For most of my life, I have seen myself as pro-life, but not to the point that I would support a law banning abortions. But with the Supreme Court refusing to block an anti-abortion law in Texas, limiting abortion to no later than six weeks after a person becomes pregnant, I am forced to think more about my stance.
An Orientation to Life Preservation
I am against the death penalty. While I am not a pacifist, I see no reason for the United States to be a military aggressor. I find it insane that police in America kill so many citizens, and I support defunding a militarized police force. I support efforts at preserving wildlife and endangered species. I think climate change is a serious issue that will lead to the unnecessary deaths of many people. These are positions oriented towards the preservation of life whenever possible.
This orientation, as I am calling it, is not grounded in religious doctrine. I grew up Christian, but I do not practice now. It is also not grounded in morality — a sense of right or wrong. I don’t think people who, for example, think differently than me about policing are immoral. Wrong, yes. Lacking a necessary level of compassion towards people who have experienced police brutality, maybe. Immoral, no.
This is more of a cultural orientation. It is the way I live and move through the world, and it is the foundation of many of my decisions.
I believe that a new life begins at conception — the moment an egg is fertilized. It necessarily follows for me that I will be pro-life. There are always exceptions, but my default position is that I will not want that life to be terminated deliberately through an abortion. This view is consistent with the other positions I have listed above.
I can anticipate at least two objections.
It’s Not a Life Yet
The first objection is whether a fertilized egg, a zygote, or a fetus is alive.
I looked online to get a sense of what medical professionals say about the issue. The American College of Pediatrics’ official statement is that human life begins at conception. I found a study done by Steven Andrew Jacobs (Ph.D., University of Chicago) showing a consensus among biologists across the political spectrum that life begins at…