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Person 1: Acorns aren’t oak trees; fetuses aren’t humans. Person 2 (our hero): I want to understand what that line means to you. Do you think that biologically speaking, a fetus isn’t a human organism? Or are you concerned about something more philosophical?

Fetuses vs. Acorns

This is an important clarification question. Some well-meaning pro-life advocates only focus on the fact that a fetus is biologically human, but that’s not always helpful. Sometimes people use the word “human” to mean a valuable person, and we need to be prepared to give an argument that every member of the human species is a valuable person.

In reality, an acorn is a very young member of its species and an oak tree is simply a mature member of that same species. Acorns aren’t oak trees in the same way that fetuses aren’t adults. Adults and toddlers equally deserve the right to life, and similarly, adults and fetuses equally deserve the right to life.

First posted

Person 1: It’s alive, but it’s not really alive, you know? Person 2 (our hero): I think I might know what you mean. Maybe you’re saying that a fetus is biologically alive, but it’s not a valuable person yet. Is that right?Person 1: Fetuses aren’t alive yet. Person 2 (our hero): I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying that a fetus isn’t biologically alive? Or are you saying a fetus isn’t yet a valuable person?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.Person 1 (our hero): I’d say there’s a certain fundamental equality between you, me, and billions of others. Person 2: Yeah, I agree. Person 1 (our hero): That’s kind of amazing. We’re all so different! We vary by race, sex, intelligence, etc. What do we have in common that makes us equal?
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