With catchphrases like “life begins at conception,” the anti-abortion crowd has been relentlessly pushing the personhood of fertilized human eggs for some time now. The moment sperm and egg meet is a magical moment, creating a brand new, single celled baby — and the law simply must preference the interests of that fertilized egg over the woman whose body it resides in, because anything less is the destruction of a baby God was knitting together in the woman’s womb (whether she wanted it or not). It’s murder. Or slavery. Or worse than slavery. Dammit, it’s a new Holocaust. Scratch that — worse than the Holocaust!
Of course, since some fifty percent of these egg-babies don’t even make it as far as implantation, but are naturally terminated before pregnancy officially begins, this has curious implications for the train of thought that “life begins at conception.” Not in the “here’s the starting point, from which eventually a person develops” sense, but in the sense pro-lifers mean it: “egg + sperm + magic = teeny tiny egg baby.” Particularly for religious pro-lifers.
If life begins at conception, and any interference with that is murder; but God designed the human reproductive process, part of which includes the termination of half of all the fertilized human eggs, then God is either a really lousy engineer to come up with a mass-extermination-of-human-life bug (oops!) or he’s a killer on an epic scale.
In other words, the hated abortionists have nothing on God. The “Holocaust” resulting from legalized abortion pales in comparison to God’s ongoing “Holocaust” of those egg people.
But the numbers of naturally occurring post-implantation (i.e. during actual pregnancy) terminations in this country are worth noting, too, as they nearly match the numbers of abortions occurring here. New data from the CDC reveals that the rate of miscarriage in recognized pregnancies is very nearly as high as the rate of abortions. Keep in mind that this doesn’t, and can’t, account for pregnancies that end naturally before a woman even realizes that she’s pregnant.
Pregnancies in 2010 included 3.999 million (65.0%) live births, 1.103 million (17.9%) induced abortions, and 1.053 million (17.1%) fetal losses.
Unlike the unseen termination of fertilized eggs, there’s no doubt that many of these miscarriages brought sorrow to prospective mothers and fathers. If this was God’s design, it would be a most unfortunate one — because aside from the continued loss of fetal life, we additionally have the suffering of sentient human beings whose hopes rested on the well-being of that fetal life.
The pro-life scorecard often doesn’t account for the suffering of sentient human beings, though. That’s why we see continued opposition, even in the Republican Party’s platform, to exceptions to abortion restrictions for the life and health of the mother, for rape victims, etc. A fertilized egg is just a smaller person, as one anti-abortion website put it, and so its loss is as morally weighty as the loss of you or I.
True, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant? Do we really want to say that large people are more human than small ones? Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve more rights. Size doesn’t equal value.
Whether or not one considers the suffering of the prospective parents, there is a substantial disconnect between the idea of a God who lovingly creates and cherishes every fertilized human egg, and a God who designs a system that destroys those eggs en masse and continues to kill all during the developmental stages. Simply put, if a fertilized egg is a human being, and terminating it is murder, God is directly guilty of fetal murder on an almost unimaginable scale.
The reality is that the reproductive process is brutal to zygotes, embryos, and fetuses; so if you think God designed it, it’s going to be very hard to convincingly argue that he truly cherishes those zygotes, embryos and fetuses…