I saw this info graphic on tumblr. As someone who has studied in depth the science of embryology and fetal development, as well as the social statistics of abortion, seeing these things presented as "fact" makes me cringe. I have decided to analyze and address each claim.
First off, searching through various dictionaries, I have found that there are several varying definitions for murder. Some use the adjective unlawful, some don't. The one thing that is common in all of the definitions is that murder is the killing of another human being with intention or aforethought. The unlawful part refers to a legal aspect. If we want to stick with this option, let me remind you that, as the great Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail, "everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was 'legal,". So with this definition that you proposed, none of the Jews that died in concentration camps during the Holocaust were murdered. I cover this more in point 4.
I have always considered murder the intentional killing of another human being. I've never heard of a murder that was not one human being intentionally killing another human being. So, for the sake of this response, I am simply going to keep the definition of murder as being "the intentional killing of one human being by another"
Before deciding how we should treat the unborn, we should first be clear about what the unborn is. This is a scientific question, and it is answered very clearly by the science of human embryology and fetal development.
1. "A fetus is not a person. You cannot murder non-persons or washing your hands would be murder."
A.)"A fetus is not a person"
As I cannot be sure what the author's definition of the word "person" is, I'm going to assume, for the sake of this post, that the definition of "person" is synonymous with human being, as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary says. So, if this is true, then the author says that a fetus is not a human being. This statement is completely contrary to what science tells us. Science tells us that from conception the unborn is a distinct, living and whole human being--a full-fledged member of the species Homo sapiens, like you and me, only at a much earlier stage in her development. Much like a toddler is at a much earlier stage in their development than an adult.
The facts of reproduction are straightforward. Upon completion of the fertilization process, sperm and egg have ceased to exist (thus the term "fertilized egg" is an inaccurate term); what exists is a single cell with 46 chromosomes (23 from each parent) that is called a zygote. The coming into existence of the zygote is the point of conception--the beginning of the life of a new human organism. The terms zygote, embryo and fetus all refer to developmental stages in the life of a human being.
This fact is confirmed by embryology textbooks and leading scientists. TW Sadler's "Langman's Embryology", Keith L. Moore's "The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology", and O'Rahilly and Muller's "Human Embryology and Teratology", just to name a few.
"The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give the rise to a new organism, the zygote." -T.W. Sadler (Langman's Embryology)
"Physicians have now arrived at the unanimous opinion that the foetus in utero is alive from the very moment of conception.....The willful killing of a human being at any stage of its existence is murder" -Dr. Horatio Storer (1868) (Criminal Abortion: It's Nature, It's Evidence, & It's Law)
"[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being." -Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th Edition
"Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a 'moment') is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte." -Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition
"After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion...it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception." - Dr. Jerome LeJeune (Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes)
"By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception." - Hymie Gordon (Mayo Clinic)
"The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception." -Dr. Watson A. Bowes (University of Colorado Medical School)
"The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual's unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated." -National Geographic (In The Womb) 2005.
In 1981 a U.S. Senate judiciary subcommittee heard expert testimony on the question of when life begins.
"It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception" -Prof. Micheline Matthews-Roth (Harvard University Medical School) (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981)
"The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter - the beginning is conception" -Dr. Watson A. Bowes (University of Colorado Medical Center) (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981)
The official subcommittee report reached this conclusion:
"Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being--a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings."
The report also noted that "no witness who testified before the subcommittee raised any evidence to refute the biological fact that from the moment of conception there exists a distinct individual being who is alive and is of the human species. No witness challenged the scientific consensus that unborn children are 'human beings,' insofar as the term is used to mean living beings of the human species."
Scott Klusendorf, president of Life Training institute best sums this point up, stating:
"In short, you didn't come from an embryo. You were once an embryo. At no point in your prenatal development did you undergo a substantial change or change of nature. You began as a human being and will remain so until death. Sure, you lacked maturity at that early stage of your life(as does an infant), but you were human nonetheless." -Scott Klusendorff (2009) (The Case for Life)
B.) "You cannot murder non-persons or washing your hands would be murder."
As already shown by science in 1A, the unborn are in fact "persons", thus this makes this argument completely invalid. When you wash your hands dead skin cells fall off. These skin cells are 100% you. They contain your unique set of DNA, nobody else's. A fetus has a completely separate set of DNA than either the father and the mother. The fetus, as stated above, is a distinct, living, and whole human being that has a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated. Thus, comparing a human being to skin cells lost during washing your hands.
2. " Lack of malice. People getting abortions are not getting them to punish the fetus or because they want to kill the fetus."Those are literally never the reasons for abortion. People get them because of poverty, work, school, their age, abusive situation, rape, medical reasons and fetal abnormalities. But not because they want to hurt or kill something."
A.) "Lack of malice. People getting abortions are not getting them to punish the fetus or because they want to kill the fetus."
Of course nobody is getting abortions to "punish the fetus", the fetus hasn't done anything wrong to be punished for.
But purpose of an abortion is to kill the fetus. That is exactly what and only what an abortion does. I've talked with former abortionists and have heard testimonies from countless abortion clinic workers including a former director of Planned Parenthood, and all agree that that is what an abortion does, it kills the fetus. It kills an innocent human being (see 1A). I've even seen a video recording of a sonogram of a surgical abortion, it is very obvious that the intent of the abortionist is to kill the unborn child. I watched as the medical instruments ripped the arms and legs of the unborn child from its body. The unborn child tried to squirm away from the instrument as it was doing so. Finally, after the limbs have been ripped off, the head of the unborn child is ripped off and is crushed I between tong-like instruments. You can watch this by searching for "The Silent Scream" on Google or YouTube.
This whole point is like saying that people who point a loaded gun at someone's and pull the trigger aren't doing it because they want to kill a person. The logic is completely flawed here.
B.) "Those are literally never the reasons for abortion."
Although those aren't the reasons people have for getting abortions (which I address in 2C), abortion, as shown in 1 and 2A, the abortion IS the killing of a human being. This is like saying, I didn't decapitate them because I wanted to kill them. (Harsh imagery, I know, but not that much of a stretch because in many surgical abortions, the unborn child's head is ripped from the body). I used this imagery because decapitation is simply a form of killing a human being, just as abortion is a form of killing a human being(although there are several methods of both decapitation and abortion).
C.) "People get them because of poverty, work, school, their age, abusive situation, rape, medical reasons and fetal abnormalities."
Yes. Poverty, work, school, age, and abusive situations, these are the socioeconomic reasons that women get abortions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, these make up over 90% of the reasons people get abortions. Whereas in cases of rape & medical issues with the mother or child, those make up less than 1% of the people who get abortions.
D.) "But not because they want to hurt or kill something."
3. "No premeditation. No one has sex just to get abortions."
A.) "No premeditation"
All abortions are premeditated. A woman comes to an abortion clinic because she has an unplanned pregnancy. The woman either doesn't know what she is going to do, or already has her mind made up about getting an abortion. If she has not yet made up her mind, most abortionists will suggest getting an abortion. The abortionist either gives the woman the abortion pill(s) or performs the abortion procedure. This isn't an accident or "act of passion", this is an act that is thought out ahead of time.
B.) "No one has sex just to get abortions"
Of course not. People have sex for pleasure and for procreating. I'm not even sure why this is mentioned in this point. It makes no logical sense.
4. "It’s not unlawful"
Well, it all depends on where you live. Also, Just because something is legal, doesn't mean it is right. Slavery was legal, that didn't make it right. What Hitler and the Nazis did in Germany was legal, that doesn't make it right. As I previously stated in the introduction, the Nazis killed Jews in mass numbers. Most would consider what the Nazis did murder, but according to the author of the original statement, which I am analyzing, as well as anyone who agrees with them, what the Nazis did was not murder, because it was not unlawful. I have had the privilege of seeing a holocaust survivor speak in person at my university a number of years ago. Almost everyone in her family was, as she said, "murdered" by the Nazis. I would urge you to find her and tell her that her family was not murdered. She's up in her eighties, but I can imagine that she could work up enough strength to slap you in the face. As one of my professors once said, "Ideas have consequences," and bad ideas have bad consequences. The idea that killing someone is not murder because it might be legal, could have very bad consequences for you, depending on who you talk to.
5. "You have a lawful excuse, that being your right to bodily autonomy. No one has the right to use a persons body, resources or internal organs without that persons consent regardless of circumstance or reason."
A.) "You have a lawful excuse,"
B.) "..that being your right to bodily autonomy. No one has the right to use a persons body, resources or internal organs without that persons consent regardless of circumstance or reason."
This is absolutely correct, nobody has the right to use your body or any part of your body without your consent. But according to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, in 99% of the times people get abortions, they have given consent. They willingly consented to engaging in the one natural act that results in a new human being being made (aka pregnancy). Just because someone doesn't like the result of the action that they willingly engaged in, doesn't mean that they have the right to kill another human being. The unborn is not an intruder. He/she is precisely where he/she naturally belongs at that point in his/her development. In other words, the unborn cannot be an unwanted invader that uses the mother's body without consent. If someone willingly engages in this action that creates a new human being, they have given consent. One must be responsible for one's actions.
Also, just because you have the rights to your own body, that doesn't mean that you have the right to kill another human being.
Further scientific facts on the humanity of the unborn:Four features of the unborn (i.e., the human zygote, embryo or fetus) are relevant to his or her status as a human being. First, the unborn is living. She meets all the biological criteria for life: metabolism, cellular reproduction and reaction to stimuli. Moreover, she is clearly growing, and dead things (of course) don't grow.
Second, the unborn is human. She possesses a human genetic signature that proves this beyond any doubt. She is also the offspring of human parents, and we know that humans can only beget humans (they cannot beget dogs or cats, for instance). The unborn may not seem to "look" human (at least in her earlier stages), but in fact she looks exactly like a human at that level of human development. Living things do not become something different as they grow and mature; rather, they develop the way that they do precisely because of the kind of being they already are.
Third, the unborn is genetically and functionally distinct from (though dependent on and resting inside of) the pregnant woman. Her growth and maturation is internally directed, and her DNA is unique and different from that of any other cell in the woman's body. She develops her own arms, legs, brain, central nervous system, etc. To say that a fetus is a part of the pregnant woman's body is to say that the woman has four arms and four legs, and that about half of pregnant women have penises.
Fourth, the unborn is a whole or complete (though immature) organism. That is, she is not a mere part of another living thing, but is her own organism--an entity whose parts work together in a self-integrated fashion to bring the whole to maturity. Her genetic information is fully present at conception, determining to a large extent her physical characteristics (including sex, eye color, skin color, bone structure, etc.); she needs only a suitable environment and nutrition to develop herself through the different stages of human life.
Thus, the unborn is a distinct, living and whole human organism--a full-fledged member of the species Homo sapiens, like you and me, only at a much earlier stage in her development. She is a human being.
"In the Womb". By National Geographic. Video, 2005
United States, Cong. Subcommittee Report on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158. 97th Cong., 1st Ssess. Washington: GPO, 1981
"The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology". By Keith Moore & T.V.N. Persaud. Saunders. 2003.
"The Case for Life". By Scott Klusendorf. Crossway Books. 2009.
"Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health". By Lawrence B.Finer. Guttmacher Institute. 2005.
"Langman's Embryology". By T.W. Sadler. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2009
"Human Embryology and Teratology". By Ronand O'Rahilly and Pabiola Muller. Wiley-Liss. 2001.