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Person 1: Nobody knows when life begins. Person 2 (our hero): I’m not sure I understand. Are you talking about the beginning of a biological organism? Or the beginning of a valuable person?

We Know When Life Begins

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

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Person 1 (our hero): When would you say life begins? Person 2: Hm… 12 weeks after fertilization. Person 1 (our hero): Okay. If you don’t mind, could you explain your reasoning? What do you think is the crucial change at that point?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?Person 1: So that’s why I’m pro-choice. Person 2 (our hero): Thanks for explaining. I think I get it, but I want to make sure I understand your view correctly. Let me ask a couple questions to clarify.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.
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