as a subject of partisan political debate rather than a human rights issue. We need to suspend our political preconceptions and admit the fallacy of the “personhood” concept, which has been used as a weapon to dehumanize others for centuries. If we really and fully believe in the value of human life and empirical evidence, we must accept the biological proof of life in fetuses and ban abortion.
de Miranda, Fred, and June, Patricia L. When Human Life Begins. American College of Pediatricians, 2017. Web.
Feldmann, Derrick, et al. Understanding How Millennials Engage With Causes and Social Issues. Achieve, 2019, Web.
Rajasekar, Akhil. “Why It Doesn’t Matter If The Unborn Aren’t Persons.” The Federalist, 2019, Web.