Lauren Galvan decided to keep an open mind about the abortion issue when she started her freshman year at Brown University in 2012.
Galvan, a senior, recently wrote an op-ed for the Brown Daily Herald about how she began exploring the abortion issue as a young college student. She said she did not think much about the issue in high school, and she decided to change that it college.
It was during a biology class at Brown when Galvan came to the conclusion that unborn babies are human beings who deserve the same right to life that other humans do.
Ironically, coming to Brown, arguably the most liberal school in the Ivy League, was the first step in my conversion to the pro-life cause. After taking BIOL 0320: “Vertebrate Embryology” with the late Marjorie Thompson ’74 PhD’79 P’02 P’07 P’09 P’12 P’15 P’16, who was associate dean of biology, the spring semester of my freshman year, I profoundly changed my disposition on human personhood, and I became firmly pro-life.
The scientific reality of fetal development first catalyzed this resolution. In every embryology textbook, I found — as you will find — irrefutable evidence that an individual human life begins at conception. At that point, a living organism with unique human DNA is created. This is simply a scientific fact, and no amount of arguing from pro-choicers can make it untrue. What they mean to say is that this fertilized embryo, though human and alive, is not yet a person and therefore not protected under the category of human rights.
Galvan then articulately explained the pro-life position in her column and pointed out the danger of allowing society to decide who is a “person” with rights and who isn’t. She brought up the human rights abuses of slavery and genocide, which supporters justified with claims that the targeted groups of people were not really people.
“Our right to life would not depend on others’ opinions of us, but rather on the simple and indisputable fact that we are all human and that each human life deserves protection under the law,” Galvan wrote. “This is the pro-life position in a nutshell.”
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Motivated by her conclusions, Galvan went on to found the Students for Life at Brown club. She said she can’t even imagine identifying with the “pro-choice” label that she once did during her high school days.
“… for to say ‘I am pro-choice’ to other people is to tell them that I would have or could have supported their parents’ decisions to terminate their lives. To me, that is the absolute equivalent of telling someone that his or her life has neither meaning nor purpose,” Galvan continued. “All human life has value, and it’s time we start protecting it.”
Modern scientific evidence about human life has drawn many people to the conclusion that abortion is wrong. In 2013, pro-life writer Sarah Terzo shared a medical student’s testimony after witnessing an abortion. The man said he was troubled after watching the abortion as part of his medical training, and said he could no longer call himself pro-choice. He said he could not stop thinking about who that aborted baby boy would have become if he had been allowed to live.
These facts become clear when people seek the truth about abortion. Human life begins at the moment of fertilization, and every human being deserves the right to life.