On Monday, overrated actress and online provocateur Alyssa Milano took to her favorite social media platform to casually denigrate opponents of state-sanctioned prenatal infanticide as “bigot[s]”:
As the hotel maid might have asked herself after reporting to the Keith Richards suite for cleanup duty, “Where to begin?”
In truth, the pro-life argument is deceptively simple. There are only two core components.
The first component is science. It is a rudimentary embryological/biological fact that, upon sperm fertilization of an egg, a new DNA code is formed. Removing morality or bioethics from the equation, there is no more obvious place in the gestational continuum to demarcate the scientific origin of a new, discrete human life. Last February, The Daily Wire’s Paul Bois quoted pro-life leader David Bereit’s response to an obfuscatory (and, yes, anti-science) Bill Nye video:
The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception/fertilization. At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in which to grow and develop.
At a sperm’s fertilization of an egg, the biological process commences through which a new member of the human species is formed. That biological process, if left unimpeded by external actors, will result in the eventual live birth of an organism that every lay person would intuitively recognize as a full-fledged new human being. From this strictly scientific perspective, then, Princeton University “bioethicist” Peter Singer — who argues for the morality of actual, legitimate post-birth infanticide — is nothing if not intellectually consistent. As Singer’s Princeton colleague, the national social conservative icon Robert P. George, has opined:
Of course, most will intuitively recognize Singer’s concededly intellectually consistent argument as egregiously immoral hogwash. In order to do so, we must bring in the second core component of the contemporary pro-life argument: Basic Western norms with respect to the Judeo-Christian moral tradition and the concomitant natural law intellectual tradition.
In the first chapter of Genesis, we are told, “God created man in his image, in the image of God He created him.” This Image of God concept has served as a foundational tenet for all of Western ethics. Without the biblical basis for Image of God — “Imago Dei” in Latin — it is extraordinarily difficult, and likely impossible, to arrive at the Lockean basis for a natural right to life. And without John Locke, there would be no Thomas Jefferson writing in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
From the Bible to Enlightenment-era European thought to America’s Founding ideals, then, it may be said that a natural right to life — that man is created in the Image of God, that each such man therefore has inherent moral worth and a right to his life, and that governments among men are established in order to “secure these rights” — serves as an ethical backbone for all of the multifaceted components of Western civilization, more broadly. Each of the three major Abrahamic faiths, and indeed no shortage of purely secularists/atheists themselves, have arrived at a normative conclusion respecting the authenticity of a transcendental natural law order. And that natural law order has a right to life at its core.
The contemporary pro-life argument, then, is nothing more than a fusion of these two arguments — of the purely scientific and of the moral/ethical/Judeo-Christian. It really, truly, is that simple.
The pro-life movement is, in fact, the intellectual, moral, and legal successor to the antebellum abolitionist movement. Just as many abolitionists were decried as “religious fanatics” seeking to impose their moral viewpoints on the broader society, so too are pro-lifers lambasted as such. Just as many abolitionists stood for inherent human dignity and opposed the notion that one person could have a “right” to property that treated a fellow human being as chattel, so too do pro-lifers stand for inherent human dignity and oppose treating fellow human beings as a morally meaningless “clump of cells.” And just as the “substantive due process” legal underpinning of Dred Scott v. Sandford and the sycophantically pro-judicial supremacist sentiment advanced by Stephen Douglas caused Abraham Lincoln to wince in disgust, so too does the “substantive due process” legal underpinning of Roe v. Wade and the sycophantically pro-judicial supremacist sentiment advanced by the prenatal infanticide lobby cause pro-lifers to wince in disgust today.
As the aforementioned Robert P. George wrote in 2004, alongside William L. Saunders:
A familiar mantra of “pro-choice” politicians is that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Now, however, they seek to validate and fund a massive industry that would create human beings for the precise purpose of destroying them during the embryonic stage of development in biomedical research. What happened with slavery is now happening with embryo-killing: The people who used to defend it as a “necessary evil” to be resisted or lessened by means other than legal prohibition now promote it as a social good-something that law and government should not only tolerate but embrace and even promote.
So no, Alyssa Milano, the pro-life movement is not synonymous with “bigotry.” Far from it, pro-lifers promote nothing more than rudimentary embryology combined with the core, unambiguous moral/ethical underpinning of Western civilization. Human life is inherently dignified and morally worthy — and the state should not be involved in sanctioning its willful extermination.
The pro-life argument is really that simple. Shame on Alyssa Milano and all other radical pro-abortion ideologues who cannot so much as comprehend that.