As a young collegiate woman, I’m taught that I ought to celebrate my right to bodily autonomy. Yet, I am strongly pro-life. And I can sum up my reasoning for my views in three words: every life matters.
I believe that humans are intrinsically valuable. If you’re intrinsically valuable today, and you haven’t fundamentally changed since the beginning, then you must have been intrinsically valuable in the beginning, too.
I believe life begins at conception. The moment a sperm fertilizes an egg, the resultant zygote is endowed with every gene that he/she will ever have. Humans do not undergo a mechanized assembly process in the womb, with different parts tacked on at different stages. Rather, we develop in the womb, just as we continue to develop throughout the different stages of our lives. A few-week-old fetus doesn’t look like a toddler just as a toddler doesn’t resemble a seventy-year-old. Humans look and act differently at different stages, and our degree of dependence on others varies; this doesn’t diminish our value at any certain stage.
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I believe one’s autonomy doesn’t constitute one’s humanity. We all depend on others. A baby depends on his/her mother for long after birth for sustenance. A person with special needs depends on his/her caretaker, sometimes for constant assistance. Do we thus devalue these people’s humanity to the extent that we’re willing to take their lives for convenience? Further, don’t even the most able among us depend on farmers to grow food, civil engineers for clean water, doctors for health?
I believe to adopt a functionalist philosophy toward humanity devalues humanity. Human value cannot be based on one’s utility or appearance. This just makes humans the judges of other humans’ value.
Life is precious and it deserves protection. Beware of those who insinuate otherwise; as Abraham Lincoln said two centuries ago:
“You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker?… By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet with a fairer skin than your own.”
LifeNews Note: Lauren Rhoda lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.