Distinct identity

This is a response to Andrea Snow (2/7). You ask how a fetus can be considered a separate human life; let’s look at the answer biologically. First of all, the fetus has a completely unique genetic make-up. This in itself is proof that the fetus is a separate, distinct human being.

Secondly, when one speaks of a “separate” human life, independence is not necessarily implied (as you did in para. 2). No plant or animal is truly independent of its environment. Just as Florida oranges depend on their trees and several months of sunshine and warm weather to help them grow, so the fetus depends on the warm, nurturing environment of the mother’s womb.

When harsh winter weather comes, the orange crop is in danger of being aborted. The growers do all they can to protect their fruit, but if Old Man Winter is persistent, the defenseless oranges suffer inadequate growth or even death.

Finally, the legal implications of your position are even more frightening. If you claim that the fetus’s dependence on the mother gives the mother the right to do with the child as she wishes, then where do you draw the line for dependence? Kindergarten? Junior High? Graduation from High School?

The logical extension of your argument is that any dependent individual could be subject to the whims (no matter how benevolent or cruel) of the provider. Do you understand the implications? I need not spell them out for you.

The biological facts are very clear: The human fetus, although dependent on the environment of the womb to grow, has a separate and distinct identity and is capable of independent motion and initiative within the womb. To believe anything less is to be dishonest with the facts and indeed hold to an “absurd” position.

Scott Stocking

Campus Minister

Christian Campus Ministry