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But in May 2009, for the first time, a significantly greater percentage of Americans self-identified as "pro-life" than "pro-choice." Be prepared to cite these and other public opinion polls from various organizations (the last bullet point is crucial, it means only a small minority of Americans agree with Roe): One of the best surveys to have in your arsenal was conducted by the Center for Gender Equality, run by former Planned Parenthood President Faye Wattleton.
"Zygote" is the name of the first cell formed at conception, the earliest developmental stage of the human embryo, followed by the "Morula" and "Blastocyst" stages. Is it human? Is it just a cell or is it an actual organism, a "being? You should raise them, and then provide the answers.
The zygote is composed of human DNA and other human molecules, so its nature is undeniably human and not some other species.
Abortion advocates want to hide this, of course, but liberal journalists such as David Savage of the Los Angeles Times have reported the truth about Roe, saying the Supreme Court created an "absolute right to abortion" under which "any abortion can be justified." Constructing a Pro-Life Legal Argument When you make the pro-life case, explain the basics of the actual ruling of Roe and then use the David Savage quote that Roe created an "absolute right to abortion" under which "any abortion can be justified" -- this allows a liberal LA Times reporter to make the explosive point that Roe created an unlimited abortion right.
Chances are your audience will not know that the Court created an unlimited right to abortion, and odds are good that they won't agree with it.
You will be able to change minds when you inform them that neither of these assumptions is true. Wade did not create a limited right to abortion but a virtually unlimited right to abortion throughout pregnancy.
Here's how: The case involved an 1854 Texas law prohibiting abortion except "for the purpose of saving the life of the mother." The plaintiff, whose real name is Norma Mc Corvey, desired a purely elective abortion and filed suit claiming the Texas law deprived her of constitutional rights. While admitting that abortion is not in the text of the Constitution, they nevertheless ruled that a right to abortion was part of an implied "right to privacy" that the Court had fashioned in previous rulings regarding contraception regulations.Their argument is not about when life begins but about when, or whether, that life deserves legal acknowledgment and protection. Arguing from the Law Most people do not really know what the Supreme Court decided on January 22, 1973.They assume that the Court made abortion legal in the first trimester of pregnancy only, and that it is subject to substantial limits and regulations today.Cite the Facts Here is a thumbnail sketch of the scientific evidence of the existence of human life before birth.These are irrefutable facts, about which there is no dispute in the scientific community. At the moment when a human sperm penetrates a human ovum, or egg, generally in the upper portion of the Fallopian Tube, a new entity comes into existence.This coordinated behavior is the very hallmark of an organism. By contrast, while a mere collection of human cells may carry on the activities of cellular life, it will not exhibit coordinated interactions directed towards a higher level of organization. Thus, the scientific evidence is quite plain: at the moment of fusion of human sperm and egg, a new entity comes into existence which is distinctly human, alive, and an individual organism - a living, and fully human, being. Some defenders of abortion will concede the scientific proofs but will argue that the entity in the womb is still not, or not yet, a "person." "Not a person" is a decidedly unscientific argument: it has nothing to do with science and everything to do with someone's own moral or political philosophy, though that someone may not readily admit it. If the science on when life begins is clear, why do some organizations claim that "pregnancy" doesn't begin until a week later, at implantation? Acceptance of an implantation-based definition of "pregnancy" would allow abortion providers to mischaracterize pills and technologies that work after conception but before implantation as "contraception," making them potentially less subject to regulation and certainly more accept-able and attractive to consumers.Here is a good time to recite the scientific proofs, and maybe make a philosophical point of your own: We're either persons or property; and even the staunchest abortion defender will be reluctant to call a human child a piece of property. Others may suggest "humanness" depends on something spiritual, like infusion of a soul, but to argue there is no soul until birth or some other time is, by definition, to argue something incapable of proof. A brief word about the politicization of the definition of "pregnancy." While the science on when life begins is clear, some still claim that "pregnancy" doesn't begin until the embryo implants itself in the lining of the uterine wall, which occurs about a week later. Indeed, two institutes who support legalized abortion have pushed for this type of pregnancy re-definition for decades: the Guttmacher Institute (the abortion research institute originally established by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.Today, parents can see the development of their children with their own eyes.The obstetric ultra-sound done typically at 20 weeks gestation provides not only pictures but a real-time video of the active life of the child in the womb: clasping his hands, sucking his thumb, yawning, stretching, getting the hiccups, covering his ears to a loud sound nearby -- even smiling. Medicine, too, confirms the existence of the child before birth as a distinct human person.Introduction Abortion is unlike any other issue debated today.Millions of American women have aborted a child, and the pain, loss, and emotional need to justify what was done, both on the part of the mother and on the part of her loved ones, is strong and deep. This means that, in any debate, you may face an invisible thumb on the scale so that even the best logic will fail to persuade.