What’s at stake in the abortion debate is precisely what was at stake during the nineteenth-century debate about slavery: Where do we draw the line between beings we can simply use for our own purposes and discard when inconvenient, on the one hand, and beings who have fundamental rights, who deserve our respect and protection, on the other? Abraham Lincoln expressed the central point in the slavery debate: “If the Negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that ‘all men are created equal;’ and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man’s making a slave of another.” Likewise, if the human embryo or fetus is a man, a human being, then we owe him love and care, and protection from being ripped to pieces or discarded in a trashcan (the objection that a human embryo is a human being but not a person is considered here).
This is the argument that Samuel and Maureen Condic make in their new book, Human Embryos, Human Beings, A Scientific and Philosophical Approach. The Condics are a brother–sister team, he a trained philosopher and she a neurobiologist. They present a careful and detailed case for the proposition that a human being comes to be at fertilization, and refute the main arguments to the contrary. Along the way they clarify the concepts of substance, substantial form, soul, organism, and final and formal causality. ….
Read more at https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2019/09/56416/