Reading Time: 5 minutes

I am a grandpa now! To be clear, I am a grandpa of the little life bouncing around in my lovely daughter-in-law Annie. 

I don’t become a grandpa from the first heartbeat; I don’t become a grandpa when the age of viability is reached; I don’t become a grandpa at birth; I don’t become a grandpa when this life takes its first breath after birth; I am a grandpa now, and became a grandpa at the moment of conception. 

The pro-life argument is not strictly biblical, but many passages certainly support the pro-life view. For example, Genesis 1:27Job 33:4Psalm 127:3-5, and Psalm 139:13-16, to name a few, but it is also philosophical and scientific. 

SLED

A philosophical example would be the simple SLED test. Human value is not based on Size, Level of development, Environment, or Degree of dependency.

Considering the size, some might say the unborn is just a clump of cells; consequently, Annie is not a mother, and you are not a grandpa, yet. Well, we are all just a clump of cells; what does that have to do with the clump of cells being a distinct human entity? This clump of cells is alive, growing, and human. Am I worth more than a 2-year-old little girl? Obviously not, and especially not to the parents of that little girl. That clump of cells from the first germinal stage is a distinct and separate human life. This life has their own DNA and is defined as ‘life’ by any biology textbook.

After size, if you look at the level of development, you will see that criteria can’t determine value. For example, a three-year-old girl does not have a fully developed reproductive system, so she can’t bear children. Does that somehow make her less valuable? Obviously, the unborn is less developed than the 3-year-old girl, so does she have an even lesser value? Equating a human’s value to their development level is clearly abhorrent to the clear thinking. 

How does location change the value of a human? Does traveling down a 7-inch birth canal suddenly bestow personhood, value, and human rights to that individual? 

Finally, does dependency alter value? Yes, the unborn is dependent on the mother, but newborns are also dependent on their mother/parents for love, security, and a safe environment. Should mothers be allowed to kill their newborns because they need them for nutrition or safety? 

DISCRIMINATION

The SLED method points out what abortion really is, discrimination based on size, development, location, and dependency. The strong, those in complete control, are allowed to disqualify the weak and defenseless. Recall in history, another class of human beings considered to be less valuable because of another arbitrary characteristic. African Americans because of their skin color. 

You say A. is white, and B. is black. It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker? Take care. By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own. – Abraham Lincoln

SCIENCE

How do I know I am a grandpa now? Science. If you are already rolling your eyes, you will not like anything else I have to say. Nevertheless, if you have got this far, I encourage you to keep reading and thoughtfully consider my points. 

Why do I say science? One example is the technology we use today; women can take a pregnancy test at home, which measures the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). About two weeks after conception, HCG can be detected in the blood or urine.1

Another example is how biologists define life? I had this discussion with my friend Dennis, a biology professor, when I went backpacking for two weeks with him in Wyoming. He explained that biologists define life with several criteria: organization, homeostasis, metabolism, growth, response, reproduction, and adaptation.2

Some terms might change depending on your source, but they all help us determine the characteristics necessary for something to be defined as life. 

BIOLOGY DEFINES LIFE

From conception, there is organization. Cells too tiny to see with the human eye carry out the activities necessary for life, forming complex structures. Homeostasis involves feedback controls and the life seeking to maintain a stable internal environment as it deals with external changes. Metabolism is simply converting energy from chemicals into various and specific cellular structures. Growth is cell division, and it grows in size or number. The response trait is the ability of life to react to its environment. Reproduction is the ability to multiply or procreate, which for most life does not come till later stages of development. Finally, adaptation is the ability to adjust to a change in an environment.3

There is no question that the unborn are alive from the moment of conception. There is no question that the unborn are human from the moment of conception. 

Of course, you will not hear this from the pro-choice advocates. Not long ago Chris Cuomo tweeted, “…the pro-life position is more about faith and feeling than fact.”4 It is a typical claim that Christians and pro-life advocates base their arguments on the Bible, blind faith, and feelings, none of which have anything remotely to do with facts and science. 

LIFE AFTER FIRST BREATH

Last month a woman named Ann on Facebook defended the claim that life does not begin till the first breath. I have heard others make the same claim and then quote Genesis 2:7 to support their view. “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (NIV) Technically, God’s breath began life, not when a human first takes a breath after birth, but let’s dig a little deeper. 

Pro-choice supporters say the Bible says life begins at first breath. Of course, clumps of cells don’t breathe air in the womb. Genesis 2:7, He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being.” Let me be clear; this is a descriptive statement, not prescriptive. It describes how and when Adam came to life, not when all human beings come to life. Scripture does not teach that everyone comes to life at their first intake of oxygen into their lungs, and to make that claim is complete rubbish.

Again scientific because I can quote a textbook for medical students, “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon development) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”5

The pro-life argument is founded on the principle that intentionally killing an innocent human being is wrong, which is precisely what abortion does.

The unborn are alive, the unborn are human, the unborn are innocent, and the unborn are helpless, so tell me what justification do you have for abortion? And before you toss out the rape and incest card which is less than 1% let’s settle the other 99%. 

  1. Smith, Lori. “Pregnancy tests: All you need to know.” Medical News Today, medicalnewstoday.com, 24 May 2017, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295001. []
  2. Mason, Kenneth; Losos, Jonathan; Singer, Susan. “The Science of Biology.” Biology, New York, McGraw Hill, 2017, pgs. 2-3. []
  3. “Life.” Biology Online, biologyonline.com, 16 June 2022, https://www.biologyonline.com/dictionary/life []
  4. Cuomo, Chris. [ChrisCuomo]. Twitter, 7 May 2019, https://twitter.com/ChrisCuomo/status/1125740694977548288 []
  5. Keith Moore, T. V. N. Persaud, and Mark Torchia, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 10th Edition, Philadelphia: Saunders, 2015), pg 11. []

Pin It on Pinterest