You're in a burning building and have to choose between saving a 5-year-old child or 10 frozen human embryos. Most people choose to save the 5-year-old child. But does this natural instinct mean the embryos have no value? Does it mean they aren't human beings worthy of protection?Read Transcript More Resources Next Video
The Pro-Life Reply to, "Embryos don't have equal value"
It's been declared that it is IMPOSSIBLE to be pro-life in the following scenario: You are in a burning building, and you have to choose between saving a five-year-old child OR a container with ten frozen human embryos. Which one do you choose? Most people instinctively choose the five-year-old child, and this decision is used by abortion advocates to say that embryos, or preborn children in general, do not have equal value to people who have already been born. Therefore, we should be allowed to abort them.
It is easy to see why this argument falls apart with just a slight change to the scenario. Imagine that you are in that burning building, only this time you have to choose between saving one of your family members - say one of your own children or a sibling - and a complete stranger. Your instinct would probably be to save your family member. That doesn’t mean that the stranger is any less human, or has any less value than your family member, or that you have moral permission to kill strangers.
In the same way, a person’s choice to save a five-year-old child over the embryos does not make the embryos less human or less valuable or give anyone moral permission to kill embryos.
Take another example. In movies like Titanic, where the ship is sinking and someone is putting people in lifeboats, you often hear the phrase, “Women and children first!” Saying this in no way means that men are less human than women and children, or that we should be allowed to kill adult men.
The burning building and sinking ship scenarios are about choosing whom we will save, when tragically, we cannot save everyone. Abortion, by distinction, is about directly and intentionally killing a child in the womb, by dismemberment, lethal injection, starvation, or exsanguination (which is draining blood from the body). With the burning building - it is the fire that kills. With abortion - it is one stronger human actively and intentionally killing other, weaker human beings.
In life, it is not always possible to save everyone, but it is always possible to refrain from intentionally killing someone, including someone waiting to be born.