Ireland has a Minister for Children named Katherine Zappone. Zappone supports abortion. She was asked about the “inherent contradiction” between her support and her position as Minister for Children at a recent public forum
She responded, “I believe that the fetus holds the potential for human life that develops over time. And I think my views in relation to abortion and the legislation are consistent with that view.”
If the fetus is only a blob of tissues that “holds the potential for human life”, then it must be that at some point in time the blob is transformed from a blob into a human being.
The only way this can happen is by magic.
Nothing Up Nature’s Sleeves
It has to be magic because there is no biological mechanism that operates as a switch that turns a lump of non-human flesh into a human being. Replacing the switch must be something magical.
To escape this conclusion some say the lump is partly human and gradually accretes humanness to itself until, one day, it has accumulated enough humanness to be called human. Let’s see why this requires magic, too.
Some say the fetus has accumulated enough humanness that it becomes human upon birth. If so, it must be that the magical contact with air imbues humanity into the blob. One brief moment before it was a blob. A quick puff of air and—hey, presto!—an inanimate mass of tissue becomes a tax deduction.
Viability is in the Eye of the Beholder
Others say the fetus has reached human-being level when it is “viable”; which is to say, when it can live outside the womb.
A century and more ago, with rare exceptions due to Cesarean births which occurred about the same time as a normal term birth, no fetus was viable before normal birth. The technology to preserve the fetus, whatever the fetus was, was not yet invented.
It is now the case that the fetus taken from pregnant women can survive outside the womb at very early ages given the aid of certain medical devices and drugs. The age this occurs grows earlier and earlier with each advancement in medical technology. It is not even science fiction to suggest that this age will progress to the point of conception.
Indeed, some fetuses are first created outside the womb in test tubes, and only later implanted. (We can here ignore the ethics of this.) It is reasonable to suppose that methods will eventually be invented to allow the fetus to grow entirely outside the womb.
It is thus clear viability cannot be what determines humanness. Why? Because viability […]
If your mother didn’t abort you, click here to read the rest.
Update Presented without comment (except for the comment implied by saying “presented without comment”) more on Zappone.