The following article is from ChristianAnswers.net
Human fetus. Photograph copyrighted, Films for Christ. From the motion picture, “The Origin of Life”.
The abortion debate rests on the moral status of the unborn: if the unborn are fully human, then nearly every abortion performed is tantamount to murder. Most “pro-choice” advocates argue, however, that although the unborn entity is human (belonging to the species Homo sapiens), it is not a person and hence not fully human.
Those who argue in this fashion defend either a decisive moment or gradualist approach to the status of the unborn.
Those who defend a decisive moment view argue that, although human life does begin at the moment of conception, it is at some later stage in the unborn human’s development that it becomes worthy of our protection. It is at this moment that it becomes a person.
Other philosophers take a gradualist position and argue that the unborn human gradually gains more rights as it develops. Hence, a zygote has less rights than a 6-month-old fetus, but this fetus has less rights than an adult woman.
In order to understand decisive moment and gradualist theories, it is important that we carefully go over the biological facts of fetal development. While going over the facts of prenatal development. I will present the case for the pro-life view that full humanness begins at conception. I will deal with objections to this view when I critique the decisive moment and gradualist views.
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