Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are from Students for Life of America, of which we are an official chapter. Click here for all of SFLA's pro-life facts.
The human hands of a 10-week old aborted fetus.
In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion in all 50 states during all nine months of pregnancy for any reason. Abortion destroys and removes a developing child from his or her mother's womb in order to end his or her mother's pregnancy. More than 55 million humans have been aborted since abortion on demand was legalized in America. There 1.2 million U.S. abortions every year. More than 40 million abortions take place worldwide every year, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. Click here to learn about fetal development, here to learn about abortion and social justice, here to watch a graphic video of actual abortions procedures in progress, and here to learn about personhood.
Both euthanasia and abortion are based on a view of man that lacks dignity. Pro-lifers view all life as precious, whether it is that of the elderly, the mentally ill, or even the preborn. Pro-lifers recognize that life is an inalienable right before and regardless of state recognition. Those who call themselves “pro-choice” view life as not inherently valuable, but as a value given to a human being from a human source such as the government (quality of life, etc.). Click here to learn more about euthanasia and why we oppose it.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (hESC) is ethically wrong because it destroys human persons at the embryonic stage of development. Because embryonic stem cells are obtained from destroyed human embryos, the concerns are similar to those surrounding abortion. However, there is no controversy regarding the use of human adult stem cells, since retrieving these cells do not destroy a human being. Click here for more information about human embryonic stem cell research.
Voluntary euthanasia is also known as “assisted suicide.” In such cases, the individual no longer wants to live and enlists the help of a medical professional in either killing them or allowing them to die (ceasing treatment, etc.). The most famous example of assisted suicide is that of Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s killing of 130 people, 5 of whom had no disease detected in autopsy. Kevorkian served eight years in prison for second-degree murder. As involuntary mercy-killing is so obviously repugnant to most people, the most controversial form of euthanasia is non-voluntary—that is, when the individual is not able to give or deny consent, the most famous example of which is the case of Terry Schiavo. Americans United for Life has some great information about physician-assisted suicide. As they put it, "When the movement to legalize physician-assisted suicide gained steam during the 1970s, AUL’s attorneys warned that the legalization of the morally abhorrent practice would create a continuum in which the 'right to die' would inevitably become the 'duty to die.'” This push to devalue human life must stop.
Should the state have the right to kill people it deems have forfeited their right to life? Is the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment? Does our justice system treat everyone fairly, or are minorities more likely to be sentenced to death than other groups? What about innocent people who have died via the death penalty, and the number of people exonerated from death row every year? These are questions every one who values human life and dignity should ask him or herself. The American Civil Liberties Union has written extensively about why the death penalty is unjust. As they put it, "Innocent people are too often sentenced to death. Since 1973, over 140 people have been released from death rows in 26 states because of innocence. Nationally, at least one person is exonerated for every 10 that are executed." BSFL is proud to support the work of Project Hope, which seeks to abolish the death penalty in Alabama.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) isn’t a topic that often crops up in pro-life circles, but it’s important to highlight this as an issue that affects the movement directly and has a profound impact on the way we view the dignity and value of every human life, both in and outside the womb. IVF usually entails the creation of multiple human embryos to ensure a greater chance of successful implantation. These human embryos are then screened for genetic disorders, handicaps and sometimes even a particular gender. The “undesirable” embryos are discarded. Normally, an IVF practitioner transfers around four of the selected embryos into a woman’s uterus. If more than one (or two) successfully implant, a physician will selectively abort (kill) the remaining embryos (Nadya “Octomom” Suleman refused this “embryonic discarding”, resulting in her delivering octuplets). This selective mentality leads to the death of little humans based on their gender, physical and mental handicaps, and how many exist simultaneously. Click here to learn more about IVF.