The Left’s War on Science: From ‘Unborn Youth’ to ‘Fetus’

July 31, 2015

Earlier this year, National Geographic’s ran a cover story called, “The War on Science.” In the feature article, writer Joel Achenbach addressed a number of issues about which many people dispute the received scientific wisdom.

Ranging from the moon landing to evolutionary theory, Achenbach detailed why skeptics refuse to accept what to many scientists seems established fact. Personally, I’m with Achenbach on the moon landing, vaccinations, and GMOs; on climate change and evolutionary theory, not so much.

My views on these matters are immaterial to a much different and urgent scientific issue, one Achenbach neglected and which regularly receives at best spare coverage in the popular media: The scientific case against abortion.

There is no question that human personhood begins at conception. Not just human life – any cell in the body represents “human life” – but a person, developing and unformed, but no less human than you or me.

Even National Geographic itself, in its beautiful DVD, “In the Womb,” demonstrates vividly that it is an unborn child that begins developing at conception. Her DNA is unchanged from the moment when the sperm and egg fuse – the moment of conception.

Of course, champions of abortion refuse to acknowledge the personhood of the unborn child. Referring to the child as a “fetus” provides a veneer of detachment from the humanness of that which is being suctioned out of or dismembered within a woman’s womb.

Too, “fetus” simply means “unborn young,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. So, for those readers not Latinophiles, let’s use that phrasing: babies within the womb are “unborn young.” Quite so. We’ll go with it.

The Left jettisons science in the name of radical personal autonomy and sexual volition. It cannot abide even modest measures to protect the unborn young. Whether clinic regulations to ensure the safety and cleanliness of abortion centers, prohibiting partial birth abortions, ultrasound laws that require women to see the reality of what they are contemplating abortion, the stridency of those favoring no restrictions on abortion is remarkable.

It’s also understandable: If they concede, in even the slightest degree, that the unborn child has any value, their case is lost. Thus, they will not dialog honestly about the unborn young (and their mothers) who are being victimized by a predatory abortion industry. For example, on Planned Parenthood of America’s (PPFA) “prenatal care” webpage, the authors assiduously avoid any mention of a baby’s health or well-being. In fact, one would think the woman had a growth in her body not dissimilar to a tumor except for a few references to a “fetus” and one reference to “embryo” with respect to having an ultrasound.

Interestingly, PPFA lists a number of things that can be found during an ultrasound; the sex of the unborn youth or her visibly obvious humanity are not among them. It also mentions, repetitively, such things as fetal abnormalities, Down Syndrome, and related matters. Such information might well be useful, but does continuous reference to the possibility of something being wrong with the unborn youth not speak to a different, darker agenda than simply a safe and healthy pregnancy? Especially given that roughly 90 percent of Down’s babies are aborted in the womb?

PPFA also notes that in amniocentesis, “there is a slight chance of infection, injury to the fetus, or early labor.” So: If the mother wants to keep the baby, “injury to” her unborn youth matters. Bear in mind that this is the same organization that provides more than 325,000 abortions annually. In other words, injury to unborn youth only matters if that youth is wanted. Subjective preference determines what’s right? How is this possibly moral?

The recently videos in which Planned Parenthood personnel speak casually about marketing the organs of unborn aborted children add new, oppressive weight to PPFA’s long history of predation on the unborn and their mothers. Here is one excerpt that captures the gory dehumanization that is Planned Parenthood’s stock-in-trade, from their senior director of medical research, Dr. Deborah Nucatola:

We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.

Then there’s this, from a filmed recording of Dr. Mary Gatter, President of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Director’s Council:

Gatter talks about changing the abortion technique to get intact specimens, changing from a rather violent suction method that would destroy tissue to what she calls an IPAS, which is a reference to a nonprofit company that makes and distributes “manual vacuum aspirators” which would be a less harmful way to get at the internal organs. She said there would be protocol issues with the patient but that she saw no problem with it. She calls it a “less crunchy” way to get intact organs.

This is the use of medical science to wage war against unborn young. It is the abuse of science in the cause of death. I’d call that a war on the little ones in the womb and their mothers. And on science itself.

Earlier this year Senator Rand Paul, rightly aggravated by a reporters insistent badgering of him regarding abortion, said, “Why don’t we ask the DNC (Democratic National Committee): Is it OK to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus? You go back and go ask (DNC Chairwoman) Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby that’s just not born yet. Ask her when life begins, and ask Debbie when she’s willing to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me.”

Schultz responded, “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.”

Not for Senator Paul: “It sounds like her answer is yes, that she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby. Debbie’s position, which I guess is the Democratic Party’s position, that an abortion all the way up until the day of birth would be fine, I really think most pro-choice people would be uncomfortable with that.”

This is a defining example of the incapacity of advocates of abortion-on-demand to interact intelligently with the reality of life within the womb. It is indicative of their willingness to wage war on science by refusing to deal with it.

Should Ms. Wasserman Schultz and her allies in what Pope John Paul II called “the culture of death” ever concede that even the slightest provision should be made to protect or enhance the life of unborn youth, they know their house of anti-science regarding abortion would collapse.

In George Orwell’s 1984, “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.”

These ministries have nothing on the proponents of choice (i.e., abortion) or the designation of the child as merely an untoward, unwelcome collection of blood and tissue.

A fetus – I mean, an unborn youth – and her mother deserve so much better than to be victims of this war on science.

Here are some excellent resources on how unborn youth develop and what actually takes place in the womb:

What Science Reveals about Fetal Pain and Planned Parenthood: Abortion Numbers Are Up, both by Arina Grossu, Director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity.

Fetal development: The 1st trimester – The Mayo Clinic

Slideshow: Fetal Development Month by Month – Web M.D.

Rob Schwarzwalder

Rob Schwarzwalder is a senior lecturer at Regent University.  His op-eds have been published in numerous national publications, ranging from TIME and U.S. News and World Report to Christianity Today, The Federalist, and The Public Discourse, as well as scores of newspapers and opinion journals. Read More

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24