A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted the following image on Facebook:
I rightly assumed this graphic to be an argument in favour of abortion, essentially arguing that the unborn aren’t really human. How might you respond to a graphic such as this? Well, in today’s post I would like to share a modified version of the Facebook comment which I posted in response, so that if one of your friends also posts this image you’ll have an example of how you might construct your own reply. Or, of course, if you’re short on time, you could just paste a link to this article 🙂
I’ll now work through the graphic, image by image, offering a few notes of commentary on each…
Picture #1: “This is not a chicken”
I agree! What is pictured above is not a chicken. The image in the meme is of an unfertilized egg. You could have given that egg as much time as you wanted but it’d never have hatched because it lacked the genetic information needed to develop into an adult chicken.
You see, hens will lay eggs regardless of whether or not those eggs have been fertilized. What you’re seeing in the image above is the stuff which would have nourished the chick had conception actually taken place.
So, if the meme’s picture doesn’t show a fertilized egg, what might that look like? Please consider the following picture:
This is a young chicken. In fact, if you look carefully you can make out several features such as its beak and feet.
Picture #2: “This is not a tree”
An acorn is indeed not an adult tree, sure, but it is still a member of the same species. Likewise, the unborn aren’t adult humans, but they are still members of the same species. To say an acorn is not a tree is correct in the same way it’s correct to say that a human embryo is not a human adult.
The pre-born are small humans, sure, but humans nonetheless. A toddler is smaller than a teenager, but no less human. We don’t claim that a teenager isn’t human simply because the teenager hasn’t reached the size of an adult.
Picture #3: “This is not a dress”
This is probably the strangest image in the graphic. Silk is a raw material used in dress production. An embryo is not the raw material for making a human – it is a human! The raw materials for the human development process would be the nutrients delivered from the mother to the baby via the umbilical cord.
A toddler is a less developed version of a teenager, but no less human. Likewise, an unborn child is a less developed version of a toddler, but given time, nutrients and a safe environment, the unborn child will grow to maturity. In contrast, regardless of environment or nutrients provided, a ball of silk would remain unchanged. It wouldn’t matter how much time you gave it, it wouldn’t magically transform itself into a dress.
Picture #4: “This is not a person”
You know what? I agree, this is not a person! The final picture in the graphic shows the moments prior to conception. It’s not a person, it’s just an egg and a sperm. A few moments later, however, you would see the latest member of the human race, a brand new living organism with its own unique human DNA.
A better image
If you wanted to see a more scientifically accurate version of the above meme, it would look something like this:
I never received any kind of response from my friend, but hopefully in this post I’ve shown that rebutting images like this is pretty straightforward. It doesn’t require an advanced science degree, simply some basic biology taught to you in school.