I took it upon myself to come up with definitions of both “pro-life” and “pro-choice,” definitions that, it can be agreed upon by both sides when they’re in a levelheaded state, are objective and accurate. Here they are, the fundamental differences between pro-life and pro-choice:
Pro-life is the view that all human life forms, be they zygote, teenager, or septuagenarian in a coma, are of equal value, and, further, that it is never a moral choice, nor should it ever be a legal choice, to terminate the life of an innocent one (although most pro-lifers give exception for cases of the mother’s own survival).
Pro-choice is the view that certain human life forms are less valuable than other human life forms, and that it should be legal for a higher-value human to choose to terminate the life of a lower-value human (as long as the lower-value human is in a certain location called the womb) for whatever reason the higher-value human chooses, which reasons range from convenience to survival, but neither of which reasons is less valid than the other.
That’s about as objective and fair a definition as you will ever read. I see no reason for pro-lifers or pro-choicers to disagree with how I’ve defined “pro-life,” and no reason for pro-lifers or pro-choicers to disagree with how I’ve defined “pro-choice.”
If my definition of the pro-choice movement sounds controversial, let me point out that those in the movement affirm my definition by almost unanimously agreeing, “Yes, of course the fetus is alive and of course it’s human, but it’s not a person.” The issue for them, they will tell you, is granting what they call personhood to fetuses, which, they usually acknowledge freely, are living humans. Granting “personhood” to a fetus would take away their, the higher-value human’s, right to do whatever they please to that lower-value human, including turning it from a living human to a no-longer-living human.
This is what the pro-choicers happily, proudly acknowledge.
What pro-choicers tend not to be proud of is their general belief that fetuses with defects are even less valuable than average fetuses. Logically, this same belief should extend to post-birth humans—that the mentally handicapped are less valuable than members of MENSA—but that’s just an application of logic on my part, and no official study has been done. A study has been done on my original assertion, however. The research, reviewed by Dr. Brian Skotko, a pediatric geneticist at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, found that roughly 92 percent of fetuses diagnosed prenatally with Down’s syndrome are terminated. The mothers of these fetuses believe that these extra-chomosomed, pre-born, living humans are less worthy of life than a mentally mature fetus (which is, of course, less worthy of life than a post-birth baby), especially in their presence.
We see this perfectly exemplified in the recent case of the young couple who, upon learning that their fetus, or pre-born baby, was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, decided it would be best not to have a sub-par baby around, and so opted to terminate the life of their co-created small human.
For those of you reading this who are undecided on his or her stance on the issue, a good way to determine your position is to ask yourselves: Do I believe that some living humans are less valuable than others and that it is therefore acceptable to end their lives? Or do I believe that all human life is valuable, and that even the smallest, most defenseless, and truly most innocent among us need people to stand up for them?