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Person 1 (our hero): You and I equally deserve the right to life. So do all our friends. What do we have in common that makes us equal? Person 2: Biologically, we’re all living human beings. Person 1 (our hero): Agreed! Let’s talk about whether a fetus is a living human being too.

Equal Because We’re Human

Josh Brahm calls this “the most undervalued argument in the prolife movement”. It’s called the Equal Rights Argument. On all sides of the abortion debate, most people agree that those of us outside the womb have equal value. Ask what we have in common that makes us equal, and listen carefully to the answer.

In this example, the proposed answer is that being living human beings is what makes us equal. If a pro-choice person says this, the core disagreement is probably about the biological status of the preborn. Try to reach a consensus that a fetus is a living organism. Then point out that a fetus has human DNA, distinct from her mother’s DNA and her father’s DNA.

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Our hero: A human fetus displays the key characteristics of life, such as cellular reproduction, responding to stimuli, and converting food into energy. It’s debatable whether viruses are alive, but it seems pretty clear that a human fetus is biologically alive.Our hero: Racism, sexism, and homophobia are wrong because they devalue people based on superficial qualities. We’re all members of the human species, so we’re all equally valuable. Fetuses are members of the human species, too.Person 1: I think we should focus on helping the kids who are already alive. Person 2 (our hero): I care a ton about kids after birth, and I agree that we should focus on actual, living people. But biologically speaking, a fetus is already alive.Person 1: Why are you pro-life? Person 2 (our hero): In short, I’m pro-life because I support equality. I think all members of the human species are equally valuable, regardless of sex, race, intelligence, or anything else.
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