Abortion Supporters Believe In Magic

Abracadabra, It's a Baby!

By William M Briggs Published on February 5, 2018

Ireland has a Minister for Children named Katherine Zappone.  She supports abortion.  She was asked recently about the “inherent contradiction” between her support and her position as Minister for Children.

She responded, “I believe that the fetus holds the potential for human life that develops over time. And I think my views in relation to abortion and the legislation are consistent with that view.”

If the fetus is only a blob of tissues that “holds the potential for human life,” then it must be that at some point in time the blob is transformed from a blob into a human being.

The only way this can happen is by magic.

Nothing Up Nature’s Sleeves

It has to be magic because there is no biological mechanism that operates as a switch that turns a lump of non-human flesh into a human being. So if the switches happens, it must be magic.

Some say the lump is partly human and gradually accretes humanness to itself. It somehow accumulates enough humanness to be called human. Let’s see why this requires magic, too.

Some say the fetus has accumulated enough humanness that it becomes human upon birth. If so, it must be that the magical contact with air imbues humanity into the blob. One brief moment before it was a blob. A quick puff of air and — hey, presto! — a mass of tissue becomes a tax deduction.

Viability is in the Eye of the Beholder

Others say the fetus has reached human-being level when it is “viable”; which is to say, when it can live outside the womb.

A century and more ago, with rare exceptions due to Cesarean births which occurred about the same time as a normal term birth, no fetus was viable before normal birth. The technology to preserve the fetus, whatever the fetus was, had not yet been invented.

Nowadays, the fetus taken from pregnant women can survive outside the womb at very early ages given the aid of certain medical devices and drugs. The age this occurs grows earlier and earlier with each advancement in medical technology. It’s not even science fiction to suggest that this age will progress to the point of conception.

Indeed, some fetuses are first created outside the womb in test tubes, and only later implanted. (We can here ignore the ethics of this.) It’s reasonable to suppose methods will be invented that allow the fetus to grow entirely outside the womb.

Nonviable Arguments

So, clearly, viability cannot be what determines humanness. Why? Because viability depends on the skill of the surgeon. A baby removed from the womb prematurely in the United States because of its advanced science will be called a baby. But one removed in some poor place that lacks advanced technology must not be called a baby, but a lump of non-human flesh, because it’s not viable.

This is an absurd contradiction. Those who rely  on viability to describe the point at which the lump of flesh turns into a human also rely on magic, or at least magical thinking. This is because believing in viability is no different from believing a normal term birth turns the lump of flesh into a human. It is the magical contact with the outside world that turns the lump into a human.

The only possible solution is to assume the baby is a human being upon conception. It’s a human being at a very early stage of growth. Just as a centenarian is a human being at a very late stage of growth. But it is a human being and nothing else. If it is something else, it must be magic that at some point turns it into a human being. And believing in magic is stupid.

You Just Made the List

There are greater dangers than just believing in magic. If we accept Zappone’s logic, there is nothing stopping people from defining the point at which a human life begins at any arbitrary date. Even post birth.

The Journal of Medical Ethics infamously published the article “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” In it, two philosophers argued newborns are not yet fully human because they had not yet developed into mature humans. They can therefore be killed via post-birth abortion.

Philosopher Peter Singer and the Darwinist Jerry Coyne argue it makes sense to kill newborns who in their judgment are “doomed to a life that cannot by any reasonable light afford happiness.” Babies suffering with certain genetic diseases will never be fully human.  So put them out of their misery.

The attitude of these people makes believing in magic seem positively brilliant.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Putin on the Ritz

    I’m sure most gun toting, Bible thumping Neanderthals are also doomed to a life that cannot by any reasonable light afford happiness.

    At least not without a 12-pack of Bud Light.

    • Jim Walker

      If only your dad wore a condom…or you mom went to planned parenthood.

      • Putin on the Ritz

        I’m from a religious family; my father was a priest, my mother a nun.

        • Alice Cheshire

          Haters gotta hate. What a loser.

    • Alice Cheshire

      You’re a real ray of sunshine. As for culling the useless, be careful what you wish for there, cowboy.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      You, my friend, are a cock-eyed optimist in re “teenagers.”

    • Yawrate

      Darwinian effects really come into play during the teenage years.

  • Alice Cheshire

    Actually, wombs are a physical manifestation of Schroedinger’s cat. The fetus is neither dead nor alive in the womb. It may seem alive on an ultrasound, but it is not. The definition of “alive” depends entirely on who opens the box. If an abortion doctor opens the box, the fetus is a dead lump. If a surgeon does in utero surgery, it’s a live human. If a car accident kills a pregnant woman, it can still be either—some people count two deaths, some one. It can both be dead and alive in this case. If a husband punches his wife and causes the baby to die, some states it’s alive, some it’s a lump of flesh. Many states allow the law to call it a lump for abortion and alive for homicide. Alive and dead simultaneously. Or neither, until it’s expelled. Schoedinger had no idea how well he was describing abortion. He thought this was about some guy name Heisenberg and his crazy theory.

  • Yawrate

    “I have to march because my mother could not have an abortion”

    Maxine Waters

  • Babaloo Jones

    ‘…For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,
    Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
    My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
    Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.’
    PSALM 139 13-17

Jesus, ‘Thou Art Fairer Than the Children of Men’
Charles Spurgeon
More from The Stream
Connect with Us