HILL: Religion-less discourse about abortion

The recent Alabama Supreme Court decision allowing a couple to sue for wrongful death for the loss of frozen fertilized human ovum due to an accident in an in-vitro fertilization clinic has caused a lot of derision by many on the left.

A recent meme floating around social media shows a picture of an egg with the caption: “In Alabama this is a chicken.”

Well, that is a completely false statement. Eggs sold commercially in grocery stores are not fertilized so there is zero possibility any of them would ever develop into a mature chicken. Republicans think unfertilized eggs are good to eat in omelets and quiches, but no, they don’t think unfertilized eggs are “chickens.”

Someone on the left needs to visit the NC State campus and learn about poultry farming.

If the question is whether a fertilized chicken egg can become a chicken, the answer is simple: “Yes, it can and most likely will.” Case solved. Biology and genetic research rule supreme.

Liberals rely on “science” when they argue about climate change and global warming. When it comes to abortion, they reject “science” ― in this case, “biology” ― since it countermands their concept of personal choice. No amount of moralizing, justification or obfuscation can deny the fact that once an ovum is penetrated by a sperm and becomes fertilized, the biological time clock is set into motion which takes the zygote to birth unless something catastrophic happens to end the pregnancy.

The science is settled. But the political debate is not.

What about if we took religion, morals and ethics out of the abortion debate completely? Would that make the issue any easier for those on the left to handle?

Consider a world where there never were any Roman or Greek gods and goddesses to worry about invoking their wrath. The Ten Commandments hanging over our heads like the sword of Damocles never existed. There is no Buddhist higher order of consciousness; no conception of Hindi reincarnation.

Just plain nothing other than biology and evolution.

All we would have to drive our thinking would be the basic human instincts designed for three purposes: finding food, water and shelter to ensure physical survival; protection from harm (fight or flee mechanism in the brain); and procreation. We would not care if anyone else is happy as long as we survive well. As long as we get what we want, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does or wants.

If a woman is impregnated by a male and the sperm cell enters the ovum and starts the process of cellular mitosis which leads to the development of a zygote and then a human fetus, the woman ― with or without the consent of the male contributor of one strand of chromosomes which determines the sex of the offspring ― can decide to terminate the pregnancy for any reason at any point along the timeline. It could be one day after fertilization; one week; one month or eight months and 29 days and no one would feel any pang of emotion whatsoever simply because, well, it doesn’t matter in terms of religion, morals or ethics from any source.

If a woman wants a child, the fetus is allowed to live. If the woman decides not to carry the fetus to term, it can be disposed of as if it were nothing more biologically than a wart or, worse, a clump of cancerous cells.

Does such libertarian freedom make everyone feel better about discussing abortion? Plutarch recorded the practice of the Spartans who abandoned deformed babies to the elements as an accepted “act of mercy.” They deemed doing so would save the less-than-perfect child from the rigors of Spartan warrior military life later.

Is that a world to which Americans want to be compared?

Reducing the tough issue of abortion to a cute internet meme featuring a chicken egg may seem clever, but it demeans the seriousness of the whole issue. The issue is not solely a question of biology, or even religion, ethics or morals.

It is a comprehensive question of politics, one of the top two most difficult issues America has faced, slavery being the other.

Maybe “science,” particularly advanced medical technology, will save us one day by figuring out how to either prevent fertilization from happening through birth control methods 100% of the time or taking a fertilized ovum all the way to birth without implantation in any mother’s womb. Until then, we need to help the roughly 75% of pregnant women considering abortion who say they want to carry their baby to term but don’t have the loving family, spousal support or financial resources and shelter to do so.

Making up silly internet memes with unfertilized chicken eggs doesn’t help at all.