Why I Am Pro-Life
Karen Swallow Prior

What is your earliest memory? I’m sure it wasn’t in the womb, you probably don’t remember your first steps or words. I don’t. My first memory is from a mommy-and-me class, when I was about 2 years old.

As someone who doesn’t take “God” for an answer, I’m going to ignore your argument about souls and focus on the biology. You claim that a life starts at conception; what starts is a mechanical process. Is it wrong to stop a series of dominoes from falling over? What if that last domino turns on a computer that can make decisions for itself? There is certainly a point where a person switches from merely acting through a priori mechanical instincts to acting on subjective feeling, but that switch happens long after birth. The brain, especially in humans, is very underdeveloped at birth. While it makes the pain of an abortion no less real, understanding that one is simply stopping a mechanical process that early is vital. Nature is full of mechanical processes; life is a messy, largely mechanical attempt at adaptation. It fails frequently. Humans have the burden of believing we are more than a mechanical processes, but we are still fallible, and it is hard for any of us to answer the question: is it a bigger mistake to terminate a life you know you cannot support, or force your child to bear the burden of believing that their miserable life is a gift?

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