Apologetics Corner, What is the Unborn

Written by Makyra Williamson, ORTL community outreach director

Have you ever wanted to vocally advocate for the unborn but were unsure where to start? Check out the tips below from the Equal Rights Institute. 

The first question we must answer when discussing abortion is this: “What is the unborn?” Scientifically, we know that the unborn is living, human and whole. 

  1. We know that the unborn is living because it has the characteristics of living things, such as growing through cellular reproduction, metabolizing food for energy and reacting to stimuli.

  2. The unborn has two human parents, so the unborn must be human. Two ducks have a baby duck. Two bears have a baby bear. Two humans? You guessed it — they have a baby human. If in doubt, we can test fetal DNA to verify that the unborn is human. 

  3. The unborn is a whole organism. The unborn is not merely part of a body like a skin cell or a sperm cell; it is a whole organism with its own parts. The embryo has everything it needs to develop itself. Nothing is added to the unborn from the time of fertilization except adequate nutrition and a proper environment — the same things that born humans need, too.

Scientifically, we know that the unborn is a living, human, and whole organism. What science can’t tell us is whether the unborn has value. That’s a philosophical question. 

If you’re talking to someone who says the unborn is not human, ask a clarifying question: “Are you talking about biological humanness? Or something more philosophical, like having moral value?” Their answer will let you know whether you need to make a biological or philosophical argument. 

The apologetics strategies in this article are from the Equal Rights Institute. Interested in learning more? Email makyra@ortl.org to get free access to the online Equipped for Life course.


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