Sunday, August 8, 2010

Let's Watch a Video

So, this young lady has a lot of opinions on abortion. Many of which are ridiculous and laughable. I would like to highlight my favorites and discuss it with you all.

Early on, she says, "It's obvious that biology says that a human being becomes a human as a zygote." According to the dictionary, a zygote is "the cell produced by the union of two gametes, before it undergoes cleavage."

So a cell. A zygote is a cell.

Later, she is asked what is the best argument she has heard from the pro-choice side? She replies, "The very best argument is that a fetus is not a human being... it's a clump of cells. That's a thesis. What is the evidence for that?"

Um, doesn't biology "obviously" tell us something about zygotes? That zygotes are cells? How do you need evidence to prove that a clump of cells is a clump of cells? If a zygote is a cell then it is a cell. I think she is trying to suggest what is the evidence that it is not a human being? I would suggest the evidence that it is not a human being is because it is not living outside the womb. Also, it is a clump of cells according to biology but I won't bother with that point.

This fetus-or-human is a very important distinction. There are those folks who think that once the egg is fertilized, bam, human. No ifs ands or buts. There are those who think that once a woman becomes pregnant, it's not a human until it is born. There are some who think that it's human in third trimester. There are some who think after 24 weeks it is human. People are ALL over the map on this. Probably because there isn't a way you can actually prove when humanness begins. I don't know if we can all agree to disagree, but we can definitely agree pinning down when exactly a human is a human would be extremely difficult.

What I do know, is that I value the life of someone who already exists in the world, and is living -- I value that more than a clump of cells. I value that more than a fetus. I value that more than a baby who is still in the womb.

Later, Ana talks about abortion in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother's life, and how those are indefensible because then you could kill anyone.

Actually, no, not really. An abortion to save the life of the mother is to preserve the life of someone who is already alive in the world versus a fetus/clump of cells/whatever you want to call in her stomach. I don't see how creating an orphan and letting the mother die in childbirth is really keeping the justice. Sure, the fetus has no say, but that's because the fetus is not capable of rational thought or discussion. The mother is already alive. She can reason, and think about things, and decide what she wants for herself.

Ana later in the video says that prochoicers support the murder of a newborn child if it is was in the way of the mother's life. Well, if that was the case, the baby could be put up for adoption. If a 40 year old was somehow in the way of the mother's life, maybe that guy should finally move out of the house? Those comparisons are not helpful because you are comparing apples and oranges.

I guess mostly these types of videos and commentaries disappoint me because I try to be open to listening to other people's beliefs and values and while this girl claims to be a listener, she seems really closed minded. Blerg.


  1. I also think her arguments on the newborn and the 40-year old are flawed because a major argument for abortion is about viability. A 40-year old and a newborn are viable beings, who are supporting themselves.

    A fetus is not viable until it's delivered. In the womb its ability to live and exist depends on the woman - it cannot support itself while still in the womb.

    While yes, a fetus has the genetic traits for being a human, and it's certainly of the human species, it's not a VIABLE human.

  2. Oh, it's Ana. I've made two video responses to videos on her YouTube channel. I wasn't so much trying to educate her though. It was obvious from our exchange in comments section that she wasn't interested in being corrected. What got to me, and the reason I made the response, was because flimsy as her arguments were, they were entirely typical anti-choice rhetoric. I can't leave that unchallenged.
    I'm happy to see that others have taken notice of Ana's nonsense.

  3. The thing is, antis try to play logical gotcha with definitions, and feel very smart when no one calls them on it. They play on the words "living" and "human" to make it sound like your position can't possibly be 'true,' but of course they are twisting it, like so:

    1. HUMAN: "If it's not a human, what else is it? A dog? A tree? That's absurd. Clearly it's human." They know full well that no one's denying the DNA of a zygote, embryo or fetus is *human*, they are just taking advantage people's tendency to say "a human being" to refer to "a PERSON" -- which aren't the same thing at all.

    2. LIVING: "Well, it's certainly not dead, is it? Did you know the 7 characteristics of 'life' are growth, reproduction, cells, metabolism, evolution (did you notice that?!), response to environment, and homeostasis? A fertilized egg meets all those criteria!" Actually, that is the cellular/organismal definition of living vs. nonliving (e.g. petroleum, paper) and has nothing to do with the *moral* definition of life, which they also know full well. Here again, they are trying to take advantage of the popular conflation of the meaning of "alive" with, you know, having rights or conscience or feeling or personhood. There's NOTHING linking all those things, from a scientific point of view, but they still try to use science to prove this non-scientific point of theirs. It's really annoying. Argue what you actually care about, and stop lying using principles you don't understand and don't give a shit about.

  4. It's so funny that consequentialism as a system of ethical reasoning is not really considered as valid outside of academia. For me, it's really that simple.


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