How awkward it is for those who want to keep abortion "safe
and legal" to confront the problem of when human life begins. For
if the fetus is human life not a diseased appendix nor a tumor then
abortion kills that human life and we concede the Hitlerian notion
that some lives are not worthy to be lived. How much better for them
to obscure and obfuscate to pretend that the very question is beyond
(or beneath?) answer. The humanity of the unborn is the great 13th
floor of modern society. Everyone knows it's there, but, for
convenience' sake, we pretend it isn't.
Congressman Henry J. Hyde.
Yearly, millions of women, driven in fear of the state not of man's
ancient gods submit themselves to crude abortions at the hands of
quacks, or attempt surgery on their own bodies to rid their agonized
wombs of endoparasitic growths, which if unchecked, threaten their
lives, their sanity, their existing families, their incomes and social
Lana Clarke Phelan.
During the first trimester, the fetus is not human. It has all of the
characteristics of a fish, as you can plainly see when you take a close
look at it. It even has gills. Since it is not human, therefore,
abortion in the first trimester cannot possibly be seen as murder.
Our continuing disagreements on fetal research, abortion or the
nontreatment of seriously handicapped newborns result not from a lack
of facts or want of shared principles, but from diverging visions of
what it means to be human and of the nature and purpose of human life.
Ethicist Hans Tiefel.
A rigorous analysis of the exact biological and social status of the
unborn can only be performed in three steps. The first level of analysis
must answer the most basic question: Are the unborn alive? If this
strictly biological question is answered in the affirmative, we must
further classify this living being as either human or non-human
(there is no other possible classification). If this strictly
biological question results in the preborn being classified as human,
then we must answer the third and most complex question: Is this living
human creature a person?
Chapter 69 established that the unborn are, without a doubt, living
beings. Only the most irrational pro-abortionist will dispute this fact.
This chapter takes the classification process one step further: Is this
living being a human being, or is it not?
Is It Human Or Is It Ain't?
I prefer to look at the problem [of abortion] through the eyes of
Darwin and evolution. Why not permit abortion in the first trimester,
when the embryo is still a salt water creature ...?
George Crile, Jr., M.D.
Pro-abortionists will go to absurd lengths to dehumanize the preborn
baby, just as countries and racists do when they dehumanize their
enemies during international or class war (i.e., Japs, krauts, eyeties,
gooks, niggers, micks, etc.). It's much easier to kill if you have been
brainwashed into believing that you're not killing a human being. All
wartime psychologists know this.
Fish, Fowl, Or Human?
One of the most bizarre and common arguments of the pro-aborts is
that it's OK to murder the unborn up until a certain point in their
development because they do not look like human beings. In fact,
they say, at one point the preborn have gills.
This is part of the pro-abort argument that can be summarized by the
statement "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny," which means that
the unborn child, in essence, passes through or summarizes all of the
stages of evolution before he emerges into the light of day.
This is a restatement of Ernst Haeckel's Biogenetic Law, first
proposed in 1866, which was popular before the science of microbiology
was made possible by the invention of microscopes powerful enough and
versatile to examine cellular structure in utero. The only human
embryos available for study before 1950 were those that had already
Embryos are virtually transparent and appear to be structureless due
to their extremely high water content. They undergo profound structural
changes within seconds of expiring through autolytic decomposition
(cellular destruction brought about by self-produced enzymes).
Therefore, a dead preborn human ex utero bears no resemblance
whatever to a living embryo.
The unborn, of course, never have actual gills during their
intrauterine stay. As Jeremy Rifkin has explained in his book Algeny,
It is true that at a certain stage in embryonic development, a
series of small grooves, known as pharyngeal pouches, emerge, and that
they bear a faint resemblance to similar grooves that appear in the
neck area of a fish which later become its gills. The pharyngeal
pouches do not open up into the throat. Instead of developing into
slits and gills, they form glands, and also the lower jaw and parts of
the inner ear.
The Beginnings of Humanity.
Humanity, like life, does not begin any more. It began long ago,
regardless of whether one subscribes to the creationist or evolutionist
view. It is passed down, like life, from generation to generation, and
began with Adam and Eve (or, if you please, after we evolved
sufficiently from apes). Humanity, like life, does not stop and start up
There are many differences between a sperm and an ovum and the zygote
that they combine to create. The primary differentiation is in
information content. The haploid gametes in the sperm and ovum have
exactly half of the information that a zygote has, and therefore cannot
constitute a person.
However, after the germ cells of any mammalian species have combined
to form a blastocyst, any competent microbiologist can examine the
organism to determine exactly which species it is.
Some pro-aborts try to blur the picture with ridiculous statements
primarily aimed at the Catholic Church; they say that all sperm, for
instance, should receive a full burial ceremony.
They don't believe this, of course. They are just trying to muddy the
waters. The egg and sperm are living cells, and they are human (just as
a human eye and hand are), but they must combine in order to produce a
human being (person).
The Government's Position.
One would think that the United States government, with all of its
prestige and accumulated scientific knowledge, would be consistent in
its treatment of all preborn species.
Obviously, common sense and consistency are not priorities in our
government. It is common knowledge among pro-lifers that the government
classifies members of all species as those particular species
from conception, with one exception: Our own!
• It is illegal to transport pregnant lobsters (this is
not a joke) anywhere on the East Coast for fear of damaging them or
their preborn offspring. This means that the Federal government
recognizes lobsters as lobsters from conception.
• Anyone destroying or tampering with eagle eggs is subject to a
$5,000 fine and one year's imprisonment, because the bird enjoys
threatened species status. This means that the Federal government
recognizes eagles as eagles from conception.
• Cattle used as breeding stock must be capitalized, which means
that all associated costs must be recorded. These costs begin
at conception! This means that the Federal government
recognizes cattle as cattle from conception.
• An Illinois man was fined $500 in 1984 for killing a female
white-tailed deer. He said that he shot at extreme range and mistook
the doe for a buck. Unfortunately for him, the doe was pregnant, so he
was fined. This is typical of local and state hunting laws. It also
means that the government recognizes deer as deer from
• In May of 1990, Paul Stedman Cullen poisoned Austin's 500-year
old Treaty Oak Tree. He was convicted of felony criminal mischief,
and, due to a previous felony conviction, faced possible life in
prison. This means that even inanimate living objects enjoy a higher
status than human preborns.
• While people and corporations can be fined huge sums of money
for killing preborn members of other species, certain people can make
huge sums of money for killing preborn members of our species!
The conclusion is obvious. Our governments at every level value
preborn lobsters, eagles, cattle, deer, and even trees much more
than the preborn human being, which they consider nothing more than
We will never hear anyone speaking about the "progressive
chimpanzification of chimpanzees" or the "progressive
eaglization of eagles," because nobody is trying to push some
illogical and lethal social agenda involving chimpanzees or eagles. Yet
we hear about the "progressive humanization of the fetus" all
For Some, Humanity Isn't Enough ...
Those who use this [Holocaust] analogy maintain that the proponents
of freedom of choice have dehumanized the unborn child, just as the
Nazis dehumanized the Jew. This is not true.
'Rabbi' Charles D. Mintz of the 'Religious'
Coalition for Abortion Rights.
The Fallback Position.
At one time, pro-abortionists commonly argued that the preborn were
not alive, "not as you and I are alive." When faced with
overwhelming scientific evidence that this view was untenable, they fell
back to the position that the preborn, while definitely alive, were not human.
Ironically, one area of science heavily favored by the
pro-abortionists provides the evidence needed to undermine their own
position that the preborn are not human. This is the science of fetal
organ harvesting, where the tissue from aborted preborns is used to
allegedly treat the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's
Disease, diabetes, and other injuries.
Dr. Ralph DeGeorgio neatly sums up the point that pro-lifers must
make: "We must recognize why the use of human fetal tissue is being
advocated in the first place: precisely because it IS human."
[emphasis in original].
But will the biological or genetic humanity of the preborn, even if
proven, cause the slaughter of the babies to stop? Bioethicist Robert S.
Morison rather plaintively asks
As gradually improving techniques permit fetal growth to later and
more mature stages, then the issue of disposal will be met head-on in
form of the following presently unresolved questions: When do fetuses
acquire the status of protectable humanity? ... If brought to term,
will they finally be admitted into the human community or will they
still be considered material appropriate for further
It is obvious that, when pro-abortionists allege that the preborn are
not human, they are not referring to genetic humanity; they are
equating "humanhood" with "personhood." A pro-lifer
should point this fact out to an audience if he is debating the subject
of the humanity of the preborn with a pro-abort.
Continuing the Dehumanization Process.
Now that basic medical science has proven beyond any reasonable doubt
that the preborn are both alive and human, pro-abortionists are
arguing that, even though they possess these traits, they are still fair
game for the butcher's knife before and after birth.
According to the more extreme anti-lifers, even a healthy newborn
might not be as human as another healthy newborn if his environment is
less sanitary. And some pro-abortionists have even begun to link a
person's degree of humanity with his beliefs, as described below.
Hastings Center 'bioethicist' Mary Anne Warren, while arguing that
late-term aborted preborns should be turned into organ farms, wrote that
"If we are to make a reasoned judgment about the moral status of
fetuses, and of nonhuman animals, alien life forms, intelligent machines
and other problematic entities, we must develop a criterion of moral
rights that is species-neutral. That is, it will not do to make 'genetic
humanity,' or mere genetic affiliation to the human species, either a
necessary or a sufficient condition for the possession of full moral
rights. [The criteria for personhood is] an entity that has the actual,
not merely potential capacity for consciousness, complex, sophisticated
perception, rationality, self-awareness and self-motivated
Warren concedes that the unborn "look disconcertingly like
people," but states as a fact that "they do not desire life,
or anything else, any more than trees or amoebas do."
Warren repeats her assertion that even newborns are not necessarily
deserving of membership in the human species in an article in the
journal Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine,
A fetus, even a fully developed one [i.e., newborn], is
considerably less like a person than is the average mature mammal,
indeed the average fish. And I think that a rational person must
conclude that if the right to life of a fetus is to be based upon its
resemblance to a person, then it cannot be said to have any more right
to life than, let us say, a newborn puppy (which also seems to be
capable of feeling pain). It follows from my argument that when an
unwanted or defective infant is born into a society which cannot
afford and/or is not willing to care for it, then its destruction is
Dr. Peter Bond is another of the 'new utilitarians' who will go so
far as to tie a person's humanity to the quality of his environment;
"A woman can produce a baby in the most squalid circumstances of
being homeless, poor, mentally defective and physically ill. The
products of conception when they are born at term are then only
According to Bond's frightening criteria, entire sections of
crowded or poor cities and even countries could be declared free of
human habitation. It would also mean that, if the children of one
race are generally born into conditions more "squalid" than a
second race, then the second race enjoys greater human status than the
Plantation songs, anyone?
The final step in this long process of dehumanization has already
been taken by Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, which apparently
believes that a person's beliefs indicate the degree of their humanity.
Naturally, according to PP, the more pro-life a person is, the
less human they are.
PP of Greater Iowa instructs its escorts to sing the song "Itsy
Bitsy Spider" to themselves, so that they are not distressed by
seeing pictures of dead preborn babies. It also tells the escorts to
name a pro-lifer and then tell themselves that that person has failed to
meet the minimum qualifications for classification as a human being.
Finally, It tells the escorts to tape the name of a pro-lifer to the
bottom of their shoes and then sing to themselves "Every step you
take, every move you make, I'll be squishing you." Susan Gellinger
of Planned Parenthood says that "This is a very empowering yet
non-confrontational thing to do. You know you'll be symbolically
stepping on that person all day. By continuing to work from a love base,
maybe there can be bridges for respect and communication."
Perhaps someone should ask Gellinger how a "love base" and
"respect and communication" are facilitated by stepping on
people and summarily revoking their humanity.
Humanity is Really Irrelevant.
This and other quotes reveal that pro-abortionists will never
grant the preborn full equal rights. Their selfish interest in
continuing the slaughter is too strong. After all, to the pro-abort, the
status of the preborn is not some theoretical question; their status is
irrelevant. The "status of the unborn" argument is a
convenient distraction that allows the abortionists to continue to wipe
out the preborn by the millions in peace and quiet, while their
supporters debate the issues.
To the pro-abortionist, it does not matter what preborn babies
are. It does not matter that they feel horrible pain when they are
aborted; it does not matter that they can be operated on; it does not
matter that they can survive at as little as 19 weeks' gestation in some
cases. All that matters to pro-aborts is that the preborn can continue
to be disposed of in the most convenient possible manner.
Alfred Moran, former Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood
of New York demonstrated this point at a speech at a National Abortion
Federation conference when he asserted that
... it seems to me that there are clearly increasing concerns out
there that we need to address ourselves to if we ultimately want to
come down with the reality that in spite of all those concerns, in
spite of all those changes in viability, in spite of those capacities
to intercede in fetal developments, that the ultimate choice about
carrying a pregnancy to term can only be made by the woman who is
pregnant, we will lose it.
Inevitably, now that pro-abortionists have revoked the humanity of
the unborn, they have found it much simpler to eliminate the imperfect
or undesirable newborn as well.
'Ethicist' Joseph Fletcher stressed this point in a Hastings Center
publication almost twenty years ago when he said that "It is
ridiculous to give ethical approval to the positive ending of sub-human
life in utero, as we do in therapeutic abortions, but refuse to approve
of positively ending a sub-human life in extremis [after
For further information on infanticide, refer to Chapter 110 in
References: Humanity of the Unborn.
 Congressman Henry J. Hyde, in a May 27, 1981 letter to the Washington
Post. Printed in Appendix A to the Summer 1981 Human Life Review,
pages 80 to 83.
 Lana Clarke Phelan. "Abortion Laws: The Cruel Fraud."
Speech presented at the First California Conference on Abortion at Santa
Barbara, California in March of 1968 by the Society for Humane Abortion,
Inc., San Francisco, California.
 Ethicist Hans Tiefel. "Fetal Experimentation in Conflicting
Perspectives." Bioethics Reporter, January 1984.
 George Crile, Jr., M.D., retired head of surgery at the Cleveland
Clinic. "When Does Human Life Begin?" Guest editorial in the Medical
Tribune, March 6, 1985.
 ALL News, May 25, 1990, page 4.
 "Government Says Calves Become Calves at Conception."
American Family Association Journal, February 1989, page 9.
 'Rabbi' Charles D. Mintz. Quoted in "Abortion and the
Holocaust: Twisting the Language." 'Religious' Coalition for
Abortion Rights, 100 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002,
telephone: (202) 543-7032. 1987, 24 pages. This booklet is stylishly
written and laid out on only the best paper. It features five short
essays by apostate 'Jews' and phony 'Christians' that are masterpieces
of Doublethink and propaganda. This booklet is mandatory reading for any
pro-lifer who wants insight into just how clever pro-abort propaganda
 Tissue and Organ Donation By Aborted Preborn and Anencephalic
Infants: Medical Aspects of Human Fetal Transplantation. University
of Southern California School of Medicine, 1990, page 226.
 Robert S. Morison. "The Human Fetus as Useful Research
Material." Hastings Center Report, April 1973, pages 8 to
11. Available as Reprint #609 from the Institute of Society, Ethics, and
Life Sciences, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706.
 'Bioethicist' Mary Anne Warren. "Can the Fetus be an Organ
Farm?" Hastings Center Report, October 1978.
 Letter from Dr. Peter Bond. Journal of Medical Ethics,
1976, Volume II, Number 45. Described in Nancy B. Spannaus, Molly
Hammett Kronberg, and Linda Everett (Editors). How to Stop the
Resurgence of Nazi Euthanasia Today. Transcripts of the
International Club of Life Conference, Munich, West Germany, June 11-12,
1988. Executive Intelligence Review Special Report, September
1988. EIR, Post Office Box 17390, Washington, D.C. 20041-0390.
 Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa's The Source, Fall
1992. Quoted in the Prayer & Action Newsletter, September 12,
 Alfred Moran, executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood of
New York, at the 1983 National Abortion Federation annual meeting in
Minneapolis. Quoted in National Right to Life News.
"Technical Advances to Make Pro-Abortion Position Tougher."
May 26, 1983, page 12.
 Joseph Fletcher. "Four Indicators of Humanhood the Enquiry
Matures." Hastings Center Report, December 1974.
Further Reading: Humanity of the Unborn.
Peter Kreeft. The Unaborted Socrates: A Dramatic Debate on the
Issues Surrounding Abortion.
Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia
24174. Telephone: (703) 586-4898. This book shows that all arguments for
and against abortion are reduced to one primary position: that the
unborn are or are not persons. It is also a valuable debating tool in
that it shows pro-lifers how to master the Socratic method of clarifying
issues and their underlying themes through logic and questioning.
Bernard Nathanson, M.D. The Silent Scream.
Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia
24174. Telephone: (703) 586-4898. This is the book form of the film that
provoked an international pro-abort scream of protest and a futile
effort to discredit it. The book, like the film, describes a suction
abortion from the baby's point of view. The book also includes
pro-abortion rebuttals to the film The Silent Scream and the answers to
J. Robert Nelson. Human Life: A Biblical Perspective for
Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1984, 194 pages. Reviewed by James
Manney on pages 9 and 15 of the October 24, 1985 National Right to
Life News. The primary purpose of this book is to compare the
various existing attitudes towards the creation and nature of life: The
materialist, the philosophist, and the religious believers. It also
features a detailed contrast between philosophies and resulting actions
of bioethicists who believe and those who do not.
United States Government. Neonatal Intensive Care for Low
Birthweight Infants: Costs and Effectiveness.
Reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of treating low
birthweight babies in special hospital units, and examines recent
changes in related technology and medical practice and long-term
consequences of treatment. Serial Number 052-003-01089-5, 1987, 83
pages. Order by mail from Superintendent of Documents, United States
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by telephone from
United States Government. National Institute on Drug Abuse
Monograph Series. Current Research on the Consequences of Maternal
Serial Number 017-024-01249-1, 1985, 118 pages. Also Prenatal
Drug Exposure: Kinetics and Dynamics. Serial Number 017-024-01257-2,
1985, 159 pages. Order by mail from Superintendent of Documents, United
States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by telephone
from (202) 783-3238.
© American Life League BBS — 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist’s Encyclopedia published
by American Life League.